Act to protect Afghan rights gains, donors told
KABUL (Pajhwok): An influential human rights watchdog on Wednesday urged foreign donors to press the new Afghan government to address the country’s persistent human rights problems at a major upcoming international donor conference in London.
Human Rights Watch said this in letters to representatives of more than a dozen donor countries.
Government representatives will be meeting on December 3-4 at the London Conference on Afghanistan to affirm donor humanitarian and security commitments to the country.
“Foreign donors should act now to protect the gains achieved and reverse the failings in Afghanistan’s human rights record,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“Donors need to make crystal clear that their support for the Afghan government depends on its commitment to the rights of all Afghans, particularly women and girls.”
Donors should urge the Afghan government to take specific steps to curb torture by the Afghan security forces, advance women’s rights, and revitalise the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the watchdog said.
To effectively monitor human rights developments, the donors should jointly establish an independent monitoring and reporting mechanism to assess all areas of rights protection, including accountability for serious abuses, treatment of prisoners, women’s rights, children’s rights, corruption, and freedom of the media.
It said the withdrawal of most foreign military forces by the end of 2014 raise concerns that donors will reduce their commitment to Afghanistan on the basis that the core security mission has been accomplished.
Human Rights Watch urged the donors to recognize that safeguarding human rights is crucial for a more stable, inclusive, and prosperous Afghanistan.
Defending human rights gains will require continuing international support to and pressure on the new administration of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
“Donors need to press President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah at the London conference to take stronger measures to address violence against women, end the impunity of the security forces, and ensure the future of Afghanistan’s human rights commission,” Kine said.
“The coming weeks and months will be a critical time for human rights in Afghanistan and for the future direction of the country.”
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