A meeting with Mrs. Deepa Grover, the Adviser on Early Childhood Development of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Mrs. Nora Shabani, inclusive education specialist visiting our country, was held at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
At the meeting, deputy minister of labour and social protection of population Natig Mammadov informed the participants about the activities of the Ministry, the cooperation with the relevant agencies of different countries, as well as authoritative international organizations. Noting the successful experience of cooperation has been established between the Ministry and UNICEF in the past period, N.Mammadov stressed the importance of joint work carried out within the framework of the Action Plan for 2014-2015 in improving the system of social services for children. He stated that the "Action Plan on Child Protection and Social Protection for 2016-2017" signed between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population and UNICEF in the framework of the Cooperation Program for 2016-2020, covered important directions to adapt the social services system for children to the best world practice. Concept for the development of social services has been developed by the Ministry on the basis of suggestions and recommendations of UNICEF.
The deputy minister noted that the number of social services implemented and persons, including children provided with social services for rehabilitation within the framework of these projects, have been increasing year by year. The information on active state policy implemented in our country to ensure inclusive education opportunities for children and young people with limited health, as well as the projects implemented by Heydar Aliyev Foundation in this direction was given. The work carried out towards involvement of persons from this category in rehabilitation activities without leaving education, and the expansion of coverage of inclusive education was brought to the attention.
D.Grover and N. Shabani highly evaluated the work carried out in Azerbaijan to provide rehabilitation-based social services for children with limited health and minors who are in a socially dangerous situation, as well as to expand inclusive education opportunities.
It was stated that interim assessment of UNICEF Country Program for 2016-2020 carried out in our country, will be implemented in March of the current year. It was also highlighted that innovations carried out in national context by the ministry in this process, including commitments on economic and social development priorities and sustainable development goals, UNICEF Strategic Plan for 2018-2020 will be discussed.
At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the work carried out in the past period on implementation of UNICEF Country Program 2016-2020 for Azerbaijan.