• BAAG welcomes new member Human Rights Watch

BAAG welcomes new member Human Rights Watch

13 March 2015

The human rights situation in Afghanistan is both worrying and complex. Recent UN reports indicated a 22% rise in civilian casualties in 2014 compared to 2013, with indiscriminate attacks on non-combatants a constant threat. The rights of women to participate in society and to be protected from domestic violence are frequently violated. Impunity for abuses conducted by government officials and forces continue. Intimidation and violence against journalists is increasingly threatening Afghanistan’s flourishing media.

BAAG are therefore pleased to welcome their latest observer member, Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the most active and vocal campaigners for human rights in Afghanistan and globally. HRW have been active in Afghanistan for over 2 decades, exposing rights violations and calling on the international community and Afghan government to address these.  BAAG’s Director, Jawed Nader, began his Kabul career working with HRW, supporting them in the Constitutional Loya Jirga proceedings.  ‘We are a stronger network with the addition of Human Rights Watch’ he stated earlier this month, ‘and I look forward to supporting their work in making Afghanistan a more human rights-respecting country.’ 

The BAAG team and network had already benefitted from the expertise provided by the HRW team in the past.  They recently worked with Heather Barr, their Senior Researcher in the Women’s Rights Division - Heather provided valuable input in the preparations for the 2014 London Conference on Afghanistan, ensuring human rights, and particularly women’s rights, were forefront in the advocacy messaging to attendees.

Commenting on their new membership, Heather writes ‘As a member of BAAG, HRW looks forward to even closer collaboration with BAAG and its members on human rights advocacy, and to hearing the insights of BAAG members working across Afghanistan.’

A number of HRW’s recent reports can be found in the Human Rights section of our Resources Library, and we are also promoting their excellent annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, due to launch in London on March 18th.