One of the main activities of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the establishment and development of international cooperation on Labour, employment, Labour market regulation, population residency and demography, social security. In this regard, the Ministry actively cooperates with the relevant agencies of different countries and prominent international organizations.
Bilateral relations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population was established and developed with the relevant agencies of about 30 countries of the world, including Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Latvia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Tajikistan and other countries. Up to now, nearly 50 intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements, protocols, memorandums and programs have been signed with the relevant government agencies and international organizations of foreign countries.
The Joint Standing Commission on Labour and Social Protection has an important role in the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the field of Labour and social protection. In February 2018, a delegation led by the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Turkey visited our country. The 9th meeting of the Joint Standing Commission on Labour and Social Protection was held between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Turkey. The protocol was signed following the meeting.
Cooperation in the field of Labour and social protection with the Republic of Belarus is expanding. In November 2018, during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev to the Republic of Belarus, the signing ceremony of the Azerbaijani-Belarusian documents was held on November 19, 2018. As one of these documents, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev and Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Belarus Irina Kostevich signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of social and Labour relations between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus.
By the Order dated October, 2018 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev was approved the new composition of Azerbaijani part of the Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Relations and Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Romanian Government. Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev was appointed Co-Chair of the Commission from the Azerbaijani side. The 5th meeting of the Joint Commission took place in Bucharest (Romania) in November 2018. At the meeting was discussed the current state of trade-economic relations and scientific-technical relations, directions of further cooperation in these spheres, proposals were voiced. The Protocol on the results of the 5th meeting of the Joint Commission has been signed.
Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev, who has participated in the regional conference on "Expanding rights and opportunities for women in Afghanistan" in Astana (Kazakhstan) in September 2018, met with Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Kazakhstan Madina Abylkasimova. It was noted that there is a great potential for strengthening cooperation between the two countries. "Agreement on Pension Provision between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Kazakhstan" is being considered at the moment.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan works in cooperation with the United Nations (UN), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank (WB), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (EHAC), the European Union's TACIS Program, EuropeAid and the ICRC. This cooperation includes implementation of joint projects in the sphere of Labour, employment, Labour migration, social protection, rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and contributes to the development of these areas in our country.
Within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), cooperation in the field of Labour and social protection is expanding as well as in a number of other spheres. An important event in this direction was the second conference of Labour ministers of OIC member states in Baku in April 2013. The Conference adopted the Framework Document and other policy documents promoting cooperation in the field of Labour, employment and social protection within the framework of the OIC. Representatives of 36 countries from 56 OIC member states, as well as more than 200 delegates, as well as representatives of international organizations and relevant government agencies attended the event. The proposal of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on the establishment of the OIC Labour Center in Azerbaijan was welcomed by the participants of the conference and was unanimously supported by the heads of delegations of OIC member states. Based on the unanimous support of the member states in recent years, Azerbaijan has been steadily increasing its influence over Islamic solidarity in the world, its significant contribution to the promotion of sacred Islamic values, active cooperation with OIC and member states. The organization is required to sign the Charter by 10 countries to establish an International Labour Center in Baku. The document signed by the governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the past period has already been signed on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the number of countries signing the Charter has reached 3.
OIC headquarters will be located in Baku and become a specialized organization The main purpose of the Labour Center is to consolidate the efforts of Member States in the field of Labour, employment, social protection and human capital development, coordination of the activities of relevant member states and other relevant OIC entities, strengthening social partnership, promoting decent Labour, expanding employment opportunities, and promoting a sustainable social protection system.
In February 2018, the Republic of Azerbaijan was elected a member of the Executive Committee on Labour Issues for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for 2018-2020.
As a result of the fruitful cooperation of the Government of Azerbaijan with the International Labour Organization (ILO), since 2002, the ILO representative office has been opened in Azerbaijan after Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine. Azerbaijan has joined the ILO on eight fundamental and 4 priority conventions covering basic human rights in the field of Labour and employment, with a total of 57 Convention. Taking into account the principles of these conventions, national Labour legislation that meets the most progressive international standards has been adopted in our country, and this legislation is constantly improving. The reports of the Government of Azerbaijan on ILO Conventions are regularly submitted to the ILO Geneva headquarters.
