Unemployment is another large obstacle for people with disabilities in the South Caucasus. Of the 540,000 people with disabilities in Azerbaijan, only 5.6% are employed. The lack of infrastructure adapted for people with disabilities does not enable people with disabilities to move and work independently. In addition, in many cases laws are simply not implemented. According to current legislation, people with disabilities should comprise at least 20% of all employees in state agencies, however this is not the case.
Rahmanov Ahmed, who was disabled during the Karabakh War, has Category 2 disabilities. Despite problems with his health, he resigned from the army in 1992, but chose to go to war on his own. After two years of fighting and 3 injuries later, he decided to return to Azerbaijan.
Ahmed now is married and has two children. The eldest son, Rafael, suffers from autism. Ahmed has been out of work for approximately six months. His pension is 280 AZN (358 USD) a month, and of that amount 200 AZN is used for Rafael’s treatment. In addition, Rafael requires a special diet, for which many of the ingredients must be purchased abroad.