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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International

Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan. Over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia, and about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia have ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan's hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters. Bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian. Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas.

Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

In 2007, there were 2,400 refugees from Russia and between 580,000 and 690,000 IDPs due to the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Trafficking in Persons

Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. Women and some children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Men and boys are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labour. Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation.

Illicit Drugs

There is limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption. Azerbaijan is a transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe.




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