News : Article

Commission holds national conference on human rights defenders

Graphic: Participants address the national conference

As part of the proceedings, participants developed recommendations to address the serious challenges facing human rights defenders across the country.

On 19 December 2016, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission convened the National Conference on Protection of Human Rights Defenders.

Held in Kabul, the conference was attended by Afghanistan's President, Dr Ashraf Ghani, representatives of the National Assembly, representatives of international organisations and human rights defenders from the country's 34 provinces.

The conference sought to highlight the sacrifices and achievements of Afghanistan's human rights defenders, as well as the current challenges they face.


Graphic: Participant at the national conference


As part of the proceedings, participants developed the following recommendations, suggestions and mechanisms to better promote and protect human rights defenders:

  1. We want the Afghanistan government to abide by its national and international commitments regarding the protection of human rights defenders and pave the ground for continued and effective activities of human rights defenders in all provinces of the country.
  2. We ask the government to include the provisions of the "Action Plan for Protection of Human Rights Defenders," prepared by the AIHRC and revised and completed in this conference, as a mechanism of protection of human rights defenders and promotion of their capacity among its high priorities.
  3. To create a legal and official guarantee for the protection of human rights defenders, and have the commitment of relevant government agencies in this regard, we ask the Honorable President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in coordination with the AIHRC, to issue a special warrant to ensure that the relevant government agencies are committed to the protection of human rights defenders.
  4. As human rights are a universal value and non-derogable, we defenders of human rights are also ready to defend human rights values under any situation. Therefore, we want all national and international institutions and individuals who are voluntarily working in the area of defending human rights to continue their efforts for the realisation of human rights in the country.
  5. We want the international community and international human rights institutions to help the Afghan government fulfil its commitments in the protection of human rights defenders and to coordinate for their capacity building and empowerment.

Dr. Sima Samar, AIHRC Chairperson, urged the government to pay special attention to the rights of women, children and people with disabilities, and launch a serious fight against rampant corruption and culture of impunity in the country.

A more detailed report from the national conference is available on the AIHRC website.

Date: 20 December 2016

Source: Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. Participants address the national conference - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  2. Participant at the national conference - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission