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Azerbaijan: Helping children play safely

15-11-2005 News Release No 05/80

Today the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan will open newly constructed safe play areas for children from Evoglu and Garadaghly villages near Agdam.

The playgrounds are part of a project being carried out with operational support from the ICRC and financial support from the Norwegian Red Cross.

In Azerbaijan, large numbers of mines and other explosive remnants of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict continue to prevent a return to normal life for people living   along the line of contact and international border. In 1996, the ICRC was the first organization to alert people to the danger of these explosive remnants in Azerbaijan. Its awareness-raising work was eventually handed over to the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action, established in 1998.

The Safe Play Area project was set up to create playgrounds free of mines, shells and other deadly objects. Through its extensive network of local branches and volunteers, the Azerbaijani Red Crescent has worked closely with the various communities and authorities concerned. Children have been closely involved in designing the play areas and devising safety tips to help children living in former conflict areas. By early December, safe play areas will open in a further 15 villages affected by the explosive remnants of war.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Gulnaz Guliyeva, ICRC Baku, tel. +99 412 465 63 34 or +99 412 440 62 22  

 Annick Bouvier, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 58 or + 41 79 217 32 24