The Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Clean World Public Union and Women’s Crisis Center held a roundtable on “Monitoring protection of woman’s rights in trials: problems and perspectives”.
The Chairman of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Akif Alizade, said that the Committee has been monitoring the defense of woman’s rights in trials since October 2010. According to him, they have monitored 153 court hearings involving women in Baku and other regions, and have found that the general nature of court hearings on violation of marriage, property and alimony lawsuits is troubling.
“There are enough problems for women who are appealing to court. We need to strengthen the role of the judicial system in the areas of protection of families, provision of women with legal aid through the state budget, and child welfare payments,” added Alizade.
The lawyer also said that most of the divorces are filed based on domestic violence claims, and that 87% divorce lawsuits are initiated by women. Based on the surveys conducted through the project, Alizade said that courts do not help to keep families together.
As a result of the monitoring, the organization discussed their proposed amendments and additions to the Code of Family Law, the Civil Procedure Code, the Criminal Code and the Law on the Enforcement of court decisions.
These include the creation of a specific family court and judge, rising the marriage age to 18 for women and 19 for men, creating a state alimony fund, severe punishments against parents who refuse to pay child support, and severe punishments for underage marriages.
Human rights defender Irada Javadova said that Family Rehabilitation Centers should assume an important role in preventing the collapse of young families. In addition, a balance of gender rights needs to be upheld. She believes that punishment mechanisms should not be increased, but concrete fines should be implemented.
The Head of Clean World Public Union Mehriban Zeynalova believes that the improvement of Family Restoration Centers is a necessary component of this movement
The project was implemented with support from Open Society Institute in Budapest.