AS (2014) CR 17
2014 ORDINARY SESSION
Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 3.30 p.m.
The protection of minors against excesses of sects
The following texts were submitted for inclusion in the official report by members who were present in the Chamber but were prevented by lack of time from delivering them.
Mr ABBASOV (Azerbaijan) – The problem of youths being involved in religious sects is fairly relevant for modern Europe. I consider quite reasonable the position of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which states that all significant measures on the indicated issue should be taken on a national level.
European States with an established legal and democratic regime are free from any total ideology. In turn, the values of the constitutional State are acquired in line with the improvement of its citizens’ legal consciousness. High legal consciousness is obtained over the years and it is for that reason that the youth, and in particular minors, are more exposed to the ideological excesses of sects.
On the other hand, due to the economic crisis in Europe, young people’s interest in religion has sharply risen. A crisis provokes in most people a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability. Under these circumstances, problems of life and death become more of an issue. Therefore minors, beyond the family, hardly conform in society and fall under the influence of sects. Undoubtedly, in a state of psychological dependence or physical submission, these excesses can lead to the violation of the basic rights of minors with respect to their right to life, physical inviolability, inviolability of their family and social relationships, as well as their education.
The report notes the positive legislative experience of Belgium, France, Luxembourg and other countries regarding the indicated issue. Nevertheless, we regretfully confirm that, at the moment, there is a lack of statistics on the scope of the involvement of minors in sects.
Azerbaijan is a predominantly Muslim country with a traditional of tolerance. Sects in Islam on the one hand destroy traditional religion, and on the other hand call for radical deeds sometimes beyond the borders of certain States. That is why criminal legislation should foresee the accountability of those persons dragging minors to sectarian activities and consequently inciting them to commit crimes.
Over 100 young Azerbaijani citizens have been murdered in the Syrian conflict. Nonetheless, up until recently, national legislation envisaged no accountability for the participation in military conflicts in contiguous territories. Last month, the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan toughened the punishment for recruiting, educating, financing or any other kind of material securing or use in armed military conflicts or military operations beyond the borders of Azerbaijan. Along with measures on accountability, prophylactic measures are also required. Meanwhile, the issue of the co-ordination of our efforts within the whole of Europe is quite a significant one.