Middle East :: Azerbaijan
page last updated on August 3, 2010
Flag of Azerbaijan
Map of Azerbaijan
Introduction ::Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan - a nation with a majority-Turkic and majority-Muslim population - was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding provinces in the territory of Azerbaijan. Corruption in the country is ubiquitous, and the government, which eliminated presidential term limits in a 2009 referendum, has been accused of authoritarianism. Although the poverty rate has been reduced in recent years due to revenue from oil production, the promise of widespread wealth resulting from the continued development of Azerbaijan's energy sector remains largely unfulfilled.
Geography ::Azerbaijan
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range
Geographic coordinates:
40 30 N, 47 30 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 86,600 sq km
country comparison to the world: 112
land: 82,629 sq km
water: 3,971 sq km
note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region's autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maine
Land boundaries:
total: 2,013 km
border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km
0 km (landlocked); note - Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (713 km)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Current Weather
dry, semiarid steppe
large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, bauxite
Land use:
arable land: 20.62%
permanent crops: 2.61%
other: 76.77% (2005)
Irrigated land:
14,550 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
30.3 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 17.25 cu km/yr (5%/28%/68%)
per capita: 2,051 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked
People ::Azerbaijan
8,303,512 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.4% (male 1,031,502/female 914,829)
15-64 years: 70% (male 2,855,864/female 2,954,304)
65 years and over: 6.6% (male 200,097/female 346,916) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.5 years
male: 26.9 years
female: 30.3 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.805% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
Birth rate:
17.75 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
Death rate:
8.28 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
Net migration rate:
-1.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
urban population: 52% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.124 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 52.84 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 47
male: 58.37 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.01 years
country comparison to the world: 156
male: 62.86 years
female: 71.67 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.03 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
7,800 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
noun: Azerbaijani(s)
adjective: Azerbaijani
Ethnic groups:
Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census)
note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region
Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.)
note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower
Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.3%, unspecified 1% (1999 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.8%
male: 99.5%
female: 98.2% (1999 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
2.1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 165
Government ::Azerbaijan
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan
conventional short form: Azerbaijan
local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi
local short form: Azarbaycan
former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type:
name: Baku (Baki, Baky)
geographic coordinates: 40 23 N, 49 52 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon - singular), 11 cities (saharlar; sahar - singular), 1 autonomous republic (muxtar respublika)
rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu
cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari
autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi (Nakhichevan)
30 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 18 October 1991 (adopted by the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan)
National holiday:
Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)
adopted 12 November 1995; modified by referendum 24 August 2002
Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003)
head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub EYYUBOV (since June 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for unlimited terms); election last held on 15 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2013); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly
election results: Ilham ALIYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Ilham ALIYEV 89%, Igbal AGHAZADE 2.9%, five other candidates with smaller percentages
note: several political parties boycotted the election due to unfair conditions; OSCE observers concluded that the election did not meet international standards
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Yeni 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, Motherland 2, other parties with single seats 9, independents 42, undetermined 4
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
Azadliq (Freedom) coalition (Azerbaijan Democratic Party, Azerbaijan Popular Front Party, Musavat Party); Azerbaijan Democratic Party or ADP [Sardar JALALOGLU]; Azerbaijan Popular Front or AXCP [Ali KARIMLI]; Civil Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLI]; Civil Unity Party [Sabir HACIYEV]; Classic People's Front of Azerbaijan [Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU]; Democratic Reform Party [Asim MOLLAZADE]; Great Creation Party [Fazil Gazanfaroglu MUSTAFAYEV]; Hope (Umid) Party [Iqbal AGAZADE]; Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Motherland Party [Fazail AGAMALI]; Musavat (Equality) [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; Open Society Party [Rasul GULIYEV, in exile in the US]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV (in exile)]; Social Welfare Party [Hussein KAZIMLI]; Whole Azerbaijan Popular Front [Gudrat HASANGULIYEV]; Yeni (New) Azerbaijan Party [President Ilham ALIYEV]
note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Azerbaijan Public Forum [Eldar NAMAZOV]; Karabakh Liberation Organization
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Yashar ALIYEV
chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911
Consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Donald LU
embassy: 83 Azadlig Prospecti, Baku AZ1007
mailing address: American Embassy Baku, US Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050
telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337
FAX: [994] (12) 4656-671
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in the red band; the blue band recalls Azerbaijan's Turkic heritage, red stands for modernization and progress, and green refers to Islam; the crescent moon is an Islamic symbol, while the eight-pointed star represents the eight Turkic peoples of the world
Economy ::Azerbaijan
Economy - overview:
Azerbaijan's high economic growth during 2006-08 was attributable to large and growing oil exports, but some non-export sectors also featured double-digit growth, spurred by growth in the construction, banking, and real estate sectors. In 2009, economic growth remained above 9% even as oil prices moderated and growth in the construction sector cooled. The current global economic slowdown presents some challenges for the Azerbaijani economy as oil prices remain below their mid-2008 highs, highlighting Azerbaijan's reliance on energy exports and lackluster attempts to diversify its economy. In 2009 the government continued to rely on financial transfers from the State Oil Fund to bridge its budget shortfalls. Azerbaijan's oil production has increased dramatically since 1997, when Azerbaijan signed the first production-sharing arrangement (PSA) with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company. Oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline remain the main economic driver while efforts to boost Azerbaijan's gas production are underway. However, Azerbaijan has made only limited progress on instituting market-based economic reforms. Pervasive public and private sector corruption and structural economic inefficiencies remain a drag on long-term growth, particularly in non-energy sectors. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan's economic progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector and the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance, while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe. Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new oil and gas pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan's ability to manage its energy wealth to promote sustainable growth in non-energy sectors of the economy and spur employment.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$86.03 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
$78.71 billion (2008 est.)
