INSTITUTE OF PEACE AND DEMOCRACY
Institute of Peace and Democracy (IPD) is a humanitarian project of the Azerbaijan Council of Dialogue of Women of Transcaucasus for Peace and Democracy. The Dialogue was initiated by the National Peace Foundation, USA, in June, 1994. Azrbaijan Council or the Society of Women of Azerbaijan for Peace and Democracy in Transcaucasus was registered with The Ministry of Justice in Azerbaijan on March 27, 1996.
Institute of Peace and Democracy (IPD) started to work in 1995. IPD is a non-governmental, non-political, non-commercial organisation.
IPD activities involve research and analyses of the ways to preserve peace in the region, problems of security, development of an independent Azerbaijan and protection of human rights.
Objectives of the IPD are: to democratise public consciousness, to educate the population on the problem of creation a state based on the Rule of law. Other activities include development of a market economy, supporting reforms, promoting fair elections, conflict resolution, education and research on the environment and supporting women and youth movements. Lectures, seminars and conferences support these activities.
IPD is an Affiliate member of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) from 01 November 2004.
Main Departments of IPD: Human Rights Protection, State and Society, Conflict and Migration Studies , Women’s Issues , and Young Peoples Issues. All the departments create a data base, collect and analyse the data collected on the problems under study and disseminate knowledge of the provisions of International Humanitarian Law. Director of IPD is Dr. Leila Yunus.
LEILA YUNUS — Dr. of History, Director of Institute of Peace and Democracy in Azerbaijan.
From 1988 to 1991, she was one of the leaders of national independence movement in the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic. She was the founder of the first NGO for the Protection of Human Rights in Soviet Azerbaijan in 1988. She was one of the founders of the Azerbaijan Popular Front (APF) in 1989. Yunus was the first woman on the Board of APF and first woman the chief of political party in Azerbaijan. She was the chief of Independent Democratic Party (then “Vahdat”) in 1991-1996.Yunus served as a Deputy to the Minister, Head of the Information and Analytical Centre in Ministry of Defence in 1992-1993.
Dr.Yunus is chief of Azerbaijan Council of Dialogue of Women of Transcaucasus for Peace and Democracy, and a member of the Board of International Conference- «Women for Life Without War».
She takes part in Women Peacemakers Program of International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Dr.Yunus is co-ordinator of Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Dr.Yunus has published many works, among them «Post-War Development on Hold» and «Azerbaijan: Views for the Future».
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION
1. Monitoring the Human Rights situation in the society.
2. Collecting and creating a data base and publishing information about:
- the situation with freedom of speech in the society,
- the number of political prisoners,
- the number of ill people in the places of detention,
- the number of people who died in the places of detention,
- the living conditions in the places of detention,
- the number of political prisoners receiving death penalties,
- repression against the families of the political prisoners,
- physical and psychological violence against prisoners.
3. Organising press-conferences for the lawyers and public defenders who work with the
4. Taking part in the trials.
5. Delving judicial consultations to the relatives of the prisoners.
6. Analysing legislation and responding in a public forum.
7. Co-operating with other human rights organisations in Azerbaijan. IPD is a charter-member of Co-ordination Council and Resource Centre of Human Rights organisations.
8. Responds in public forum on the issue of the living conditions of prisoners.
9. Developing ties with human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, Helsinki Human Rights Watch and others.
10. Publishes articles in the press on the democratisation of the society and human rights on a regular basis.
11. Organises and conducts training seminars.
Department has realised the projects:
- «Azerbaijan Law and International Humanitarian Law about the Human Rights.» Seminars for representatives of 22 Azerbaijan NGOs. Grant from Westminster Foundation for Democracy ( April — July 1997);
- «Monitoring Azerbaijan Press on Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms». Grant from U.S.Government Democracy Fund’s Small Grants Program (June 1997- May 1998);
- «The Human Rights Manual and Civic Education». Grant from MacArthur Foundation (November 1997 -November 1998);
- «The Human Rights Manual». Grant from Westminster Foundation for Democracy (April-September 1998);
- «Publication the reports on violation of democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan in 1995-1998″. Grant from U.S. Government Democracy Fund’s Small Grants Program (February 1998-December 1998).
- “Monitoring Azerbaijan Press on Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms”. Grant from UK Embassy (January –August 1999)
- “Civic Education for secondary school teachers” Grant from USA Embassy (September 1999 — June 2000).
