Correctional Service Canada Commissioner Don Head concludes successful visit to Kandahar and Kabul, Afghanistan

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"During my visit, I had the opportunity to visit correctional institutions and meet my counterparts within the Government of Afghanistan.

"I praise their efforts in working to strengthen the Afghan correctional system and respect the rule of law. Canada is advising and assisting the Afghan security forces in establishing enduring security in Kandahar province and strengthening Kandahar prisons in ways that recognize rule of law and respect international standards of incarceration. To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $132 million to enhance Afghan justice and corrections capacity and infrastructure, provide training and mentoring to the military, police, and human rights workers.

"It is very clear to me that the Afghan government has made much progress in the area of corrections. This visit reaffirmed my confidence that the NDS and the Central Prison Directorate within the Ministry of Justice are committed to strengthening human rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan. It is important to consider how far the Afghans have come since the fall of the Taliban.

"I appreciated the open dialogue and the commitment both institutions have shown to working with Canada to improve the well-being of detained persons and to enhancing the professionalism of their respective organizations. We are proud to offer them the benefit of our advice and training."

The Correctional Service of Canada plays a key role in advancing one of Canada's six priorities in Afghanistan - which is to help the Afghan government sustain a more secure environment and promote law and order. Regular visits and discussions with our partners throughout the Afghan corrections system are an important part of this process.

Canada continues to contribute to human rights initiatives undertaken by several Afghan ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Justice and the NDS, as well as the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, among others. Canada's whole of government effort in Afghanistan is critical in assisting the Afghans in their efforts for democratization and security sector reform, including police, justice and corrections.

For more information, please contact:

Christa McGregor
Correctional Service Canada
(613) 808-5466

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada