1. “Supporting the Establishment of a Regional Training Centre on Migration in Azerbaijan” project
State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Representation of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Republic of Azerbaijan with the financial assistance of the IOM Development Fund (IDF) initiated “Supporting the Establishment of a Regional Training Centre on Migration in Azerbaijan” project, which has been implemented since November 1, 2020.
The main purpose of the project is to contribute to the process of training and education in the field of migration in the region, as well as to improve the training of specialists in this field by involving experts from different countries and international organizations through the establishment of the Regional Training Center on Migration in Azerbaijan. For this purpose, the project envisages the development of special training programs that meet international requirements in various areas of migration, training of trainers, as well as the creation of opportunities for the use of modern software based on international best practices in the training process. The Center, which will cover the regions where Azerbaijan is located and has close migration ties, including the South Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Eastern Partnership countries, is planned to be a training institution in the region, which will train highly qualified specialists in the field of migration in accordance with modern requirements.
On May 25-27, 2021, the first online training on "Basic concepts and trends in the field of migration" with the participation of representatives of relevant government agencies of neighboring countries of Azerbaijan, as well as countries of the Central Asia and Eastern Europe was organized in the Regional Training Center on Migration. Employees of migration agencies of 10 countries participated in the 3-day training held within the project.
2. “Strengthening readmission management in Azerbaijan” project
The 18-month project envisages the establishment of the Electronic Readmission Case Management System (ERCMS), capacity building and preparation of statistical reports on readmitted Azerbaijani citizens with the support of the EURCAP Foundation.
EURCAP is a fund which is operated under the auspices of the IOM, with the joint financial support of the European Union. EURCAP works mainly with the government institutions in EU Member States on return. Since 2019 Azerbaijan has been included in the list of EURCAP partner countries.
A demo version of the ERCMS was demonstrated on January 21, 2021, and Board Meetings of the project were held on January 27 and 29, 2021.
3. “Enhancing passenger processing capacities in Azerbaijan in line with international best practices and standards” project
The project, in which the State Migration Service is also a beneficiary was launched in September 1, 2019 and will be implemented for a period of 24 months. The key objective of this project is to raise awareness of relevant government bodies of Azerbaijan regarding Advanced Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems in accordance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Standards. The establishment of an intergovernmental working group, as well as organization of trainings and study visits on the mentioned systems, an assessment of the legal framework and technical capabilities for the application of these systems in Azerbaijan, and ultimately the successful transition to the systems is envisaged within the framework of the project.
Along with the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, beneficiaries of the project funded by the IOM Development Fund with a budget of 200,000 USD are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, Communication and High Technologies, the State Border Service, the State Customs Committee, the State Security Service, the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as aviation companies.
4. “Contribution for Humanitarian Activities included in IOM Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan Coronavirus Disease 2019 (IOM COVID GSRP)- COVID-19- South Caucasus”
The main objective of the project jointly implemented by IOM and the State Migration Service between August 15 and December 31, 2020 was to help foreigners who were in a difficult economic situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and urgently needed food, shelter, or did not have the financial means to solve the necessary medical problems.
In total, 276 migrants were provided with food, temporary housing, medical and documentary assistance and 400 migrants were provided with personal protective equipment kits in the framework of the project funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).
Therefore, with participation of members of the “Migration Volunteer” Public Union under the SMS the kits with information leaflets on COVID-19, hand sanitizer, thermometers, gloves, masks, and antibacterial wipes were delivered to vulnerable foreigners temporarily residing in Baku.
5. “Pilot Project on Assistance for the Voluntary Return of Migrants from Azerbaijan”
“Cooperation Agreement between State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan and International Organization for Migration on Pilot Project on Assistance for the Voluntary Return of Migrants from Azerbaijan” was signed by Director General of International Organization for Migration and Chief of State Migration Service on December 8, 2016 in Geneva. The project was launched on December 1, 2017.
The overall objective of this Pilot project was to offer favorable conditions for the successful return of rejected asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.
Voluntary return of more than 90 persons to their countries of origin has been realized within the project, so far.
The project was completed on December 31, 2020.
6. “Consolidation of Migration and Border Management Capacities in Azerbaijan” project
The project aimed to consolidate Azerbaijan’s migration management capacity to effectively implement the reforms foreseen by the EU-Azerbaijan Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements in line with the Institutional Reform Plan II (IRP-II) of the EU-Azerbaijan Comprehensive Institutional Building Program, adopted by the EU and the Government of Azerbaijan in 2012, in full observance of international and European human rights standards.
The project which was launched on September 1, 2014, finished on December 31, 2018. State Migration Service, State Border Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population were identified as the main beneficiaries of the project budget of which is 3.3 million (three million and three hundred) dollars.
The project was funded by the European Union and co-funded by BP and its co-venturers, U.S. Department of State-Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), United States Agency for International Development, and State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The specific objectives of the project are fourfold:
- To assist in the development and establishment of an effective mechanism for the management of the new visa regime and readmission process;
- To strengthen legal and institutional capacity for effective migration management, including improved organizational performance and efficiency and upgraded inter-agency cooperation;
- To strengthen national capacity for integrated border management (IBM) through reinforcement of border check and border surveillance procedures and operation, including through technical modernization and upgrading of equipment;
- To increase capacity in reducing and combating irregular migration and trafficking in persons through the deployment of effective and sustainable practices to fight cross-border crime, organized transnational crime including human smuggling and trafficking in persons.
Within the project a number of significant reports and guidelines have been published. Thus, those publications included “Assessment report on visa issuance mechanisms”, “Assessment report on technical and administrative needs for readmission management”, “Assessment report on assisted voluntary return and reintegration”, “Assessment report on institutional and operational framework regarding migration management mechanism”, “Review of the counter-trafficking mechanism in Azerbaijan”, “Annual assessment reports on situation of Azerbaijani nationals readmitted to Azerbaijan under the EU-Azerbaijan Readmission Agreement”, “Assessment report on management of Labor Migration Information System”, “Standard Operating Procedures on the implementation of the AVRR”, “Standard Operating Procedures for detecting and handling unauthorized employment of foreigners”, “Consular Reference Manual for consular officials” and the others. At the same time, a training manual on International Migration Law was published.
Within different components of the project various workshops and trainings were organized for the employees of beneficiary authorities. Organized workshops and trainings included topics related with migration and border management, migrants’ health, document recognition, illegal employment and fight against labor exploitation, labor market information systems, readmission and human rights.
Furthermore, official visit of the delegation of State Migration Service to Croatia was realized within the project. At the same time, Working Group on assessment of online information systems was established in the framework of the project and study visit of the Working Group to Georgia and Turkey was arranged in order to learn existing practices of those countries.
Measures have been taken for improvement of e-services offered by State Migration Service and “E-document circulation” system, establishment of relevant subsystem of “Unified Migration Information System”, and development of new software for payment of fines imposed for migration related issues via “ASANPAY” payment system, as well as study visit to Turkey was organized in order to increase knowledge and skills of Service staff in programming and technical support. Moreover, English language courses were held at State Migration Service and language laboratory was established within the Service, equipped with necessary tools and launched on June 4, 2018 for the purpose of improving language proficiency of Service employees.
7. “Enhancing measures and cooperation to effectively combat trafficking in persons through capacity building and technical assistance in Azerbaijan - phase VI” project
The project is being implemented with financial support of Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of US Department of State by the IOM. The project which was launched on September 21, 2016, finished on October 20, 2019.
State Migration Service, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, diplomatic representations of foreign states accredited to the Republic of Azerbaijan, civil society institutions, as well as migrants, victims and potential victims of human trafficking are considered as beneficiaries of the project.
The project aimed at supporting Azerbaijani Government on fight against human trafficking and transnational organized crime, improving existing security mechanisms in order to assist vulnerable migrants, as well as potential victims of human trafficking and contributing to national efforts which is implemented in this field.
Activities such as, identifying victims of human trafficking and offering them relevant assistance, capacity building of health workers who assist victims, along with psychologists, social and medical personnel, developing international migration law program and its institutionalization, organizing panel workshops for employees of diplomatic representations, establishing trade unions of labor migrants, raising awareness of migrants, including adolescents and youngsters at educational institutions, conducting training of trainers implemented within the project.
Within the framework of joint cooperation with IOM implementation of orientation seminars twice a week for migrants arriving in Azerbaijan and their family members at the Training Center of the State Migration Service was launched on December 18, 2017. The rights and freedoms of migrants, history and culture of Azerbaijan, as well as psycho-social topics were taught at the trainings. 1,817 people took part in orientation seminars held within the framework of the project from December 25, 2017 to October 1, 2019.
8. “Enhancement of national capacities to combat human trafficking in Azerbaijan (ENCT)” project
The official opening ceremony of the project funded by European Union and co-founded by IOM Development Fund was held on June 12, 2017. The project was completed on June 30, 2019. The project with 875.000 euros budget aimed at supporting Azerbaijani Government on fight against human trafficking and transnational organized crime by applying comprehensive and multi-dimensial approach.
The State Migration Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, State Border Service, State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and victims of human trafficking were target groups of the project.
During the past period 2 meetings of Project Coordinating Committee, conference dedicated to the European Union anti-trafficking day and meetings with Alison Roma Harvey, IOM international expert were held within the project. Furthermore, Training Programme with regard to fight against human trafficking was developed for the State Migration Service.
9. “Supporting the Establishment of Effective Readmission Management in the Southern Caucasus countries” project
24 month project, budget of which was 1.492.457 (one million and four hundred ninety two thousand and four hundred fifty seven) euro, was implemented separately in the three Southern Caucasus countries by the International Organization for Migration. The main aim of the project was establishment and development of effective readmission management mechanism in each three Southern Caucasus countries. The project was funded mainly by the European Union (EU), partially by the Development Fund of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Direct cooperation was not carried out among the Southern Caucasus countries within the project.
