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OHCHR in Afghanistan (2006-2007)


Background

 
Since 2002, OHCHR has been working with and supporting the human rights component of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). There are ongoing efforts to enhance UNAMA's capacity to meet with its obligations under the Afghanistan Compact, the new framework for international cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, and its new mission mandate. These efforts include strengthening the human rights unit (HRU), particularly at the regional and sub-regional offices.

OHCHR Afghanistan project supports the work of UNAMA HRU in building the capacity of the Government and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The AIHRC is recognized as the primary agency for protecting and promoting human rights in Afghanistan and focuses on six programmatic areas: human rights education, monitoring and investigation of complaints, protection and promotion of women's rights, protection and promotion of child rights, transitional justice, and rights of persons with disabilities. OHCHR is also providing technical expertise to the Government on meeting its treaty reporting obligations in a joint project with the Government and UNDP.

In addition, OHCHR serviced the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Afghanistan , which was discontinued at the 61 st session of the Human Rights Commission in 2005. At that session, the High Commissioner was given the mandate for monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in Afghanistan to the next sessions of the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights. The new Human Rights Council at its resumed second session requested for the High Commissioner to continue monitoring the human rights situation in Afghanistan and to regularly report to the Council paying special attention to the rights of women and the achievements of technical assistance in the field of human rights. 

 

2006-2007 Programme

 

UNAMA HRU is expected to be strengthened through the deployment of more human rights officers to the regional and sub-regional offices. The role of UNAMA's human rights officers (HROs) will include not only monitoring and investigating human rights violations, but determining the extent to which state building efforts are successful in promoting and protecting human rights. HROs will work in close cooperation with AIHRC and other members of civil society in order to create greater awareness among the Afghan people, particularly women, of their human rights and the availability for redress in respect to human rights abuses, as well as to enhance the monitoring and investigating capacity in the regions. OHCHR will also deploy human rights officers to be located in UNAMA HRU to provide support and assistance in the latter's work with the AIHRC.

UNAMA's HROs are also expected to be placed in Kabul to strengthen its capacity in the area of transitional justice in order to ensure implementation of the Action Plan on Peace, Reconciliation and Justice in Afghanistan and to contribute towards ending impunity. Consultations will be carried out with stakeholders in the regions; advocacy for the implementation of the Plan will be undertaken; and the foundations for the eventual investigation of mass graves will be laid.

OHCHR/UNAMA will advocate for the respect of and adherence to international human rights norms by the Government. Training will be offered on the implementation of human rights standards. This training will be based on OHCHR manuals and guidelines, which will be translated into local languages. OHCHR HROs will also be placed in Government ministries and departments to enhance the national capacity to comply with treaty obligations.

OHCHR/UNAMA will also work to have human rights principles and standards incorporated into all UN activities in the country. Guidelines on rights-based approaches will be disseminated and coordinated strategies on human rights will be developed. The mainstreaming of human rights in all UN development activities will be further supported by the participation of the Chief of UNAMA HRU, as the High Commissioner's Representative in Afghanistan , in the meetings of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT). The role of the Chief of UNAMA HRU in the UN Country Team will be supported by the OHCHR HROs deployed to Kabul and located in UNAMA HRU.

 

Expected Accomplishments

 
Greater awareness among the Afghan people, particularly women, of their human rights and the availability of redress for human rights abuses.

Enhanced human rights monitoring and investigating capacity in the regions.

Enhanced conformity of national laws and policies with international human rights standards.

Contributing towards holding accountable those responsible for serious war crimes and crimes against humanity with a view to ending impunity.

Human rights principles and standards incorporated and adhered to in all United Nations activities in the country.

Contact Information

Headquarters

Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division
Geneva, Switzerland

Asia Pacific Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9659
Geneva, Switzerland
 
Field

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Address: Human Rights Unit, UNAMA, Compound B,
Building 5 - Annex, Kabul
Tel: (39) 083 124 6147 and/or (1) 212 963 2668
Fax: (39) 083 124 6296 and/or (1) 212 963 2669
E-mail: gagnong@un.org

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