11 Int'l J. Not-for-Profit L. 93 (2008-2009)
Charity in Azerbaijan: Prospects for Developing Legislation and Practice

handle is hein.journals/ijnpl11 and id is 285 raw text is: 

International Journal ofNot-for-Profit Law /vol. 11, no. 3, May 2009 /93


Article
                              Charity in Azerbaijan:
         Prospects for Developing Legislation and Practice

                        Mahammad Guluzade and Natalia Bourjaily'


       People  of all walks of life are engaged in charity in Azerbaijan, businessmen and regular
people alike. In spite of the existing traditions and the presence of political will to promote the
development  of philanthropy, however, there exist a number of serious legislative obstacles
hindering charitable activities. Speaking of the issues related to charity in March 2008, Mrs.
Mehriban  Aliyeva, the First Lady of Azerbaijan, specifically emphasized the lack of
comprehensive   legal and regulatory base governing charitable activities and the absence of an
adequate mechanism   providing for a partnership cooperation in the field of philanthropy between
public agencies functioning on various levels of government, the private sector and civil society
institutions.2
        In this article we attempted to provide an overview of the currently effective legislation
and underscore  certain pivotal issues which should be resolved. Although the Azerbaijani
legislation declares support for philanthropy, it contains very limited incentives for charitable
activities. A number of non-government  organizations,3 including charitable ones, are funded by
foreign grants, with a limited support provided by the local business community. The lack of
interest in charity on the part of local businesses can be explained by a complete absence of tax
benefits that would encourage such activities.
       We   hope that this article and the analysis carried out by the International Center for Not-
for-Profit Law will help to improve the legislation regarding philanthropy and will assist in
creating a national concept of developing charity in Azerbaijan.
History  of formation of the charity-related legislation in Azerbaijan
        In the very first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Azerbaijan attained its
independence,  the state started paying attention to issues related to charity. The Decree by the
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan On the establishment of the President's Fund (1992)
also set up a special award of the President's Fund to bestowed for charitable activities and



        1 Mahammad Guluzade is Legal Adviser in Azerbaijan for the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
(ICNL). Natalia Bourjaily is Vice President, Newly Independent States, ICNL. In Azerbaijan, ICNL implements a
technical assistance project in partnership with Counterpart International (USA), which is funded by the US Agency
for International Development (USAID) and aimed at improving the NGO legislation.
        The original article is posted in Russian at http://wwwdayaz/news/societv/145183.t
        2 See http://www.dav.az/news/societv/112132.html
        3 Note that the Law On non-government organizations (public associations and foundations) (2000;
hereinafter the Law on NGOs) and the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2000) (hereinafter TC) use
different terminology. Consequently, the term non-government organization is used in the Law on NGOs while
the TC refers to non-commercial organization. In actuality, both denote the same type of organizations. For the
purposes of this article, we shall use the term non-government organization or NGO.

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