Nearly five years after the Azerbaijani government began a renewed crackdown on dissenting voices, the environment remains hostile for opposition parties. The authorities create the semblance of a multi-party system by financing political parties whose role is to function as the opposition while maintaining the status quo. Some fear that suppressing genuine opposition and excluding it from the political arena will lead to more radical forms of activism, which could ultimately be damaging for the state.
For many people with disabilities in Georgia, finding any job at all seems all but impossible. A lack of basic services or even formal schooling and widespread prejudice compounds the problem. The government is taking steps to help people with disabilities into work, but NGOs, who often have to fill the gap, argue that much more needs to be done. [Read more…]
In many rural communities in Armenia, farmers continue to make use pesticides banned in the country over 30 years ago. Stashed in basements, sheds, and Soviet–era warehouses from before the ban came in, these toxic substances continue to threaten the health and well-being of Armenians. [Read more…]
The lack of job opportunities and development prospects in the rural regions of Azerbaijan has provoked a population influx to the capital, and the rapid growth of Baku’s population has increased the load on the city’s infrastructure. Problems faced by the metropolis and its inhabitants include gas cutoffs, waste management issues, water shortages, and traffic jams. [Read more…]
With high levels unemployment, Armenians are especially vulnerable to exploitation from unscrupulous employers. Given a lack of legal protections, employers are free to discriminate against female applicants based on their age or how they look. For some women, the only answer they see is to undergo cosmetic procedures, to make them look younger in the hope of finding a job. [Read more…]
In many remote areas of Armenia, energy poverty remains a serious concern. With no connection to the gas grid, villagers resort to burning illegally cut wood or cow dung to keep warm during winter. But in the border village of Kut, high in the mountains of eastern Armenia, a new hope is emerging in the form of renewable energy. [Read more…]
Two years on from the April 2016 war, which caused the deaths of hundreds and a loss of territory, Nagorno-Karabakh’s youth are more determined than ever to stay in their homeland and build a future there. Galvanised by their recent experience of war, young men living close to the frontline talk of what the April events meant for them and how they remain ever vigilant of another outbreak of fighting.
Thirty years have passed since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and a generation has grown up with the spectre of conflict hanging over them. For those children who felt the war first-hand, displaced and moving from place to place throughout their childhood, the prospect of continuing bloodshed is especially hard to bear. [Read more…]
Enterprising young people in South Ossetia have lots of ideas for improving their homeland but the challenges are many. Few opportunities to develop a career at home, even fewer opportunities to travel abroad, a lack of cultural and recreational facilities, and a dearth of funding for youth initiatives mean the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, many are willing to try.
Last week, Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky District Court rejected an appeal from Oyub Titiyev’s lawyer, Pyotr Zaikin, to have his case transferred to another region of the North Caucasus. Titiyev, the head of Russian rights group Memorial’s Chechen branch, is the latest government critic to be prosecuted on drug charges in the republic. Zaikin says the drugs were planted by police and insists Titiyev will not receive a fair trial in Chechnya, he also accused the Russian Investigative Committee of being unwilling to get to the truth of the matter.