The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on Thursday published conclusions on the implementation of two priority recommendations made to Azerbaijan in 2016.
Firstly, ECRI recommended that the authorities create conditions under which a diverse and independent civil society can develop. In this regard ECRI notes some positive developments, such as the adoption of a presidential decree on measures to simplify grant registration procedures for foreign donors and to ensure their transparency, the ongoing development of e-services to manage the electronic registration of grants, and the launch of a platform for dialogue between the Government and civil society.
While ECRI welcomes these developments, it notes that the continuing use of restrictive regulations by the authorities fails to offer favourable conditions for the proper and independent functioning of NGOs and leads, in some cases, to these organisations being unable to resume their work. In view of these considerations, ECRI concludes that its recommendation has not been implemented.
Secondly, ECRI recommended that the authorities fulfill the promise given when acceding to the Council of Europe to enact legislation on alternatives to military service as already foreseen in Article 76 of the Azerbaijani Constitution. The Committee notes that the Azerbaijani authorities have not taken any initiative to enact such legislation and concludes therefore this recommendation has not been implemented.
The conclusions are based on the response from the Government and information gathered from other sources. They concern only the priority recommendations and do not aim at providing a comprehensive analysis of all developments in the fight against racism and intolerance in Azerbaijan.
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is a human rights monitoring body which specialises in questions relating to the fight against racism, discrimination (on grounds of “race”, ethnic/national origin, colour, citizenship, religion, language, sexual orientation and gender identity), xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance.