Roundtable meeting addresses road risk of street children in Baku

Azerbaijan, Children's Road Safety, News

In Azerbaijan, the number children living and working on the street is decreasing day by day, but there remains a number of children who live on the street, or used to live on street, who have had serious injuries as a result of road traffic crashes.

When we conducted our groundbreaking study with Partnership for Road Safety in 2017 we found that 1 in 4 homeless children in Georgia had been involved in some sort of road traffic incident in their lives. We also found that a lot of these children had travelled from neighbouring Azerbaijan.

Data now gathered from over 400 children in Baku living in  children’s shelters, boarding houses, and group homes, has examined their perceptions when it comes to road safety. The majority believe it to be an important issue and express a desire to be more informed about how they can keep themselves on the road.

As a result, our EASST partners, HAYAT NGO and the National Automobile Club of Azerbaijan (AMAK) have been delivering road safety education sessions in partnership with the State Road Police. This has provided a space for the children to share the concerns and challenges they face on a daily basis when it comes road safety. The sessions also included videos based on the content of the EASST Road Safety Education Pack to raise awareness and help the children build skills and knowledge they need to keep safe.

The survey data also revealed that one of the biggest concerns amongst these children is the behaviour of both drivers and pedestrians using the roads, many of whom it is felt “break the rules and create danger for others.”  

These wider questions were addressed last week at a roundtable meeting organised by AMAK at the ADA University involving the State Road Police, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, Baku Education Department, Ministry of Health (ISIM), the Azerbaijani Children’s Union, the Small Group House, as well as a number of boarding schools and children’s houses. The meeting focused on issues around street children, the road challenges they face, and how to address these issues. Mubariz Aghayev of State Road Police highlighted that, in addition to teaching children about road safety, drivers need to be more aware of street children and the risks they are exposed to on the road, arguing that increased awareness among general public is also very important.

It is within this context that AMAK launched their new social video (below), which is available across social media and other channels. The video highlights the vulnerability of these children and warns drivers to be careful on the roads.

Street children

Əziz izləyicilərimiz. Qeyd etmişdik ki, "Həssas təbəqədən olan uşaqlar və onların yollarda üzləşdiyi çətinliklər" layihəsi çərçivəsində sosial video çarx hazırlanır. AMAK-ın "Azərbaycan Uşaqlar Birliyi" ilə əməkdaşlığı çərçivəsində hazırlanan videosunu sizlərə təqdim edirik. ÜST-ün verdiyi məlumata əsasən dünyada hər gün 8 uşaq öz həyatını yol qəzalarında itirir. Videonun əsas məqsədi insanları, xüsusilə də sürücüləri yollarda olan uşaqlara daha həssas yanaşmağa, onları bacardığımız qədər maarifləndirməyə çağırmaqdır._________________________________________________Dear followers. We noted that we were preparing social video in the framework of "Street children and their road challanges" project. We present you the video prepared together with "Azerbaijani Children's Union". WHO reports that every 8 seconds 1 child dies in road crashes. The main purpose of the video is to call people, specially drivers to care about street children and aware them as much as possible.#easst #roadsafety #streetchildren #yolhereketi #ushaglar #qeza #video #socialvideo #baku #azerbaijan #baki #azerbaycanVideo by: Ali zamansoyy

Posted by AMAK on Friday, 10 January 2020

As the project develops HAYAT and AMAK will work with the State Road Police to target enforcement around key risk factors at identified black-spots, and present relevant authorities and stakeholders with a set of recommendations aimed at creating a safe road environment for all children in the city.