Human rights

  • Amnesty International: Left in the Dark, August 2014

    Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed or injured as a result of strikes and operations by the international forces.  However, with these forces immune from Afghan legal processes, most of these incidents remain uninvestigated, let alone unpunished.  Amnesty International's report, focused primarily on air strikes and night raids conducted by US forces, documents in detail the failures of accountability for US military operations in Afghanistan. It calls on the Afghan government to ensure that accountability for unlawful civilian killings is guaranteed in any future bilateral security agreements signed with NATO and the United States.

    PDF icon Amnesty International Left in the Dark Aug14.pdf
  • AIHRC: Causes & consequences of Bacha Bazi in Afghanistan, August 2014

    Bacha Bazi, a form of sexual abuse and exploitation suffered by young boys, is not explicitly outlawed as a crime.  The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has conducted research nationwide, interviewing 31 victims of the practice and 36 perpetrators of the abuse.  Their report provides recommendations to the Afghan government and civil society on how it must be criminalised.  This report is taken from the AIHRC website.  

    PDF icon AIHRC Causes and Consequences of Bacha Bazi in Afghanistan.pdf
  • UNAMA: Protecting Afghanistan's Children in Armed Conflict, May 2014

    UNAMA has collaborated with AIHRC (Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission) and Afghan religious leaders, scholars and experts to produce a booklet on the obligations of all parties to the country’s armed conflict to respect and promote the rights of children under international law and Islam.The booklet also highlights the complementarity of the teachings and fundamental tenets of Islam with international human rights and international humanitarian law. In 2013 UNAMA documented 1,694 child casualties – 545 killed and a further 1,149 injured.  Focusing on the six grave violations of child rights in armed conflict - namely the killing and maiming of children; recruitment, use and association of children with armed forces and armed groups; the abduction of children; attacks against schools and hospitals; rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, and the denial of access to humanitarian assistance - the booklet examines each violation under Sharia law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law and the national laws of Afghanistan. The booklet is aimed at becoming a resource and advocacy tool for all child protection partners and promoting dialogue on critical and sensitive issues.  The booklet is also available in Dari.  

    PDF icon CAAC and Islam_Leaflet_Final_English (for website).pdf
  • Afghan Journalists Safety Committee: Open Letter to President Karzai, May 2014

    Following a worrying rise in the number of attacks and intimidation against journalists, the Afghan Journalist's Safety Committee have presented the below letter and petition to President Hamid Karzai.  Given their data that 63% of attacks in the second half of 2014 were committed by government officials, their request for greater protection and improved relations between the media and government are well founded.  

    PDF icon Afghan Journalists Safety Committee openletter.pdf
  • FCO: Human Rights & Democracy 2013 report, April 2014

    In the annual report by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Afghanistan is one of their 28 countries of concern.  The report highlights a variety of human rights concerns within the country: freedom of expression, human rights defenders, access to justice, the death penalty, torture, protection of civilians, freedom of religion or belief, women's rights, minority rights and children's rights. 

    PDF icon FCO HR&Democracy 2013.pdf
  • UN Human Rights Council: Report of the Working Group on the UPR, April 2014

    The UN Human Rights Council reviews progress of countries in their implementation of various human rights standards.  A working group meet with their governments to pose questions and concerns raised by UN members.  In January 2014 the 2nd discussion of this Universal Periodic Review process convened and the Afghan government responded to the recommendations raised by members.  This report captures the outcomes of that discussion, in which the Afghan government accepted most recommendations, chose to debate certain others and rejected 3 - the latter being the abolition of the death penalty, abolishing the practice of prosecuting women for 'moral crimes' and ensuring non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and repealing criminalisation of same-sex sexual relations. 

    PDF icon UN HR Council Report of the WG on the UPR April14.pdf
  • UN OHCHR: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on situation of human rights in Afghanistan, January 2014

    The High Commissioner for Human Rights presents her Afghanistan report to the Human Rights Commission.  In the run up to Presidential elections and the withdrawal of international troops, the state of human rights remains delicate.  2013 saw the second highest number of civilian casualties since 2001, with non-combatants directly targetted or suffering the collateral damage of attacks in public places.  Progress in protection of women from violence and harmful practices has, in some instances, been reversed.   And the credibility of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has been knocked by a process of appointing new Commissioners which lacked transparency, inclusivity and participation. 

