Unfortunately, the obstacles created in the work of Azerbaijani civil society since 2014, remain. The NGO registration / re-registration, registration of projects and provision of notice to banks, disability of using the bank accounts and the ban on the grants given by international organizations is topical subject in civil society today. There is a strange situation, in fact, since 2014, the parliament have made amendments in the laws on “Grants” and “Public Unions” and is waiting for the approval of the bill by the president.
Since the new regulations on the registration of the grants have not been introduced, starting from February of 2014, recession is dominating in civil society. Despite the continuing uncertain situation, the head of the state has not confirmed the law that makes it absolutely impossible for NGOs to receive grants from international donors. We can hope that for the continuation of the long time experience of the civil society the application of these rules will be stopped. The Azerbaijani government has declared, that it will be financing the civil society projects itself, however it is clear that the funds allocated for this purpose are rather small.
At the same time, to deprive the funds allocated for the development of civil society by international donors or Azerbaijani organizations from acting is not strategically suitable for the country. In the meantime, the Society for Humanitarian Research also suffers from the existing restrictions and has been deprived from the opportunities to operate normally. To the application made in August 2014, to obtain the documents from the registry of the organization, we have received positive response only in May of this year. The positive response in the same time made us upset. According to the new rules, the “Public union” should be added in the names of all NGOs. While the adjustment of our organization’s legal form to the new rules, the name of the organization was registered as “Humanitarian Research Public Union”.
After that, we had fully re-registered the organization in all tax instances. We understand the responsibility for creating problems to our partners and donors because of the new name. This also means that now we have to update all of our existing online resources. Therefore, we are trying to establish our work, in the scope of the limited financial and technical capabilities. We hope that all technical issues will be completed soon and “HRPU” will be able to fully recover its activities, and we hope to find new opportunities for our partnership.