Showing posts with label human-rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human-rights. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Afghanistan Ministry of Defense's Child Protection Policy

The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan has signed and put into force a Child Protection Policy. The initiative codifies a number of measures to provide for protection for children - including preventing the use of violence against children by personnel in the Afghan National Army and the Ministry of Defense (MoD). The policy establishes a system for the monitoring, reporting, and investigating of violations by MoD personnel.

NATO's Resolute Support mission is also taking some steps to improve its monitoring and reporting system for instances of child abuse by members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). Pre-deployment training and in-theater training of personnel has improved on the topic of child abuse in Afghanistan perpetrated by members of the ANDSF. Training is also taking place for many of the NATO officers and NCOs that are deploying to Afghanistan as advisors at the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Personnel who are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan can also access an online NATO-distributed learning course on Children and Armed Conflict - developed with the support of the United Nations in New York.

A big driver for the adoption of improved reporting procedures by Resolute Support are the numerous reports of sexual child abuse by the ANDSF that has gotten the attention of Congressional leaders in Washington. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and the Department of Defense Inspector General's office have released reports in 2017 on the topic. The instances of 'boy play' or bachi bazi by members of the ANDSF has captured the attention of human rights activists and other critics and observers of the Afghan conflict. This has prompted questions about Resolute Supports reporting history when military personnel have witnessed or come across evidence of instances of bachi bazi.

Read "Resolute Support's Role in Helping to Protect Children in Armed Conflict", Resolute Support HQs, December 5, 2017.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

HRW to be Sued by Afghan Warlord

The international organization "Human Rights Watch" (HRW) has been threatened by a strongman from northern Afghanistan. The Governor of Balkh province, Atta Mohammad Noor, has threatened to sue HRW over its latest report which accused him of controlling and funding local militias implicated in serious rights abuses. The HRW report profiles eight Afghan warlords suspected of human rights violations. Read more in "Afghan Warlord Threatens to Sue Human Rights Watch", Gandhara Blog, March 9, 2015.

Monday, November 10, 2014

General Abdul Raziq

Kandahar is much safer now than several years ago. At one time the Taliban reigned supreme in the streets. But an Afghan police official (some say warlord) has tamed the city to an acceptable level. This security comes at a cost - in corruption, human rights, and governance. The police chief, Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, has ensured a degree of security within the city and some of the surrounding areas; however, some of his actions (and those of his police and private security force) are fueling the insurgency at the same time. Read more in "Powerful Afghan Police Chief Puts Fear in Taliban and Their Enemies", The New York Times, November 8, 2014.

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Afghan Leaders Urged to Protect Human Rights

The international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has provided (in a letter) specific recommendations to the new Afghan government leaders (Ghani and Abdullah) on steps that should be taken to protect the human rights of all Afghan citizens. HRW states that Afghanistan has a significant and long-running human rights situation that needs correcting. These recommendations include "strengthen accountability for the security forces, advance women's rights, protect the media, revitalize the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and address the need for transitional justice". Read more in "Afghanistan: New Leaders Should Take Action on Rights", Human Rights Watch, September 26, 2014.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Afghan Presidential Candidates and Their Positions on Human Rights

Human Rights Watch sent out a questionnaire to the eleven presidential candidates running in the April 2014 Afghan election. Only 4 of the 11 candidates responded to the questionnaire. Topics included accountability for war crimes, women's rights, and torture. The four candidates who responded included Abdullah Abdullah, Qutbuddin Helal, Qayum Karzai, and Daoud Sultanzoy. Read more in "Afghanistan: Candidates' Positions on Rights in Spotlight", Human Rights Watch, February 9, 2014.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

SFA and Human Rights: Leahy Law Report

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has published a report entitled "Leahy Law Human Rights Provisions and Security Assistance: Issue Overview", dated January 29, 2014. The Adobe Acrobat PDF is available here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Human Rights Report 2104 - Afghan Women

A recent report by Human Rights Watch (2014) states that there is great concern that women's rights in Afghanistan will back-slip due to the withdrawal of ISAF troops post-2014. The report cites that there was declining respect for human rights in the country over the past year (2013). It cites attacks on women's rights, growing internal displacement and migration, and weakened efficacy of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). According to the report, opponents of women's rights have seized the opportunity to begin rolling back the progress made since the end of the Taliban rule. This has happened due to the waning international interest in Afghanistan. Read Human Rights Watch Report on Afghan Women.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Human Rights Groups Condemning Taliban for Abuses Against Civilian Population

Human rights groups in Afghanistan are condemning Taliban targeting of civilians in Afghanistan.  The human rights groups have been a long-time critic of coalition air strikes that have killed civilians - but measures have been taken to reduce these loses over the last few years.  The Taliban, however, have increased their indiscriminate targeting methods causing more civilian casualties.  Read more in "Afghan Rights Groups Shift Focus to Taliban", The New York Times, February 9, 2011.