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More focus urged on human rights in peace talks

10 Dec 2019 Pajhwok Afghan News


(Pajhwok): Speakers of a meeting in capital Kabul on Tuesday said human rights were not ‘a western phenomenon’ but Islam gave many rights to humans and the peace process should also be human rights-centric.

The Afghanistan

Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) organized the meeting on the occasion of International Human Rights Day and National Day of War Victims.

Besides Afghan officials, some foreign ambassadors and guests also attended the meeting.

Sarwar Danish, second vice-president, talking at the meeting, said that despite AIHRC’s many achievements over the last 17 years, still many problems remained in maintaining human rights in the country.

War, corruption, discrimination, civilian casualties and law violations were problems in observing human rights in Afghanistan, he said.

“Stable peace without observing human rights and justice is not possible, human rights activists, women

, civil society
representatives and media should have a meaningful presence in the peace process,” Danish said.

“We still see human rights as a western phenomenon and a cultural invasion, but it is not correct, Islam has special respect for humans and we should not hide things our holy religion gives to humans,” he said.

Danish added that Islamic scholars, media and educational institutes should play their role in fighting the concept that human rights were a western phenomenon.

Shahrzad Akbar, AIHRC head, welcomed approval of Child Rights Protection Law and said the law would help protect children’s rights and improve their livelihood.

The law was approved by the Wolesi Jirga

or lower house of the parliament on Monday. However, the law faced opposition from some lawmakers who said the age of 18 should not be the age of adultness but physical maturity should be defined.

“We need to think realistically about our failures and shortcomings and give great efforts for improvements besides we should keep our past achievements,” Akbar said.

 She said the peace process should be inclusive and warring sides should care for demands of war victims, women and youth for making the process a success.

Pierre Mayaudon, European Union envoy to Afghanistan who was also present in the meeting, said that all peace discussions should be human rights protection centric.

He said abandoning key rules of human rights was destructive, not only for Afghanistan, but for the EU as well.

“This year’s human rights discussions vary from other years talks that there should be more focus on human rights in the peace process, we support AIHRC, we also support the commission in its budget and equipment,” he said.

He added that criminal economy, drug smuggling, increasing drug addicts and child labor were human trafficking cases, a byproduct of the war.

“Not only war, but many other factors also cause human rights violations”, Mayaudon said.

“I want to say that working for human rights is working for peace, when a government forgets about its children, it is a weak government, and when a government defends affected people, it is a powerful one,” he said.

UN secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, told the audience that it was important that the youths stood for the protection of human rights and they should stand for it.

“These youths give hope for the future of Afghanistan, because they are the people who build foundation of the society, we have strong youths in media and civil society who I praise,” he said.

Protection of human rights is important not only for Afghans, but for all because it can prevent all injustice in societies, he said.


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