Human rights

  • UNAMA/ANSF: Age assessment guidelines to prevent & respond to child recruitment, February 2016

    To prevent and respond to child recruitment and use in the National Security Forces, and to improve age-verification mechanisms, the Government of Afghanistan officially launched age assessment guidelines. Prepared by experts, practitioners, and government officials, with the technical assistance of UNAMA and UNICEF, the age assessment guidelines are designed to be applied during any recruitment process into the Afghan security forces.

    PDF icon ANSF age_assessment_guidelines_eng 2015.pdf
  • Amnesty International: The state of the world's human rights, February 2016

    The Amnesty International Report 2015/16 states that in Afghanistan there was growing insecurity with insurgency and criminal activity worsening across the country. The first three months of 2015 were the most violent of any equivalent period on record. The Taliban increasingly attacked soft and civilian targets. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs registered thousands of cases of violence against women in the last nine months of the year. Threats, intimidation and attacks by a range of perpetrators against human rights defenders continued in a climate of impunity. The Afghan Parliament amended the Mass Media Law which journalists and human rights groups feared would further restrict freedom of expression. Afghanistan continued to apply the death penalty, often after unfair trials.

    PDF icon POL1025522016ENGLISH.PDF
  • UNAMA: Special Report on Kunduz Province, December 2015

    In addition to their twice-yearly Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict reports, UNAMA published this special report on the civilian casualties and human rights violations resulting from the Taliban siege and occupation of Kunduz city in October/November 2015. The report documents civilian deaths and injuries during the reporting period and presents preliminary findings on arbitrary killings, abductions, assault and other forms of violence, including threats and widespread criminality, the use of child fighters during the conflict, the impact on access to education, health, and freedom of movement. It provides a preliminary figure of 848 civilian casualties (289 deaths and 559 injured) that occurred in Kunduz province between 28 September and 13 October. These figures include 67 casualties (30 deaths and 37 injured) resulting from an airstrike carried out by international military forces on a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital on 3 October, an event that  is also examined in the report. [MSF reported later in December that the death toll had risen to 42]

    PDF icon UNAMA special_report_on_kunduz_province_12_december_2015.pdf
  • Paywand Afghanan Association: Afghan Women Penal System, Dec. 2015

    The report examines issues within the woman's penal system in Afghanistan.  Some of the many issues discussed in the report include the barriers female prisoners face in having a fair trial or accessing and using their basic legal rights. Woman prisoners deal with corruption from government provided defence lawyers, prison officials and within the court system. The report found that because they are poorly paid, many government-provided defence lawyers do not take their cases seriously. The report also notes that because a majority of these lawyers are men, many women have difficulty discussing their cases openly, mainly due to cultural taboos. Female prisoners and their children do have sufficient access to psychological, social and educational support or healthcare, noted the report. Among the other issues noted in the report, women and their children serve sentences inside prisons and detention centres that were designed for men.  The report also states that many female prisoners after leaving prison find it extremely difficult to reintegrate back into society. The report states that the problems faced by female prisoners inside prisons and centres, as well as the issue of their re-entry into society after their incarceration are rarely discussed in the media, civil society, or at the government level.

    PDF icon The-Afghan-Women-Penal-System_PAA-Research-Report.pdf
  • ICC: Report on Preliminary Examination Activities, Nov. 2015

    This report summarises the preliminary examination activities conducted by the Office between Nov. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015.  Following a thorough legal assessment of the information available, the Office is analysing the admissibility of potential cases arising from the conduct of three separate groups of alleged perpetrators: members of the Taliban and their affiliates (anti-government groups); members of Afghan government forces; and members of international forces.

    PDF icon OTP-PE-rep-2015-Eng.pdf
  • HRW: “What Are You Doing Here?” Police Abuses Against Afghans in Pakistan, Nov. 2015

    Hostility towards Afghans living in Pakistan is not new, but it increased dramatically after the so-called Pakistani Taliban, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, killing 145 people, including 132 children. Since then, Pakistani police have carried out raids on Afghan settlements, detained, harassed, and beaten Afghan men, extorted bribes, and demolished Afghan homes. Every Afghan interviewed by Human Rights Watch who had returned to Afghanistan said that fear of the police was the reason they had done so. Afghans remaining in Pakistan described a repeated pattern of arbitrary detention, extortion, and intimidation. Both registered and undocumented Afghans have been the victims of Pakistani police abuse.

    PDF icon pakistan1115_4up.pdf
  • BAAG: Policy position paper on Human Rights, July 2015

    Following the General Election in May 2015, BAAG and its members prepared a briefing pack for MPs and ministers.  These covered the themes of Governance, Human Rights, Service Delivery, Women's Rights and Humanitarian.  They each present an overview of the progress and remaining challenges in each area, and priority recommendations for the British government to consider in its support to Afghanistan. 