- “Azerbaijan Citizen’s Legal Rights During The First Hours of Being Detained by Police”. Grant from Royal Netherlands Embassy, ( November 1999-August 2000).
- “Monitoring Azerbaijan Press on Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms”. Grant from UK Embassy (September 2000 – February 2001)
- “Civic Education for Policemen. Co-operation between NGOs and Police”. Grant from Germany Embassy (September-December 2001)
- “Civic Education for Policemen. Co-operation Between NGOs and Police. Continued.»Grant from Netherlands Embassy (July- December 2002)
- “Human Rights and Civic Education in Provincial Schools” Grant from National Endowment for Democracy (January-December 2002)
- “Civic Education in Baku villages. Legislation of Azerbaijan Republic about Police” Grant from National Endowment for Democracy (February-November 2003)
The Department is working on the projects:
- “Human Rights and Civic Education through Mass Media” Grant from UK Embassy (June 2004-January 2005)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND SOCIETY
The Department is engaged in:
1. Monitoring the social and political situation in Azerbaijan:
- the internal policy conducted by the country’s leadership;
- status and development of multi-party system;
- relationship between the government and the opposition;
- legislative basis of social and political reforms and democratic transformation.
2. Analysis of economic and social reform process:
- legislative basis of economic reform;
- privatisation in Azerbaijan and its main directions;
- development of the private sector;
- analysis and prognosis of economic development;
- environmental problems and ways to resolve them;
- public policy and its results.
3. Analysis of the problems of state formation:
- legislative basis of state formation;
- problems of reinforcing the country’s defence system and national security issues;
- specifics of foreign policy;
- problems of local self-government.
4. Analysis of the problems of democratic development of the society:
- election laws and conditions for democratic elections;
- political and civil liberties and citizens’ responsibilities;
- political tolerance;
- democratic education.
The Department organises training seminars, lectures on various political and economic problems; issues of state formation and democratic development; public opinion polls on various social and political events in the country. The Department is also involved in creating a database on governmental and non-governmental structures in Azerbaijan, legislative acts, state, economic, social and political reforms.
The Department carries out a systematic analysis of laws regulating the country’s state system, foreign policy and economic reforms and carries out research of social and political processes going on in the country.
The Department has realised the projects:
- «Legislative Basis of privatisation and its Realization». Grant from Canadian Embassy and the Canadian Co-operation Fund (February 1998- September 1998)
- “Establishment of Institute of Peace and Democracy Branch in Sheki-Zakatala Zone” Grant from Canadian Embassy (September 2001- September 2002 )
- “Civic Education. Problems of gender education” Grant from Eurasia Foundation (November 2003-August 2004)
- “ Civic Education and Municipal Elections” Grant from National Endoment for Democracy (April –December 2004)
DEPARTMENT OF CONFLICT AND MIGRATION STUDIES
The Department is engaged in:
1. Monitoring of development of conflict situations.
2. Collecting and creating a data base about the following issues
- settling the refugees, refugee’s life conditions, their interrelation with the local population
- the number of national minorities, area of their settling, presence of cultural centres,
- Karabakh conflict
- relationship between leadership and opposition in the Republic, work of the round table of political parties.
3. Organizes lectures of debaters, sociologists, political scientists for students in higher educational.
4. Organizes for students of private universities simulation seminars. The students receive certificates that can be used to demonstrate their understanding of how to solve conflicts in the spheres of ecology, business and international relations. Often professionals are invited from developed democracy’s such as Great Britain and the USA to participate with the students in these programs.
5. Organizes round tables of interested people as well as representatives of mass media in order to discuss actual conflict situations.
6. Holds regular consultations of highly qualified lawyers on the questions of civil and labour law.
7. Co-operates with independent lawyers consultation office in order to create joint projects.
8. Speaks in the mass media about the possibilities of preventing conflict situations.
The Department has realized the projects:
- «Formation of Public Opinion in Azerbaijan on Landmine Use». Grant from Canada Embassy (August 1998-February 1999).
- «The Meskhetian Turks: past and present». Grant from Open Society Institute (May 1998 -May 2000).
- “Caucasus Crossroad”. Grant from OSI Landmines Project (September –December,1999).
- “The Foreigners in Azerbaijan: relations with population, problems and perspectives. Sociological survey and research”. Grant from International Alert (UK) (June – October 1999).
- “Landmines Monitor”. Grant from OSI Landmines Project (September 1999- July 2000).
