Round table on “Azerbaijan statehood and reforms implemented in migration sphere”

On December 16, 2011 Round table on “Azerbaijan statehood and reforms implemented in migration sphere” was held at the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan Republic.

Representatives from Milli Majlis, state agencies, international and non-governmental organizations participated in the event dedicated to 18 December-International Migrant’s Day.

Chief of the State Migration Service, II rank state migration service counselor Arzu Rahimov stated that Azerbaijan Republic was one of the first post-Soviet countries faced with internal and external migration processes after gaining its independence. At that time newly established independent state faced with mass flow of our compatriots driven out of their native lands as a result of internal migration’s negative manifestations- Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It demanded creation of social and living conditions for those persons in the country. Only as a result of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev’s great attention and care, it was possible to solve social problems of our compatriots exposed to forced migration. Attention has increased to migration and its factors after Nation-wide Leader’s return to power. Start of new successful development period, pursued oil strategy, established stability-as a result of all these Azerbaijan has already become an attractive country for foreigners. Immigration processes began gradually to surpass emigration. Number of persons immigrating into the country increased continuously. All these required regulation of migration processes by state and created necessity for adoption of relevant normative legal base.

A.Rahimov notified that in 2004 the State Migration Policy Concept of Azerbaijan Republic was adopted and objectives standing before government agencies in the field of migration processes regulation had been defined in this concept. “The State Migration Program of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2006-2008” was approved with the Order of President Ilham Aliyev dated on July 25, 2006 for implementing issues arising from the State Migration Policy Concept. Implementation of state policy in migration sphere, development of migration management system, regulation and forecast of migration processes, improvement of legislation in this sphere according to international norms and requirements of modern period, provision of efficient application of laws, establishment of unified data base and modern automated control system in migration field, prevention of illegal migration and implementation of social protection measures related with migrants are key objectives of the program.

It should be noted that a number of state agencies were involved in migration processes and regulation of these processes in Azerbaijan Republic several years ago. It complicated documentation related with residence in the country on legal bases for foreigners arriving in Azerbaijan. Taking it into consideration, as well as for the purpose of implementing state policy in migration field, improving management system, regulating migration processes and coordinating activity of relevant state agencies the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan Republic was established with the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan Republic dated on March 19, 2007.

Today the State Migration Service deals with the issues of extending foreigners’ and stateless persons’ temporary staying period in the country, granting permits for temporary and permanent residence in the country, refugee status for foreigners seeking asylum, work permits for carrying out paid labor activity, registers foreigners and stateless persons obtained relevant permits upon place of residence, participates in solution of citizenship issues.

Stating that the organized Round table was held on the eve of International Migrant’s Day Service chief notified that after gaining independence Azerbaijan Republic has acceded to several important international Conventions related with protection of migrants’ rights, a number of normative legal acts have been adopted, addendums and amendments have been made to existing legislation. Signing more than 20 decrees and orders related with addendums and amendments to legislative acts in migration field is an obvious example of constant attention of country leadership to migration processes and protection of migrants’ rights. The State Migration Service attaches special attention to implementation of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with international organizations in order to protect migrants’ rights and closely cooperates with several international organizations. The State Migration Service cooperates with relevant agencies of many countries for the purpose of conducting experience exchange in migration field, fighting with illegal migration and providing protection of migrants’ rights and this cooperation is being expanded.

Ombudsman on human rights of Azerbaijan Republic Elmira Suleymanova  emphasized that reforms carried out in the country legislation is an important factor in protection of foreigners’ and stateless persons’ rights and notified that migrants’ rights are not different from country citizens’ rights at all. Ombudsman mentioned that constant study of migrants’ needs, improvement of state agencies’ activity in this sphere, increasing attention to regions are the most important factors and there is always need for legislation enhancement.

Chairman of juridical policy and state establishment committee of Milli Majlis Ali Huseynov noted that there is a perfect legislative base for implementing migration policy in Azerbaijan. Today Azerbaijan’s legislation in migration field has developed more in comparison with CIS and Eastern Asia countries.

Stating Azerbaijan’s interest in development of legal migration alongside with other spheres Ali Huseynov notified that we have to prevent illegal migration, at the same time we should develop legal migration.

Department chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Ali Mardanov, Division chief of the State Border Service Azad Qasimov, Division chief of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population Fuad Jabbarov made speeches according to the theme of the Round table and expressed their assurance for further development of joint cooperation in the future.

Chairman of the Migration Center Social Union Alovsat Aliyev, leader of “Avrasiya” Citizen initiatives platform Azar Allahveranov and chairman of “Protection of migrants and internally displaced persons’ rights in Azerbaijan” Social Union Nadir Abdullayev spoke about importance of the Round table dedicated to International Migrant’s Day, positive results of measures taken by the state towards migration processes regulation, as well as directions of joint cooperation in the future. 

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