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Azerbaijan: More safe-play areas for children

19-10-2006 News Release 06/62

Today the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan is opening newly constructed safe-play areas for children in two villages of the front-line district of Fizuli, in the south-western part of the country, where large numbers of mines and explosive remnants of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict continue to prevent a return to normal life.

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

Mahiya Hasanova, a fourth-grade schoolgirl, can now play on swings after school in her village’s safe-play area. “We used to have very few places outside our homes where we could have fun,” she said. “Now we come here.”

The aim of the project is to provide children with places where they can play without fear of mines and explosive remnants of war. Children have been closely involved in designing the play areas and in devising safety tips for young people living in conflict-affected areas.

“Parents have expressed their gratitude to Red Crescent members for building safe-play areas in their villages,” said Bayram Veliyev, Azerbaijani Red Crescent coordinator for the project. “The parents said that now they do not worry about where their children spend their free time.”

Fifteen safe-play areas were created by the Azerbaijani Red Crescent with ICRC support in 2005, and 10 more will be opened by the end of 2006. This project is one of many carried out by the ICRC and National Societies in contaminated areas worldwide aiming, by means of practical measures, to reduce the impact of mines and 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