Takhar civil society strategizes on promoting, defending human rights

11 Mar 2018

Takhar civil society strategizes on promoting, defending human rights

TALOQAN - The role of civil society members in promoting and defending human rights was the focus of a recent UN-backed event in the northeastern province of Takhar.

A group of activists and human rights defenders from in and around Takhar’s capital, Taloqan, participated in the symposium, which focused on enabling civil society members to empower their communities by increasing their awareness of human rights standards.

Participants discussed the many challenges faced by communities across the restive northeastern province, including what they said was an increase in the number of armed groups regularly violating human rights.

One of the participants, Munir Ahmad Hadaf, the head of Takhar’s Provincial Civil Society Network, called for enhancing the mechanisms in place to protect human rights defenders and proposed better coordination among different civil society members across the province.

The discussion at the event, which was organized by UNAMA’s Kunduz regional office, was framed by a UN Human Rights booklet called ‘Space of Civil Society and UN Human Rights System.’ The booklet is designed to offer practical recommendations on how to create and maintain free and independent civil society.

UNAMA has facilitated similar events in Afghanistan’s other northeastern provinces of Kunduz, Baghlan and Badakhshan. Takhar, a multi-ethnic and mostly rural province with a population of an estimated one million people, borders Tajikisan to the north.

In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.

UNAMA recognizes the important role played by various civil society members in influencing positive change in their communities, including by defending the rights of vulnerable groups, fostering peace and working with the government to improve the delivery of essential services.