    PDF icon Rpt of UN HCHR Afghanistan Jan 2014.pdf
  • UN CEDAW: Concluding observations on the combined periodic reports of Afghanistan, July 2013

    Responding to the combined initial and second periodic reports by Afghan officials, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women present their principle areas of concern and recommendations.  These include participation of women in the peace process, women's access to justice, the continued prevalence of violence against women and harmful practices, employment and participation in public life.A link is provided at the start of the document to Afghanistan's formal response to these concerns.  

    PDF icon CEDAW Concluding Observations Afghanistan July 2013.pdf
  • USCIRF: Annual Report on Religious Freedom, April 2013

    The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom says religious freedom in Afghanistan remains exceedingly poor, both for minority religious groups and dissenting members of the majority Sunni Muslim faith. The chapter of the report dealing with Afghanistan says Afghans cannot debate the role and content of religion in law and society, advocate for the rights of women and religious minorities or question intepretations of Islamic precepts without fear of retribution.

    PDF icon USCIRF Annual Report on Religious Freedom April 2013.pdf
  • Integrity Watch: Mobilizing Communities for Court Watch, February 2013

    Integrity Watch Afghanistan spent six months studying a community monitoring programme of court trials in Bamyan and Kapisa provinces. Its report concludes that this programme has helped to make the judicial process slightly more transparent and accountable. Overall, it found that judges became slightly more open to the idea of community involvement in overseeing trials. And it recorded a significant rise in the number of trials which monitors were allowed to attend. 

    PDF icon Mobilizing Communities for Court Watch Feb. 2013.pdf
  • UNAMA: Treatment of conflict-related Detainees, January 2013

    Based on interviews with 635 conflict-related detainees in 89 Afghan facilities covering 30 provinces, torture was found to persist in numerous detention facilities. More than half of theconflict-related detainees interviewed had experienced ill-treatment and torture.  On 22 January, President Karzai established a fact-finding delegation to investigate concerns raised and on 16 February, issued a decree for the implementation of the delegation’s 11 recommendations pertaining to the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in detention centres.Read the report here. 

    PDF icon UNAMA Treatment of Conflict-related Detainees Jan 13.pdf
  • UN OHCHR: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on situation of human rights in Afghanistan, January 2013

    Reporting to the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights paints a mixed picture of the situation in Afghanistan.  Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, being targeted for assassination directly or suffering from attacks on non-combatant targets such as market places, mosques and roads.  Conflict-related detainees are frequently mistreated.  Despite the introduction of the Afghan Local Police, access to justice issues remain - and violations of their code raises concerns.  Progress has been made in women's rights, but implementation of new codes, laws and practices is piecemeal at best. 

    PDF icon Rpt of UN HCHR Afghanistan Jan 2013.pdf
  • AIHRC/ Soros:The Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghanistan, March 2012

    In recent months, the Afghan intelligence service has come under increased scrutiny for its alleged use of torture and other violations of detainees‘ rights. This report raises significant new areas of concern. Conducted with the assistance of the Open Society Foundations, it is based on long-term, regular monitoring of detainees conducted by the Afghanistan  Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and interviews with more than 100 conflict-related detainees.

    PDF icon Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees March 2012.pdf
  • ILO: Buried in Bricks, February 2012

    A new report on bonded labour in Afghan brick kilns found more than half of the workers surveyed were children, with the majority of these workers under the age of 14.  The survey aims to provide an accurate picture of bonded and child labour in brick kilns in the provinces of Nangarhar and Kabul. It was commissioned by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and conducted by Samuel Hall Consulting.

    PDF icon ILO Buried in Bricks Feb. 2012.pdf
  • Child Soldiers International: Louder than words - An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers, 2012

    The report “Louder than words: An agenda for action to end state use of child soldiers” was published to mark the tenth anniversary year of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. It examines the record of states in protecting children from use in hostilities by their own forces and by state-allied armed groups. It finds that, while governments’ commitment to ending child soldier use is high, the gap between commitment and practice remains wide. Research for the report shows that child soldiers have been used in armed conflicts by 20 states since 2010, and that children are at risk of military use in many more.

    PDF icon CSI louderthanwordsseptember2012.pdf