National Human Rights Program for Afghanistan (Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission)


The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has a constitutional mandate to promote and protect human rights in Afghanistan. The Commission continues the journey of building an Afghan society free of fear and discrimination. It lobbies with the government and other actors and contributes significantly to enhance human rights awareness, education, monitoring and reporting, and to empower Afghan citizens to defend their human rights. Switzerland together with other donors provides financial and when required technical support.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Afghanistan
Human rights
Governance
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Legal and judicial development
01.02.2019 - 31.12.2023
CHF 5'050'000
Background The current human rights situation in Afghanistan is framed within a complex setting, which indicates both an atmosphere of fear and hope. Despite the vast improvements and human rights achievements such as increased awareness of human rights among the public, trainings conducted for judges, prosecutors and police, incorporation of human rights in the curricula of universities, Afghanistan’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, transitional justice developments, gender policy and selection process of new commissioners based on the Paris Principles, the Commission’s mandate still faces serious challenges. The continuation of successive years of war, fragmented national security, weak rule of law and deeply felt human insecurity are among only some of the serious hindrances towards the institutionalization of human rights in Afghanistan.    
Objectives A just democratic and developed society where human rights are observed, respected and protected.
Target groups
  • Individuals in Afghanistan, particularly vulnerable groups such as women, children, people with disabilities and discriminated population.
  • Afghan state institutions (all three branches of the state authorities).
  • Civil Society Organisations, media, universities and schools.
Medium-term outcomes
  • Leadership: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission is respected and plays a leading role as an independent and influential institution in the field of monitoring, protection and promotion of human rights at the national and international level.
  • Promotion and empowerment: Human rights have been promoted at the level of individuals, communities, institutions and national plans. Individuals are able to exercise their human rights and institutions are able to fulfill their obligations to observe, protect and promote human rights.
  • Monitoring and protection: Human rights and freedoms of Afghan citizens are protected and respected in the laws, policies and practices of the responsible institutions as a result of the effective and continuous monitoring of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Results

Expected results:  

  • The Human rights discourse in Afghanistan, through active engagement, commitment and participation of stakeholders at the local, national and international level and utilization of the opportunities, mechanisms, procedures and mass media, is strengthened and safeguarded.
  • The knowledge, skills, understanding and capacity of individuals and institutions in observing, respecting and improving the situation of human rights in Afghanistan is enhanced by the Commission’s education and promotion initiatives.
  • Human rights are protected by enacting, amending, and modifying the laws, regulations and legal instruments through legal guarantees, conducting investigations and presenting recommendations to the appropriate national and international actors.


Results from previous phases:  

 

The Commission’s achievements in the area of monitoring, protection and promotion of human rights have led to measurable changes. On normative level, the Commission influenced the new Penal Code, laws against torture, harassment, child recruitment and human trafficking, the accession to the optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture and the National Action Plan on Resolution 1325. The Commission has published 20,000 magazines each month and conducted more than 1000 training workshops for civil society organizations and media to raise public awareness about human rights. It organised intensive human rights courses for community leaders, public servants and security and defence institutions, which improved their structural functioning and behaviour. It also revised school text books. The Commission has paid regular visits to marginalized groups and individuals such as women, persons with disabilities, children and returnees in order to protect their human rights. 500 visits to detention centres, shelters for women, youth and children and health centres took place annually. 289 illegally detained person were released in 2016 due to these activities. According to the joint external evaluation in 2018, the Commission should improve the cohesion among commissioners, improve planning, reporting and decentralisation of authority to field offices.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector North


Other partners
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (contribution)
Coordination with other projects and actors

This contribution will be synergetic with:

  • Afghanistan Access to Justice Program (AA2J)
  • The future SDC Civil Society engagement program

The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission collaborates and coordinates with:

  • Civil Society Organisation’s programs on promotion of civil society and human rights
  • Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) project, led by the Human Rights Working Group, and implemented through International Media Support (IMS), Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) and Afghanistan Civil Society Forum organization (ACSFo)
  • Citizen Charter implemented by OXFAM, AKDN etc., as well as Promote Program funded by USAID and implemented through Chemonics International, Afghan Aid, Tetra Tech, DAI, etc.
  • Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund of the World Bank (WB)

Coordination will take place with relevant departments and programs of the governmental entities such as the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Directorate of Human Rights and Women International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), etc.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   5'050'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   793'904 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   37'449'324
Project phases Phase 6 01.02.2019 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase) Phase 5 08.06.2015 - 31.12.2018   (Completed) Phase 4 01.05.2012 - 30.04.2015   (Completed)