Afghanistan

Press Release: Ms. Leila Zerrougui Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict visits Kabul

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Kabul – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with UNAMA and UNICEF held a meeting to welcome Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and discuss the implementation of Afghan government’s commitments towards protecting the rights of children affected by armed conflict.

According to the 2010 report of Ms. Kara Korumi, UN Special Rapporteur, the name of Afghan National Police was added to the UN Secretary General list of shame, based on underage recruitment in Afghan National Security Forces.

In accordance with article (7) of the Afghan constitution, the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is obliged to observe, protect and realize the human rights values. Maintain and protecting of children’s rights as the vulnerable group is one of the fundamental priorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s foreign policy and international relations.

The Government of Afghanistan is committed to align the provisions of International Human Rights Instruments and the resolutions of the UN aimed at upholding and realizing children’s rights with its national structures in the areas of legislation, policy making and institution building; and monitor and report on its compliance.

The Government of Afghanistan in coordination and collaboration with other relevant organizations, Steering Committee Members, UNAMA and UNICEF in Kabul has had significant achievements in different spheres. Moreover, the codification of action plan, ratification of Prohibition of Underage Recruitment Law for the Afghan security forces; adoption of action plan consist of 15-article and a road map to prevent child recruitment in the Afghan National Security Forces; adoption of Age Assessment Guidelines to prevent and respond to child recruitment in the Afghan National Security Forces; preparation and sending four reports on implementation of Action Plan and its achievements; establishment of child protection unites in the recruitment centers of Afghan national security forces in Balkh, Herat, Nangarhar; and to launch campaign under the name of “Children, No Soldier” throughout the country are the measures towards protection of children affected by armed conflicts.

These achievements signify the commitment of the Afghan Government towards protection of child recruitment in the Afghan National Security Forces.

The Government of Afghanistan appreciates the support and technical cooperation of UNAMA and UNICEF offices in Kabul towards protection of children affected by the armed conflict.

Despite these achievements, the realization of human rights of children is still faced with challenges. The Afghan Government in cooperation and collaboration with UNAMA, UNICEF and other international partners is committed to ensure preventive measures for child recruitment in the Afghan security forces as well as create conditions for reintegration of children affected by armed conflict.

Considering the progress and achievements, the Government of Afghanistan calls on the United Nations to consider the withdrawal of the name of Afghan national security forces from the UN Secretary-General’s list of shame.