Information on the Azerbaijani-American Youth Social Association
project titled "Supporting Youth Voting Activities" that is funding
by the Eurasia Foundation through USAID and Royal Norwegian Embassy in Baku
As we know, fair elections as the main feature of democratic society became
one of the prerequisites of the new democratic system. Many NGOs and different
Organizations have paid great efforts to achieve fair elections in their countries.
Experience shows that successful democratic elections are possible only by ensuring
the active participation of voters in the election process. As 63 % of Azerbaijani
populations are the young people, their active participation in the elections
plays a decisive role in the successful of the election process. But unfortunately
in the rural parts of Azerbaijan, participation of youth in the election process
is not active. As an NGO successfully implemented the projects on stimulation
voter participation in rural parts of Azerbaijan, AAYSA started the implementation
of the project aimed at promoting more active participation of Azerbaijani youth
in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The main goal of the project is to elaborate a strategy in the field of youth
participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections, increasing civil activity
of youth and increasing youth responsibility and informed participation in democratization
process. To achieve these will be organized a local trainings for the young
people, especially for the local school-junior pupils and first year University
students who will have a first voting experience in the upcoming parliamentary
elections. Meetings and trainings will be held in the rural parts of Azerbaijan,
in Fizuli, Barda, Qusar, Lankaran, Zaqatala and Agstafa districts in 2 days
and will involve 20 young people and youth representatives of local refugee
and IDP communities from each noted region.
During the trainings the young participants will be educated on the topics
such as: role and importance of election in strengthening the democracy and
civil society, principles of election and rights of citizens, election process,
opportunities of society and refugee-IDP youth on observing and controlling
the election process, the problem of passiveness of refugee-IDP young voters
in Azerbaijan and role of youth from these categories in this, legislative election
and comments on rules of parliamentary elections.
After the trainings will be organized Town Hall meetings among the young training
participants from noted target group and parliament members. During these Town
Hall meetings will be conversation and debates on the importance of parliament
structure and its activity in democratic society. Town Hall meetings will help
the youth to discuss and ask their questions from parliament members on interested
topic according to them and to deliver to parliamentarians the local problems
of IDP and refugee youth communities in project implemented rural parts of Azerbaijan.
Within the project also are planning the publishing of booklets and brochures
on voter education.
At the end of August is planning the organizing summer camp in Shaki city where
will be involved half of the training participants from each region. Those defined
10 youth participants from each noted target group and region of Azerbaijan
will be selected according to their application forms and motivation letters.
The participants of summer camp will be generally 60 better equipped and educated
young people and refugee-IDP youth on the project topic from noted regions.
Summer camp will be 3 days and during the camp the selected participants will
be involved in building their Youth Parliament by practical actions and work.
During the summer camp will be used a special voting modules which will create
a condition for the young people and refugee-IDP youth to feel themselves as
the active participants of political process during the pre- parliamentary election
in the country and establish their own Youth Parliament for discussing and debating
each other on the issues around the voting process for parliamentarians. Through
the Youth Parliament the young participants of Summer Camp from different parts
of Azerbaijan will be able to gather and work together by lobbing interest of
their local youth communities through stimulating their active participation
in the upcoming parliament elections by preparing alternative suggestions, legislation
materials to the Parliament of Azerbaijan Republic.