I was born in the Caucasian region in 1990s when the USSR collapsed and fifteen countries got their independence back. 26 years has gone by since the establishment of the young republics and they definitely need more time in order to develop in all spheres, such as economy and human resources. But special attention needs to be paid to democracy and human rights because that forms the basis for all the rest.
There are countries in the region that are rather prosperous in this regard, for example Georgia. However, it is sad to notice that in some countries there are still lots of problems and the situation seems becoming worse. I will bring a few examples.
Ethnic and religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran face myriads of difficulties and infringements of their human rights, such as discriminative depiction in the mass communication channels and other media, not being able to receive education in a mother tongue and infringements of other cultural rights. These disadvantaged minorities include Ahwazi Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Baluchis, Kurds and Turkmen.
Dozens of refugees from Azerbaijan who were forced to leave their homeland during the Nagorno-Karabakh War are still not able to return. There are serious problems in the fields of freedom of expression, the right to association and assembly and with the independence of media in Azerbaijan.
It is worth to notice that not only South, but also North Caucasian Republics suffer from different problems. Serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and alleged extra-judicial executions committed in the course of security operations are continuously reported from the North Caucasus, especially from Chechnya and Dagestan.
Being born in this region, seeing the development of the societies and the backlashes in growing the culture of democracy and human rights has been an incentive for me to study international law and human rights. In the future, I would like to establish an NGO to educate people about human rights and their rights as citizens. I think people aware of their rights and able to deal with the kind of problems described above are the key for all these countries to prosper in democracy and human rights and consequently in all other fields of life.
Edited by Mariann Rikka