The situation of human rights in Afghanistan and technical assistance achievements in the field of human rights - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/34/41)

Report
from UN Human Rights Council
Published on 11 Jan 2017 View Original

Summary

The present report is being submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 2/113 and resolution 14/15. It describes the human rights situation in Afghanistan from January to November 2016 and provides an overview of the core work and technical assistance conducted by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The report focuses on the five principal areas of work of the Unit, namely: protection of civilians in armed conflict; human rights and the protection of children in armed conflict; the elimination of violence against women, increasing women’s participation in peacebuilding and security, and gender equality; the prevention of torture and arbitrary detention; and the integration of human rights into peace and reconciliation processes.

The report concludes with concrete recommendations to the Government, anti-government elements and the international community.

I. Introduction

1. The present report is being submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 2/113 and resolution 14/15. It covers the period from January to November 2016 and has been prepared in cooperation with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

2. The report focuses on the five principal areas of work of the UNAMA Human Rights Unit, namely: protection of civilians in armed conflict; human rights and the protection of children in armed conflict; the elimination of violence against women, increasing women’s participation in peacebuilding and security, and gender equality; the prevention of torture and arbitrary detention; and the integration of human rights into peace and reconciliation processes.

3. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) continued to provide support to the human rights mandate of UNAMA, and the Director of the UNAMA Human Rights Unit represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan.

II. Context

4. In 2016, the political and security situations remained fragile. Fighting intensified during the second quarter of the year and continued at high levels for the remainder of the reporting period. The Government of Afghanistan and its international partners attempted to reverse the gains made by the Taliban and other anti-government elements. Civilian casualties from conflict-related violence remained high. Planned reductions in foreign force levels were adjusted to retain a greater presence than originally envisioned. In July, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced continued support for Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016, with force contributions and donations to forces of the Government of Afghanistan.

5. On 29 September, the Government of Afghanistan and Hizb-i Islami Gulbuddin signed a peace agreement. On 4 and 5 October, at an international donor conference in Brussels, €13.6 billion were pledged for development assistance in 2017-2020, but little to no reference was made to human rights.