$71.04 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$43 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
10.8% (2008 est.)
25% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$10,400 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
$9,600 (2008 est.)
$8,700 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.6%
industry: 61.4%
services: 33% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
4.318 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 38.3%
industry: 12.1%
services: 49.6% (2008)
Unemployment rate:
6% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
7% (2008 est.)
Population below poverty line:
11% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 6.1%
highest 10%: 17.5% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36.5 (2001)
country comparison to the world: 81
36 (1995)
Investment (gross fixed):
17.5% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
revenues: $12.85 billion
expenditures: $16.77 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
5.1% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
5.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.5% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 57
20.8% (2008)
Central bank discount rate:
2% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 52
8% (31 December 2008)
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key policy rate for the National Bank of Azerbaijan
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
19.76% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 18
19.13% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$6.381 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 60
$4.261 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$4.125 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
$2.593 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$8.135 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
$5.726 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Agriculture - products:
cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats
petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
8.6% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
Electricity - production:
18.6 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
Electricity - consumption:
18 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Electricity - exports:
786 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
548 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
1.011 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Oil - consumption:
136,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Oil - exports:
528,900 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
Oil - imports:
2,848 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Oil - proved reserves:
7 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
Natural gas - production:
23 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30
Natural gas - consumption:
10.12 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 47
Natural gas - exports:
5.564 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
Natural gas - proved reserves:
849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
Current account balance:
$10.17 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$16.45 billion (2008 est.)
$13.16 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$30.59 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Italy 20.69%, India 10.67%, US 9.24%, France 8.15%, Germany 7.62%, Indonesia 6.63%, Canada 5.13% (2009)
$5.448 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$7.575 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Turkey 18.69%, Russia 16.98%, Germany 7.87%, Ukraine 7.3%, China 6.18%, UK 5.73% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.347 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$6.519 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.411 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
$2.635 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$8.316 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
$7.844 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$5.558 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
$5.232 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
Azerbaijani manats (AZN) per US dollar - 0.811 (2009), 0.8219 (2008), 0.8581 (2007), 0.8934 (2006), 4,727.1 (2005)
note: on 1 January 2006 Azerbaijan revalued its currency, with 5,000 old manats equal to 1 new manat
Communications ::Azerbaijan
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.311 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 68
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.548 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 76
Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and modernization; fixed-line telephony and a broad range of other telecom services are controlled by a state-owned telecommunications monopoly and growth has been stagnant; more competition exists in the mobile-cellular market with four providers in 2009
domestic: teledensity of 15 fixed lines per 100 persons is low; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased rapidly and is currently about 80 telephones per 100 persons; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Nakhchivan
international: country code - 994; the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic link transits Azerbaijan providing international connectivity to neighboring countries; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations - 2 (2009)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 10, FM 11, shortwave 1 (2010)
Television broadcast stations:
10 (2010)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
7,045 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 130
Internet users:
1.485 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 75
Transportation ::Azerbaijan
34 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 111
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 27
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2009)
1 (2009)
condensate 1 km; gas 3,361 km; oil 1,424 km (2009)
total: 2,918 km
country comparison to the world: 57
broad gauge: 2,918 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2009)
total: 59,141 km
country comparison to the world: 76
paved: 29,210 km
unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)
Merchant marine:
total: 89
country comparison to the world: 52
by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 46, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3
registered in other countries: 3 (Malta 2, Panama 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Baku (Baki)
Military ::Azerbaijan
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; length of military service is 18 months and 12 months for university graduates (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,336,611
females age 16-49: 2,329,275 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,753,878
females age 16-49: 1,958,408 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 84,441
female: 78,905 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
Transnational Issues ::Azerbaijan
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; 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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)
IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; 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 labor; Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the UAE for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Azerbaijan is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers; to address complicity among law enforcement personnel; and to adequately identify and protect victims in Azerbaijan; the government has yet to develop a much-needed mechanism to identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to safety and care; poor treatment of trafficking victims in courtrooms continues to be a problem (2008)
Illicit drugs:
limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

Source: The World Factbook (CIA)