|SC||Variations of sex characteristics|
|GR1||Legal gender recognition without self-determination|
|GR2||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (over 16)|
|GR3||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (under 16)|
|FPN||LGBTI focal points network|
|CA||Ministerial call to action|
The Constitution of Azerbaijan (1995, Art. 25) states that all people are equal with respect to the law and that everyone has equal rights irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, origin, property status, social position, conviction, political party, trade union organisation and social unity affiliation. However, the Constitution does not mention sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or variations in sex characteristics. No other law or regulation explicitly mentions these grounds or includes specific provisions on the implementation of the right to equality for LGBTQI persons.
There are no concrete policies or action plans to tackle homophobic, biphobic, transphobic or interphobic bullying.
The national curriculum does not include LGBTQI content. In 2015, Azerbaijan Education Ministry presented a negative statement against LGBTQI people when discussing the content of a book on language. In the book, a man has a gender-neutral name. This came into the public discussions and the book was framed as gay propaganda. The Ministry of Education published a statement in which he said that this “was a misunderstanding. The name has no gender and author present this as men. We will never promote any values which are not acceptable and against our traditional values” .
There is currently no mandatory teacher training on LGBTQI awareness, and school staff have no specific in-service lessons or workshops.
There are no clear legal or administrative proceedings to change name or gender marker. Civil society organisations report there have been some cases in which trans individuals could change their ID card after their transition, but this is based on bribe culture. Providing the individual can afford to do so, it is possible to give a bribe and get the decision from court for authorising the new ID with changes to personal information.
The government does not provide data on homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and interphobic bullying. However, local civil society organisations report specific cases that occur mostly to young boys, who do not act according to masculine stereotypes, and transgender students (see Relevant cases).
The government provides no specific support systems for LGBTQI learners or their families.
The only sources of information for LGBTQI learners are from other countries. According to the latest report published by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance in 2016, people cannot disclose their sexual orientation, gender identity or variations in sex characteristics because of social stigma, hate speech and violence, as public awareness about LGBTQI issues is very rare. LGBTQI learners who have experienced violence are, therefore, unlikely to report it.
The government provides no support to LGBTQI civil society organisations working in the area of education. GoNGO has received some funding from the Ministry of Health, while other civil society organisations report that it does not cooperate with the LGBTQI community. Gender and Development, an LGBTQI NGO has applied for registration to the Ministry of Justice since 2012, but the application has been denied without any reasons being given.
– Azerbaijan has not signed the Call for Action by Ministers – Inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence.
– Azerbaijan is member of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network.
In September of 2017 authorities in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, began a vicious crackdown on the LGBTQI community. Police raids based on “public health concerns” quickly turned into an inexplicable and terrifying hunt. They arrested or apprehended many LGBTQI people, 83 of which were officially confirmed. They were beaten, tortured with electric shocks, and forced to undergo traumatic “medical examinations, head shaving, and sexual abuse.”
Within quick and closed court hearings they were charged under provisions of the Code of Administrative Offences – contempt of cop (Section 535.1 of COA), hooliganism (Section 510 of COA). The UN rights experts called on Azerbaijan to stop “Arbitrary Arrests”. Council of Europe urged Azerbaijani government to investigate allegations of human rights violations of LGBT persons.
Civil society organisations report the case of a person who experienced physical assault at the Medical University, because they were suspected to be transgender. Likewise, they report a recent case of a psychologist who hit a child in front of the parents, because of their toy preferences.
On 25 January 2001, Azerbaijan became the 43rd Member State of the Council of Europe, and as a result, were issued with certain obligations from the Council of Europe, including focussing on LGBT issues. Unfortunately to date, the Azerbaijani authority has of yet made no reforms which cover LGBT rights in different aspects. In 2010, members of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Gultekin Hajibeyli and Sabir Hajiyev, boycotted debates that were held on 27 January about discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and same-sex marriage. It shows clearly the oppositional position of Azerbaijani government regarding LGBT rights.