The Project focused on 3 specific objectives in Azerbaijan:
- To assist in establishing effective case management systems of readmission;
- To build capacity in Azerbaijan for the management of migrant accommodation centers;
- To assist in building effective institutional mechanisms for reintegration of returned migrants.
Components of the Project:
- Capacity building for effective implementation of readmission in Azerbaijan and information exchange;
- Capacity building for management of accommodation and detention centers in Azerbaijan;
- Establishment of institutional systems for implementation assisted voluntary return and reintegration programs in Azerbaijan.
Throughout the duration of the project, IOM cooperated with number of state entities, government and civil society organizations (State Migration Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, Citizens’ Labor Rights Protection League). As well as Federal Immigration Service of Belgium, the Repatriation and Departure Service of the Ministry of Security and Justice of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Ministry of Interior of Poland contributed to this project by involving their experts in workshops and study visits dedicated to readmission and voluntary return management.
Meetings with the participation of international experts were held at relevant state agencies, evaluation of detention centers of the State Migration Service, as well as migration legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan from the point of readmission and return was conducted in the framework of the project. Moreover, workshops were held for law enforcement bodies in the regions, study visits were organized to Poland, Russia, Germany and Belgium with the participation of employees of relevant state authorities, as well as “Guidance on readmission issues” was published. Furthermore, international conferences on “Readmission and return” and “Migration policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and human rights” were held in Baku within the project.
The project was implemented during 2012-2015.
10. “Enhancing cooperation to effectively combat trafficking in persons through capacity building and technical assistance” project
The project was funded by the US Department of State.
The project achieved four main initiatives (4P):
- “Prevention” - to reduce cases of trafficking by raising awareness in the private sector;
- “Prosecution” - to increase the prosecution and criminalization of perpetrators of trafficking in persons;
- “Protection” - to facilitate sustainable reintegration of victims of trafficking;
- “Partnership” – to enhance cooperation and to establish coordination among stakeholders.
The IOM cooperated with the State Migration Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population, non-governmental organizations and relevant international organizations for the implementation of the project. The project was implemented during 2012-2014.
11. “Establishing Effective Mechanisms Safeguarding the Rights of Persons Involved in Migration in Azerbaijan” project
The implementation of the project was launched on June 2012. The project was realized with the support of Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The abovementioned project was supported by the Steering Committee which consisted of State Migration Service, State Border Service, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ombudsman's Office, Bar Association, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, Prosecutors’ Office, Ministry of National Security, Academy of Public Administration, and Citizens’ Labor Protection League. The project was completed in 2013.
12. “Improving support for migrants and their family members staying outside of Azerbaijan” project
This project was funded by IOM Development Fund. The main objective of the project was the protection of rights and improvement of well-beings of migrants living beyond the boundaries of Azerbaijan and their family members. As a result of works and researches carried out within the project relevant reports were developed and 20 persons received legal assistance. The reports ensured the identification of existing needs in this field and the development of social protection programs and strategic recommendations for beneficiaries. The project was implemented during 2012-2013.
13. “Enhancing the socioeconomic benefits of remittances in Azerbaijan” project
The project, implemented by IOM together with the State Migration Service as the main beneficiary, was launched on January 1, 2022. Activities such as analysis of the current trends, procedures, services, national legislation and policies related to remittances, preparation of a road map for the development and launch of an innovative digital money transfer system, the launch of a pilot digital application and measures to ensure its sustainability is planned within the framework of the 24-month project.
The project will support the implementation of activities in the provision of better service products, more affordable service costs, potential investment opportunities and other areas related to the sending of remittances to the countries of destination by foreigners and stateless persons staying and residing in Azerbaijan, as well as by Azerbaijani emigrants in other countries.
The overall goal of the project is to increase access to financial services and enable greater use of digital financial services among Azerbaijani migrants abroad and remittance recipients in Azerbaijan to support sustainable livelihood development.
The project will provide a basis to further enhance development cooperation among government institutions, banks, and partners, in supporting financial inclusion of migrants and remittance recipients in the era of digitalization.
14. “Provision of assistance to vulnerable foreign migrants in Azerbaijan within the framework of IOM`s global COVID-19 response – the second phase” Project
From November 15, 2021 to August 31, 2022, the “Provision of assistance to vulnerable foreign migrants in Azerbaijan within the framework of IOM`s global COVID-19 response – the second phase” Project was implemented by IOM and the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Taking into account the urgent needs of migrants due to the prolonged restrictions due to the “COVID-19” pandemic, the main objective of the project was to promote IOM's response to migrants in connection with the "COVID-19" pandemic and to provide assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations.
Another objective of the Project funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration was to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan in accordance with the IOM`s Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
The following activities were carried out within the Project:
- Provision of special humanitarian aid services to vulnerable migrants and their families in Azerbaijan;
- Promoting the availability of a vaccine against the "COVID-19" pandemic among vulnerable migrants in Azerbaijan;
- Carrying out a detailed assessment of the humanitarian situation of vulnerable and vulnerable migrants in the country.