Within the framework of cooperation with the ILO, the Country Program on Fair Labour Progress was successfully implemented for 2006-2009, and on 30 September 2016, within the framework of cooperation between the Government of Azerbaijan and the International Labour Organization, the "Decent Work for the 2016-2020 The Joint Program on the Adoption of the Country Program on Labour and the establishment of the Tripartite Commission on Social and Economic Issues in the Republic of Azerbaijan, in February 2017, the Action Plan for the Country Program between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the UN Population Fund for 2016-2020" signed.
At the 106th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva (Switzerland) in June 2017 with the participation of government representatives and social partners from the ILO member states, elections to the ILO Body for 2017-2020 were held. The Republic of Azerbaijan has been a member of the ILO Governing Body, one of the most influential institutions in the world, in the International Labour Organization (ILO). Thus, for the first time in 25 years of our membership in the ILO, our country has been granted the right to represent the Organization in its Guiding Authority. This has made our country more closely involved with this highly respected organization and the scope of cooperation covering practical areas of activity, in close cooperation with the Organization in its activities, its political decision-making and promotion and advancement of progressive initiatives at the international level.
Another step in the cooperation with the ILO is that Azerbaijan has been included in the ILO project "Cooperation in the field of youth employment in the CIS", within the framework of the project, in recent years, a group of higher education young people and employers have received ILO The pilot project "Education for employment: young, highly educated, first-time job seekers" has been implemented, which envisages signing Labour contracts on the terms of payment of financial support. As an expression of the international appreciation of the active policy and successful experience gained by the youth in the Labour market and the employment of the youth in Azerbaijan, see the ILO official website on the Youth Employment Policy Information Section.
In general, Azerbaijani delegates take an active part in the sessions of the International Labour Conference every year and participate in the discussions on relevant issues within the framework of these sessions, provide comprehensive information on the state policy and achievements in the field of Labour and employment in Azerbaijan.
One aspect of cooperation with ILO also covers the implementation of self-employment program in our country. Thus, the implementation of the relevant decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev attached special importance to cooperation with the ILO in the implementation of the program aimed at the self-employment of job seekers and unemployed citizens in Azerbaijan, with the support of ILO a group of internationally certified trainers on self-employment programs has been formed in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan also closely participates in ILO projects and initiatives. As a next step in this area, a series of events dedicated to the future of Labour in our country in line with ILO's "Future of Labour" initiative the National Conference on the results of the national dialogue was held with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Trade Unions of Azerbaijan, Trade Union Entrepreneurs, relevant state bodies, scientific and educational institutions and representatives of international organizations.
In May 2018 an international conference titled "Towards Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable Development and Promoting Decent Work" was held in Baku. The Director General of the International Labour Organization traveled to Azerbaijan for the first time and attended the conference.
The Republic of Azerbaijan joined the 1998 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and in 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In response to the request of former UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan at the Millennium Assembly, a network of youth employment worldwide has been established and a ten-member youth employment leader has been identified. Azerbaijan is among the ten leading countries.
A purposeful work was carried out to effectively implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including a new draft law "On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities", which was drafted in accordance with the Convention; the draft also included the Opinion of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in July 2018.
The principles of the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families are permanently maintained and duly implemented in our country's migration policy. It is no coincidence that the Bureau meeting of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers on the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention on Migrant Workers has been held in Baku.
The "Innovation and Employment Development in Azerbaijan" project jointly with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has an important role in applying innovative approaches based on advanced experience to support the entry of unemployed and job seekers into the Labour market. SYSLAB (Innovation and Employment System Labouratory) Training Centers, created in Baku, Sumgait, Ganja, Masalli regions, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), contributed to the improvement of job search skills of unemployed and working citizens on the basis of innovative methods he has. It is also planned to create such a center in 2019 in the Zagatala region.
In recent years, a Letter of Intent has been signed between the United Nations Development Program, the ILO and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population. The Letter of Intent expresses the desire to cooperate in areas of mutual interest, including the implementation and expansion of self-employment programs in the country, implementation of the national employment strategy, and capacity building of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.
In December 2018, the Minister of Labour and Social Protection Sahil Babayev and the UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan, Alessandro Frakassetti, held a meeting with the Government of Azerbaijan and UNDP on "Creating inclusive and decent jobs for socially vulnerable groups of population" aid project was signed. The goal of the project is to support self-employment activities for persons with disabilities through the pilot project, to support the establishment of sustainable businesses by 500 people from this sector, to ensure social and occupational rehabilitation, taking into consideration specific problems and obstacles faced by participants in the Labour market aimed at the goal.
Since 1994, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has been actively cooperating with the UN Population Fund. Measures were taken in that year to take into consideration the principles of the Action Plan on Population and Development adopted in Cairo in the overall development strategy of the country. In 1999, for the first time in Eastern Europe and the CIS, the Concept of Demographic Development in Azerbaijan and the 2004 State Program on Demography and Population Development in the Republic of Azerbaijan were adopted. In both documents, as well as the new draft of the State Program on Development of Demography and Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the principles of the Action Program were taken into account. In addition to those mentioned, active cooperation with the UN Population Fund is being carried out to assess the demographic situation and create a comprehensive forecast system.
The cooperation between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population and UNICEF in the development of the Law on Social Service in the country, the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as institutional social rehabilitation system for minors and socially vulnerable children and played an important role in technical support. The Joint Action Plan, which includes cooperation directions between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population and UNICEF, for 2014-2015, has been signed and implemented in the "Child Protection and Social Protection Action Plan for 2016-2017".
Within the framework of cooperation with World Bank, which is one of the world's most authoritative financial institutions, it has been implementing the "Pension and Social Assistance Reform in the Republic of Azerbaijan", "Pension and Social Security Project", "Social Protection" Development Project ". As a result of the assessment of the work carried out by the World Bank expert group on the development of the social protection system in our country, Azerbaijan's social protection system assessed as a system covering 90.1 percent of the population with a wide coverage and poor population. This is considered to be one of the world's best indicators of social protection coverage.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population has an ever-growing cooperation with the European Union within the European Neighborhood Policy TACIS projects implemented in Azerbaijan since the early years of independence of our country have contributed to improving the social protection system in the republic, providing technical assistance to state agencies and other areas. Since 2004, the Twinning and TAIEX programs have been more prominent in the EU's European Neighborhood Policy. I In the past, Twinning projects to support actuarial calculations, data analysis, forecasting, monitoring, evaluation, social budgeting and strategic planning, development of medical and social rehabilitation and social services systems for persons with disabilities, reform of the pension system in recent years executed.
The Council of Europe is one of the influential international organizations that has constantly developed cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population. In 2001, the Republic of Azerbaijan, which became a member of the Council of Europe, ratified the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 2002 and ratified the European Social Charter in 2004. In general, our country has so far ratified about 60 human rights conventions of the Council of Europe that most of them are related to social rights. It also co-operated with the Council of Europe in implementing the Council of Europe's Action Plan for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their Full Participation in the Community: Improving the Living Standards of Persons with Disabilities in 2006-2015.
Cooperation with the International Social Security Association (ISSA) is constantly strengthening. ISSA is an international organization that combines social protection and social security organizations across the globe with a platform for sharing experiences about social problems, their solutions, successes and shortcomings in the creation and promotion of the most dynamic social insurance systems. The Association also provides information and expert support to member organizations, provides practical advice, and so on. Taking into account the successful experience of Azerbaijan in the field of implementation of the ICT, the successful implementation of the ISSA’s World Social Welfare Forum in 2016, for the second time Azerbaijan was elected ISSA’s Bureau member and member of the Steering Committee of the European Network. This Committee includes 13 countries with progressive experience in the field of social security from the European region.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population actively participates in progressive international initiatives in the field of occupational safety and the international relations of the Ministry in the area of Labour inspectoration are constantly expanding. The State Labour Inspectorate Service under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population is a member of the International Association of Labour Inspections and the Regional Alliance of Labour Inspections.
The UN also promotes the application of automated systems for Labour and social protection of Azerbaijan in other countries in the South-South Cooperation framework. Those automated systems have been deployed as part of the best practices in the UN's "Partnership Mechanisms and Solutions within the framework of the South-South Cooperation in the Arab Countries, Europe and the CIS." The Electronic Information System on the Labour Contract Signature was one of the "Champion Project" in the "World Summit on Information Society - 2017 Awards" by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized UN institution.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population continues to work on expanding international cooperation, studying advanced world practice in the relevant fields, conducting expertise and data exchange.