Azerbaijan Issues - 2021


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Disputes - international

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified the Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 735,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh; IDPs are mainly ethnic Azerbaijanis but also include ethnic Kurds, Russians, and Turks predominantly from occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh; includes IDPs' descendants, returned IDPs, and people living in insecure areas and excludes people displaced by natural disasters; around half the IDPs live in the capital Baku) (2020)

stateless persons: 3,585 (2020)

Illicit drugs

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Azerbaijan and exploit Azerbaijanis abroad; Azerbaijani men and boys experience forced labor domestically and in Qatar, Russia, and the UAE; Azerbaijani women and children are subjected to sex trafficking domestically and in Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE; Azerbaijan is a destination country for sex and forced labor trafficking victims from China, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan; some children are exploited domestically for forced begging and forced labor as roadside vendors and at tea houses and wedding venues

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Azerbaijan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; more traffickers were convicted and judges received guidance to issue stricter sentences; the government significantly increased funding for victim protection by establishing grants for civil society; however, authorities identified fewer victims than in the previous year, did not regularly screen vulnerable populations, and continued to lack proactive identification methods, resulting in victims being penalized for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit (2020)

NOTE: The information regarding Azerbaijan on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Azerbaijan 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Azerbaijan 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.