Human rights

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • UNAMA: Update on the Treatment of Conflict Related Detainees in Afghan Custody, Feb. 2015

    The current report presents findings from UNAMA’s observation of conflict-related detention over the period 1 February 2013 to 31 December 2014. The report further provides a general comparison with findings for a previous period of UNAMA’s detention observation (October 2011 to December 2012 detailed in UNAMA’s January 2013 report).  UNAMA’s current study also offers an assessment of how the Government addressed concerns about torture and ill-treatment of detainees in 2013-14 and provided accountability including through implementation of Presidential Decree no. 129. The current report makes updated recommendations to the Government and its international partners to strengthen efforts to end and prevent torture and illtreatment. 

    PDF icon UNAMA_OHCHR_Detention_Report_Feb2015.pdf
  • HRW: "Stop reporting or we'll kill your family", January 2015

    Violence and threats against journalists in Afghanistan is rising, according to Human Rights Watch's report. This report documents harassment, intimidation, and attacks on journalists and the Afghan government’s failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible. The failure to protect journalistic freedom has emboldened those determined to suppress criticism of the government, the security forces, and other powerful entities in Afghan society. 

    PDF icon HRW media afghanistan_01 2015.pdf
  • HRW: World Report 2015, January 2015

    Human Rights Watch produce an annual World Report, documenting the status of human rights in various countries.  In Afghanistan The United Nations recorded a 24 percent rise in civilian casualties in the first six months of 2014 compared to 2013, most due to insurgent attacks. Intensified fighting and diminished security displaced 38,000 people from January through September 2014, bringing the total number of internally displaced people in Afghanistan to over 755,000.In addition to these conflict-related threats to civilians, other rights issues remain of serious concern to HRW: impunity of security forces, government officials and other powerful groups, attacks on journalists and freedom of speech and violence against women. 

    PDF icon HRW World Report 2015_web.pdf
  • UNOHCHR: Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, January 2015

    The High Commissioner's annual report on Afghanistan calls for the new National Unity Government to 'consolidate and expand human rights protections'.  He raises concerns, amongst others, of the rising civilian casualties, the continued use of children in armed conflict, torture of detainees and violence against women.  He notes the internal reform efforts of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and calls for the government's continued support to this important institution.  

    PDF icon UNOHRC_2014 HR report.pdf
  • War Child/Children in Crisis: Are you listening?, December 2014

    The issue of child rights has not featured highly in preparations of the London Conference on Afghanistan.  Consequently, BAAG members War Child and Children in Crisis worked together to produce a short briefing paper and video presenting the needs of children and youth, as stated by these groups themselves.  The Children's Voices video can be viewed in our Media section.

    PDF icon Are you Listening_Children's Voices on Afghanistan's Future_Dec14.pdf
  • EU: Local Strategy for Human Right Defenders in Afghanistan, December 2014

    The Human Right Defenders Strategy launched in December 2014 is agreed between EU, its Member States, Canada, Norway and Switzerland to protect Afghan Human Rights Defenders and support them in their important work for the protection of human rights in Afghanistan.  "Afghanistan needs to do more to ensure human rights for all its citizens. Human Rights Defenders fight to protect these rights. The European Union therefore calls on the leaders and the government of the Afghan nation to take immediate measures to ensure that all Human Rights Defenders can work freely and without restrictions; and to instruct its police authorities and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute all threats and attacks against Human Rights Defenders". European Union Special Representative and Head of the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan, Franz-Michael Mellbin.

    PDF icon EU+ Local Strategy for Human Right Defenders in Afghanistan 2014.pdf
  • CSJWG: Position Paper for London Conference, November 2014

    Ahead of the London Conference on Afghanistan, the Civil Society Joint Working Group (CSJWG), a membership network of local, community and grass-roots Afghan civil society organisations, prepared the paper below.  It highlights their review of the current situation, past achievements and future needs in the following thematic sections: Democratic reform; Governance, Rule of law and Human Rights; Government revenues, Budget execution and Sub-national Governance; Economic growth and Development; Continued partnership and Aid effectiveness; the Role of civil society.  

    PDF icon Civil-society-position-paper-london-conf-23Nov2014.pdf
  • BAAG: Letter welcoming President Ahmadzai, October 2014

    On the occassion of his inauguration, BAAG has written to congratulate President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.  As he considers the priority plans and activities for his government, BAAG and it's members call on him to consider two core development themes: the protection of human rights and the participation of civil society in decision making and programming.  BAAG will host a key civil society event ahead of the joint Afghan-British London Conference on Afghanistan in November, which will provide further opportunities for civil society, the Afghan government and the international community to work together on development matters.  

    PDF icon Letter to President Ghani - final 06Oct14.pdf

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