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Level of awareness on human rights up in Kabul

Level of awareness on human rights up in Kabul

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Apr 16, 2019 - 19:25

KABUL (Pajhwok): There has been a 26 percent increase in the number of individuals benefitting from services of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in Kabul province. The number of female beneficiaries soared by 43 percent. Last year, a total of 844 people visited the AIHRC office in Kabul. The visitors included only one man and 843 women. Article 58 of the constitution says: “To monitor respect for human rights in Afghanistan as well as to foster and protect them, the state shall establish the Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan. “Every individual shall complain to this commission about the violation of personal human rights. The commission shall refer human rights violations of individuals to legal authorities and assist them in defence of their rights. Organization and method of operations of the commission shall be regulated by law.” The AIHRC Kabul Office published its annual report on Learning and Promotion of Human Rights on Monday, saying hallenges still existed in safeguarding human rights in Afghanistan despite efforts to promote them. The report cited insecurity, cultural restraints, customs, economic problems, lack of awareness regarding human rights among people as some of the challenges that impeded common people’s access to their rights. The AIHRC Kabul Office, like in the past, organized long and short-term training programmes, workshops, seminars, meetings and conferences last solar year to promote awareness regarding human rights. Learning programmes regarding the rights of children at universities attracted 8,481 people from different walks of life in Kabul, Parwan, Panjsher, Kapisa, MaidanWardak, Logar and Ghazni provinces. Of the 8,400 participants, there were 53 percent women. In solar year 1396, over 2,600 people, including 51 percent women, had attended training and learning programmes of the AIHRC. The report said human rights awareness programmes were organised in Kabul in a balanced manner for men and women. According to the report, the number of persons who benefited from human rights services last year was 16,000 while over 7,400 referred to the human rights office for assistance. The surge in the number of people moving the AIHRC to register complaints and seek information showed the practical result of the panel’s hard work, the report claimed. Another positive result was a massive jump in the number of women referring to the AIHRC to seek assistance. There was a 42 percent rise in 2018, compared to the previous year. in the number of women referring to the AIHRC. It wrote that last year 845 people, including university students and colleges, referred to the AIHRC office for learning purposes. One among them was a man while the remaining were women. HR subject at private varsities According to the report, the subject of human rights was taught at Gohar Shad, Bakhtar, Katib, Isteqlal and Zawal universities last year, based on an agreement. In 2018, around 671 universities students -- 196 girls and 485 boys -- studied the subject of human rights. Promotion of HR knowledge The report said 256 individuals, including 64 women and 192 men, received training on principles and concepts of human rights. Those trained on this programme include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal experts, human rights advocators and employees of Meshrano Jirga and media outlets. On the other hand, a number of men and women learnt standards of human rights as part of 10-day courses and a run of seminars. The AIHRC has conducted 41 workshops for security and defence personnel. The courses featured 102 women and 338 men last year. About 563 men and 453 women have been provided with information on rights through conferences. Public awareness of children’s rights Though a lot of works have been done by different institutions to promote the rights of children, yet they are violated as a result of poor awareness among families and society. In 2018, the AIHRC regional office for the protection of children’s rights conducted 24 training sessions for schoolteachers, kindergarten personnel, girl students and other individuals who play an effective role in safeguarding the rights of children. Through these sessions, the awareness level among 477 women and 398 men improved, the report said, adding around 317 disabled women and 510 men received information on certain programmes of the commission. Challenges Insecurity, conflict, misuse of traditions and other extremist perceptions are main challenges in implementation of such programmes and public awareness of human rights in areas covered by the Kabul office. “One of the challenges that the commission regional office always faces in education programmes involves harsh interpretation of religious teachings. The people discussing this topic are more concerned with a fundamentalist view of the religion and term human rights an un-Islamic practice.” Suggestions The commission suggested signing of memorandums of understanding with the media, paving the way for a large number of university students and introduction of the human rights subject at public universities. It also called on ministries to take measures in this regard. The report, stressing the learning of human rights for schoolteachers, called illiteracy a major issue stemming from the lack of awareness. It urged a literacy programme to come up with more initiatives for enlightening uneducated people.

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