Bureau meeting of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers is held in Baku

On December 8, the bureau meeting dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN has started its work at the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azertag reports that the meeting participants held a minute's silence to commemorate those who died as a result of the accident occurred in the deep offshore stationary platform No 10 of "Guneshli" field.

At the meeting, the minister of labor and social protection of population SalimMuslumov noted that in the past period more than 60 countries joined the International Convention "On the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of their families" adopted by the UN on December 18, 1990. The minister stated that Azerbaijan adopted this document on December 11, 1998 and is among the first countries that joined the Convention in the region. The regulation of migration processes accompanied by the strengthening of process of integration and globalization of world countries has become one of the urgent problems of the modern era. Currently, one of every 35 people in the world, i.e. 3% of the world's population are the international migrants. 

S.Muslumov stated that political and economic processes taking place in the modern world play an active role in in the expansion of the scale of migration, in particular socio-economic migration. Currently, migrant workers make up the vast majority of existing migrants which makes it necessary to pay special attention to the problems associated with them, the implementation of an integrated approach in many issues in this regard by the states. It was emphasized that, since the beginning of the 90s of the last century the migration processes has started to grow also in Azerbaijan. The emigration from Azerbaijan to foreign countries has increased significantly due to the political and economic problems that existed in the country at that time, especially Armenian military aggression against our country, occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani lands and protracted 1 million refugee situation as a result of this aggression. The loss of more than 300 thousand workplaces as a result of Armenian occupation was one of the main in push factors for the migration of the population abroad.

The minister emphasized that political and economic stability has been restored in the country after the return of National Leader of Azerbaijani people HeydarAliyev in 1993. The involvement of foreign investment in the economy, the implementation of international projects for the development of oil fields has been provided. As a result of this, the number of people leaving the country for foreign countries decreased, foreigners have started to come to our country as labor migrants. In particular, after 2003, the President of Azerbaijan Mr. IlhamAliyev expanded these processes as gave start to rapid socio-economic development.

S.Muslumov noted that special attention is paid to regulation of migration processes by the state; first of all, the creation of the legislative base was started. It was emphasized that the necessary legal and regulatory acts regulating the migration of either foreigners to the Republic of Azerbaijan or citizens of the country to foreign countries have been adopted. The process of improving the legislation in this area has a regular character and the Migration Code covering all aspects of migration processes have been adopted in 2013.

Stating the requirements of international conventions that our country joined are taken into account in improving the legislation, S.Muslumov brought to the attention that different normative and legal acts were adapted to those conventions. He noted that improvement of legislation and management in the field of migration have played an important role in strengthening control over migration processes, eliminating bureaucratic barriers, protecting migrant workers' rightsmore effectively.

Noting Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the regulation of migration processes, the minister stated that unregulated migration processes cause a number of serious problems for countries in the socio-economic field. S. Muslumov: "What is important is, unmanaged migration processes poses great risks to life and health of migrants, makes it difficult to protect their rights. The migration policy of Azerbaijan aimed at creation of favorable conditions for life and activities of migrants, as well as migrant workers, protecting their rights, along with protection of the socio-economic interests".

S.Muslumov emphasized that currently, labor migration processes in the country are expanding rapidly and Azerbaijan is becoming a destination country. He stated that the main reason for the increase in the number of migrants coming to our country is the creation of a favorable environment for business activities in the country in recent years, expansion of democratic institutions, establishment of civil society, rapid development of the country's economy and rise of living standards of the population. Our country is at the forefront for the pace of development among the countries of the world.

Bringing to the attention the important socio-economic achievements obtained in our country, the minister stated that all of these made the country an attractive country for foreign workers. He mentioned that in 2014, the number of foreigners working in the country with work permit was 12,000, which is 6.6 times more compared to 2003. S.Muslumov also emphasized that existence of the traditions of multiculturalism and tolerance in Azerbaijan is one of the factors that stimulate the flow of immigrants to our country. The minister stated that an effective protection of the migrants’ rights is one of the main directions inthe improvement issues of legislation. Qualification of the same social and labor rights with the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan by labor migrants in national legislation, existence of no restriction to family reunification, establishing education opportunities for them, employment of foreigners who are in marriage with the citizens of Azerbaijan without work permit and etc. can be example for this. According to the legislation any kind of discrimination against labor migrants is prohibited and their social and cultural rights are recognized. The implementation of the requirements of legislation in this field by relevant state entities is controlled, also in order to eliminate undesirable cases such as illegal migration, forced labor urgent measures are taken.

S.Muslumov noted that during the period after our country jointed the "International Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and their family members" regular reforms have been carried out in the field of management of migration processes and successful results have been achieved.  It was emphasized that Azerbaijan gives special attention to the implementation of its obligations according to the Convention. The first in 2009, the second in 2013 periodic reports of Azerbaijan regarding implementation of obligations envisaged in Convention was discussed in UN Committee on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of their families and these reports were highly estimated.

The minister stated that recommendations given by the Committee are taken into account in the measures and reforms carried out in the field of regulation of migration processes. Noting migration as an integral part of the socio-economic and political processes in the modern world, S.Muslumov added that migration is a dynamic process and is constantly changing in terms of its forms, characteristics and directions. So, it creates new challenges and problems, that solution for them is possible as a result of joint action and cooperation. He stated the UN International Convention "On the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of their families " creates the necessary environment for such cooperation.

S.Muslumov highlighted that Azerbaijan comprehensively cooperates with international organizations, interested states, as well as civil societies towards protection of the rights of labor migrants, solution of migration problems and interested in development of this cooperation.

Chief of the State Migration Service FirudinNabiyev talked about works done on implementation of state policy, establishment of unified information bank and modern automated control system in the field of migration. He mentioned that together with prevention of illegal migration, creation of suitable condition for labor activities of migrants who got work permit is also taken into account.

Chairman of the State Social Protection Fund Elman Mehdiyev stated that insurance-pension system which is promptly responding to modern challenges and organized in accordance with international standards also ensures trusted social protection of labor migrants. Beside the citizens of Azerbaijan, foreign citizens who engaged in paid labor activity in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan are also payers of the mandatory state social insurance fees. Chairman of the Fund emphasized that since January 1, 2006 the foreigners getting labor indemnification and other incomes on mandatory state social insurance from the resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan are covered by mandatory state social insurance. He noted the number of labor migrants registered in personal accounting system increases year after year, thus condition for them in order to possess social security and pension right in the future has been established.

Chairman of the Committee on Labor and Social Policy of the MilliMajlisHadiRajabli brought into attention that national legislation regarding labor migrants complies with principles of relevant Conventions and the protection of labor and social rights of those people is specially taken into account.

Chairman of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and members of their familiesFrancisco Carron appreciated the experience of our country in the field of regulation of migration processes, respect for all the rights of migrant workers, including the rights of labor and social protection, efficient use of their intellectual and labor resources.F.Carron expressed hope for the successful Constitution of the positive experience in this field in our country in the future, as well. The UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan Antonius Broek noted that the conditions created for migrant workers working legally in the country meet the relevant international conventions.

The meeting continued with the presentation on "Azerbaijan's achievements in the field of management of migration processes" and discussion of the issues of protection of the rights of labor migrants and their family members.

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