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

Project completed

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has a constitutional mandate to promote and protect human rights of women, men, girls and boys living in Afghanistan. Towards that end, the AIHRC lobbies and works with the Afghan government. It contributes to significantly enhance human rights awareness of Afghan people. Switzerland, together with a number of other development partners, supports the AIHRC financially, technically and when required politically.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Afghanistan
Human rights
Governance
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Legal and judicial development
08.06.2015 - 31.12.2018
CHF 1'850'000
Background

Gross human rights violations took place in Afghanistan during the last 3-4 decades of war and continue to occur. The Afghan Constitution (2004) guarantees universal human rights. Efforts over the past 12 years led to improvements in terms of freedom of expression, good governance, access to education and health care, among others. Despite such promising achievements, there are still many challenging areas for the promotion and protection of human rights and particularly women’s rights in the country.  These include: weak rule of law and continuation of impunity, access to justice, corruption, harmful traditions, growing conservative attitudes towards human rights values, growing threats to journalists in recent years and the worsening security situation.  

Objectives

A just, democratic and developed society where human rights are protected, respected and fulfilled.

Target groups
  • AIHRC
  • Women, children, people with disabilities and general Afghan population
  • The Afghan state/government (all three branches)
  • CSOs, media
  • Education institutions (universities, schools)

 

Medium-term outcomes
  1. Leadership: to exercise a leadership role on human rights in Afghanistan.
  2. Promotion of Human Rights: to support people, government and civil society understand, apply, observe and respect human rights.
  3. Empowerment: to strengthen and endeavor toward a dynamic, modern, efficient and effective management system and programs, to promote excellent organizational culture and to enhance the capacities and capabilities of the Commission’s staff for promotion, protection and monitoring of human rights.
  4. Protection and monitoring: to protect, monitor, advocate, and hold the state, public and private institutions and individuals accountable to fulfil, respect and protect human rights in Afghanistan.

 

Note: in AIHRC vocabulary these are the “strategic objectives”.

Results

Expected results:  

  • Reports of national inquiries, public hearings and thematic researches are published, disseminated and followed up.
  • Specialized, short term and long term, educational and training programs for police, national army, national security officials, attorneys, detention centers, lawyers and legal assistants are provided.
  • Provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and other international instruments are monitored and policy and program recommendations are provided to the State and CSOs.
  • All [received] complaints and cases of human rights violations, including violence, violence against women and children, destruction of the environment, corruption, addiction, poverty, unemployment, lack of education and health services and imbalanced development are documented, handled and advocated on a regular basis.

 


Results from previous phases:  

  • The AIHRC continues to do relevant, much needed and reputed work. It recently retained it’s A status (accorded by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI-ICC)).
  • Human rights are incorporated in higher education institutions’ curricula (55 Memoranda of Understanding).
  • People’s understanding of human rights is broadened (2011 survey: 49% of interviewees had good knowledge of human rights).
  • The right to freedom of expression, crimes like honour killing and rape are no longer considered taboos. Victims and their families are talking and seeking justice.
  • There has presumably been a noteworthy decrease in cases of torture throughout the country.
  • People, civil society organizations (CSOs) and media are frequently talking about transitional justice.
  • AIHRC was able to compile the controversial “conflict mapping report”.


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


Other partners
  • Other donors: Australia, Canada (lead donor), Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom
  • United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, ICRC, international NGOs
  • Other South Asian national human rights institutions
  • International Coordination Committee -  National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI-ICC)

 

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • CSOs such as the Civil Society Human Rights Network (CSHRN)
  • Justice and Human Rights Programme in Afghanistan (JHRA)
  • Human Rights Support Unit of the Ministry of Justice

 

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   1'850'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'731'813
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)