    PDF icon Policy Paper - HRs final version 22Jul15.pdf
  • HRW: The Mediterranean Migration Crisis, June 2015

    Human rights abuses in their home countries are the driving force behind the surge in boat migration in the Mediterranean to reach Europe, report Human Rights Watch. The first half of 2015 has seen a huge increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers risking their lives in overcramped boats.  HRW has interviewed over 150 such people, the majority of whom come from Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.  Their stories reveal the extent of rights abuses and violence in all three countries.  The report also calls on the EU to respond to their needs and rights in seeking refuge and asylum. 

    PDF icon HRW Mediterranean Crisis Jun15.pdf
  • Child Soldiers International: Underage recruitment and use of children by armed forces & insurgents in Afghanistan, June 2015

    In July 2015 the Afghan government endorsed a 15-point plan which, along with a 2011 Action plan, aims to end underage recruitment and use of children in the armed forces. However, almost a year after, serious concerns remain, with child recruitment continuing and efforts to demobilise and rehabilitate child soldiers stymied by the insecurity. The Afghan government’s institutional ability to implement its international commitments and adhere to its own national laws and policies remains stretched. Meanwhile poverty continues to be the main driver behind underage recruitment with many children joining the Afghan National or Local Police to support their families.Aimed at the UN Security Council Working Group, Child Soldiers International's report highlights the obligations and partial failings of the Afghan government, whilst providing recommendations to the government, international donors and armed groups. 

    PDF icon Child Soldiers Intl briefing June 2015.pdf
  • HRW: Attacks on Health, May 2015

    The second joint global report by the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition and Human Rights Watch documents attacks on, and interference with, health workers, patients, facilities, and transports during periods of armed conflict or political violence.  Afghanistan, with Syria and Iraq, is one of the highest risk countries. From 1st January to 15th August 2014, 41 incidents were reported where hospitals, clinics, and health personnel were attacked.  Afghans have been denied access to services temporarily or permanently because of conflict near health facilities.  Additionally, patients have been harrassed at checkpoints as they try to reach hospitals and clinics. 

    PDF icon HRW Attacks on Hospitals 0515.pdf
  • Report of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict, May 2015

    The UN's annual report covers the period 1st September 2010 to 31st December 2014. It quickly states that "More children were killed or maimed in 2014 than in any previous year under review. Children continue to be recruited and used for various purposes, including as suicide bombers, abducted and deprived of their right to education and health care." The report covers the 6 grave violations against children of the MRM (Monitoring & Reporting Mechanism).  It also provides recommendations to prevent and end grave violations against children in Afghanistan and to improve measures for their protection. 

    File Report SG on children armed conflict May15.docx
  • BAAG: Monthly report, April 2015

    BAAG's monthly 2-sided review of the key news from Afghanistan, which for April included progress in the appointment of Cabinet positions, a bloody start to the Taliban's spring offensive, a deadly landslide in Badakhshan and concerns over the continued targetting of minority groups.

    PDF icon Afghanistan in April.pdf
  • Amnesty International: Their Lives on the Line, April 2015

    Amnesty International UK report on the persecution, discrimination, intimidation and violence experienced by female human rights defenders in Afghanistan.  Using interviews and case studies, the findings are troubling. Cultural, religious and social norms are at the root of the various kinds of abuse experienced by various rights defenders, such as women in the police force, judiciary, NGOs, international organisations, journalism etc. As such, challenging those entrenched patriarchal patterns is central to the struggle to ensure that women and girls in Afghanistan are able to exercise their rights in full. The case studies in this report illustrate the range of violence women human rights defenders are confronted with on a daily basis.

    PDF icon Amnesty Intl Their Lives on the Line Apr15.pdf
  • HRW: Today we shall all die, March 2015

    Human Rights Watch's report details a culture of impunity that the group says flourished after the fall of the Taliban, driven by the desire for immediate control of security at almost any price. The report focuses on 8 commanders & officials across Afghanistan, some among the country’s most powerful men, and key allies for foreign troops. Some are accused of personally inflicting violence, others of having responsibility for militias or government forces that committed the crimes. HRW call for the Afghan government to prosecute those guilty of such crimes, and for the international community to apply pressure on this. 

    PDF icon HRW Today we shall all die Mar15.pdf
  • FCO: 2014 Report on Human Rights & Democracy, March 2015

    This annual report of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office summarises the global human rights situation in 2014 and provides examples of what the British government is doing to promote human rights and democratic values overseas. It reviews the situation in specific countries and against the thematic priorities around which the FCO’s work is organised. Afghanistan remains a country of concern, and the country section outlines various issues being addressed, including protection of civilians, freedom of expression, protection of human rights defenders and women's rights.  See page 110 onwards.

    PDF icon FCO - HRR_2014_Final_Digital.pdf

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