AZERBAIJAN: Strengthening the capacity of State bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan (Twinning)

About the Project

The EU adopted the AAP 2016 (Annual Action Programme 2016), a plan that focuses on assisting Azerbaijan’s economic, financial and judicial governance, as well as increasing the country’s legal protection, safety and support of women and victims of domestic violence through an improvement in the capacity of local referral mechanisms and State bodies. Azerbaijan’s Constitution pledges to full equality between men and women and to the eradication of gender violence and discrimination against women and girls; however, violence is still an ongoing issue in the country, its numbers are increasing, and there isn’t an efficient persecution of those committing systemic abuse. Although the country has relevant legislation addressing domestic violence, these offenses are not criminalised, remaining largely a private family matter, which results in the normalisation and underreporting of the abuse.

There is an urgent need for full coverage of the problems associated with the manifestations of domestic violence, in all of its forms, for the nurturing of a negative and vigilant attitude in society towards these and for shaping the public opinion so that people accept and encourage measures of criminalisation of domestic violence.

Objectives of the project:
The legal protection and support for the victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan is enhanced and approximated to the EU standards, and the capacity of State bodies and local referral mechanisms is strengthened in order to provide safety and assistance to the victims.

Key result areas:
The activities of this project focus around the following three result areas:

  • Development of efficient legal policy for the full implementation of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence

Enhanced legal status of Domestic Violence Monitoring Groups (MGs) through the development of specific legal and policy amendments package supporting activities; roadmap for the extension of the mandate of the MGs developed; strategy for the inclusion of village municipalities to the MGs and FCSCs[1] developed; impact assessment and analysis of legislative options and their costs provided prior to a legislative drafting process; enabling legal environment for criminalisation of domestic violence defined and legislative proposals to amend the penal code developed; state coordination and follow-up mechanism on the implementation of the domestic violence law and policies established

  • Strengthening the institutional capacities of the SCFWCA[2] and MGs strengthened

National Referral Mechanism for victims of domestic violence established; domestic violence indicators and referral guidelines developed; Risk Assessment Criteria for repeated domestic violence prepared; training plan for MG members, SCFWC and the FCSC staff developed and delivered; training plan on women’s rights and the treatment of domestic violence cases according to national law and European standards for city and regional judges developed and delivered; methodology of collection, analysis and reporting on different types of domestic violence designed; mechanism on legal and psychological assistance for victims of domestic violence established; rehabilitation programme of perpetrators developed.

  • Conducting campaign to raise awareness of general public

Programme on conducting nation-wide public awareness-raising campaigns developed; specific training manuals for journalists of visual and print media, as well as PR staff of SCFWCA, line Ministries, MGs members, CSOs developed; training plan for journalists, CSOs, MG members and staff of the FCSCs (approx. 110 people) on conducting Domestic Violence awareness-raising campaigns developed and delivered; the network of relevant organisations, including state agencies, civil society, and international donors, working on implementation of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence established

The project started in September 2020. Thereafter, specific work plans have been elaborated in cooperation with Azerbaijani, Lithuanian and Austrian partners in order to define the planned activities of the project. The official kick-off meeting of the project took place on 29 March 2021.

From 6 – 8 October 2021, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights hosted the second study visit as part of the ongoing twinning project. Click here for the study visit of the Azerbaijani delegation in Vienna.

The final event of the project took place on January 12, 2022. Click here for the report on the closing event.

The Training Manual, which was produced as part of this EU-funded project, can be found in the download section.

[1]  Family and Children Support Centres

[2]  The State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs

Project Data

Country: Azerbaijan
Contact persons: Susanne Belihart, Sabine Mandl
Lead Organisation: Ministerium für soziale Sicherheit und Arbeit der Republik Litauen (MSSL);
Litauisches Institut für Recht; Universität Vilnius; Europäischer Sozialfonds (ESF)
Partner organisations: Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Grund- und Menschenrechte (LBI-GMR);
Begünstigte Institution: Das Staatliche Komitee für Familie, Frauen und Kinder der Republik Aserbaidschan (SCFWCA)
Project start: 09/2020
Project end: 01/2022
Funded by: Europäische Kommission, Generaldirektion Nachbarschaftspolitik und Erweiterungsverhandlungen (NEAR)
Programme Line LBI-GMR: Rule of Law and Public Sector Reform