- “Karabach conflict and it influence on the life conditions of nation minorities in Azerbaijan.” Grant from MacArhtur Foundation (June 1998-May 2000).
- “ Culture of Peace” Grant from MacArhtur Foundation (January2000-December 2001).
- Refugees and IDP-s in Azerbaijan : the adaptation problem and their role in the public (research project) Grant from AIM (February – September 2002)
- Conflict prevention on the border area. Grant from GTZ (December 2002-August 2003)
- Council of Europe and Rights of Ethnic Minorities: Seminars for National Minorities of Azerbaijan. Grant from CE (December 2001- August 2004)
- Islam in modern Azerbaijan. Grant from Friedrich Ebert Foundation (January 2003-January 2005)
DEPARTMENT OF WOMEN’S ISSUES
The Department’s work focuses on encouraging women in Azerbaijan to participate more actively in public life through participation in various humanitarian efforts which, in turn, facilitate democratisation. In particular, this occurs through changing public awareness concerning women’s role in society, in the family, and in their professional and political life.
The Department conducts research regarding the following issues:
- women’s employment;
- professional discrimination towards women;
- women’s job security, including in the oil and gas industry;
- spousal abuse of women and family violence;
- violence against women during inter-ethnic conflicts, hostilities and wars.
The Department organises special seminars and lectures for women who are active in women’s non-governmental organisations in order to improve their knowledge of how to protect their own rights.
One of the Department’s major tasks is to involve women in social and political work, as well as to identify and develop women leaders. The Department supports and stimulates women’s active participation in the peace process, specifically, the Armenian-Azerbaijan negotiations. Formation of the women’s peace movement in the Caucasus is one of the strategic directions of the Department’s activities.
The Department was created to involve women in those processes that would establish peace and democracy in the Caucasus, including inter-ethnic armed conflicts. Bloody inter-ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, have taken the lives of thousands of people, turned millions of people into refugees, damaged the lives of hundreds of thousands of women who lost their health, their families. They became prisoners, hostages and refugees. Women demanded that a non-governmental women’s organisation be created to help women find their places in the society during the difficult time of collapse of the Soviet Union and transition from the Communist dictatorship to a democratic republic.
The Department has realized the projects:
- «Woman and Her Rights. Seminars for the women-refugees». Grant from Westminster Foundation for Democracy (June -December 1998)
- «Refugee Women’s Family Planning». Grant from Mama Cash Fund for Women (January –June,1999)
- “Be Healthy newspaper “Grant from Mama Cash Fund for Women (April-July 2000)
- “How Woman Can Protect her Rights”, Series of brochures. Grant from Westminster Foundation for Democracy (August-December,2000)
- “Women-leaders of social-political life”. Grant from the Mama Cash Fund for Women(September 2000-April 2001).
- “Medical and judicial assistance to the women of Fizuli district” (March-August 2001 ). Grant from the Embassy of Netherlands.
- “How woman can organise her own business. Seminars for businesswoman” (April- November 2001). Grant from the Mama Cash Found for Women
- “Labour legislation on women’s rights”. Publication of a book (March-August 2001). Grant from the Mama Cash Found for Women.
- “Legislative basis of women’s rights in Azerbaijan. Publication of book.” (December 2000- March 2001). Grant from the Embassy of Norway.
- “Gender and Women Rights Promotion” training seminars (July 2004). Financial of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Department is working on the projects:
- “Women Crisis Centre”(June 2001-August 2005). Grant from the U.S. Embassy, Norwegian Embassy Unocal and Statoil Companies.
- “Trafficking in Persons and Related Women’s Issues”(June2004-January 2005). Grant from USA Embassy
DEPARTMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLES ISSUES
The Department is engaged in creating a database on:
- the country’s youth organizations;
- character of their work;
- quantitative characteristics and status of young people in refugee and IDP camps;
- young people’s labour opportunities in the country;
- educational level and educational opportunities;
- quantitative analysis of young people’s share in the labour emigration from Azerbaijan.
Analysing the accumulated information, the Department works out programs for young people’s civil education, education about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, development of their human rights awareness. For those in private higher educational institutions, round table discussions, simulation seminars and meetings with prominent figures of public movements are organised.
The Department has realized the projects:
- Gender education for schoolchildren in provinces (Sheki, Fizuli) (April-July2002)
Grant from ABA/CEELI (USA)
- “Youth and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Learning and sharing of experience of Norwegian youth organisations and integrating it in the local community”. (March-July 2003) Grant from Royal Norwegian Embassy