University students from Afghanistan’s southeast speak up for human rights

10 Oct 2019

University students from Afghanistan’s southeast speak up for human rights

GARDEZ - University students from the southeast province of Paktya gathered at a UN-backed symposium in the provincial capital of Gardez to make their voices heard on the crucial importance of respecting and protecting human rights.

More than 30 students from different faculties at Paktya University participated in the event, which was organized by UNAMA’s Gardez regional office to provide a platform for those interested in human rights to share ideas on how best to protect the rights of everybody in Afghanistan.

“Today’s event is inspiring me to do much more to promote the rights of women,” said Zarghona, a law student who indicated she plans to organize meetings with different women’s groups across the southeast province to carry the human rights agenda forward.

In the lively discussion, others expressed similar views, and all participants jointly agreed to collaborate at future events and engagements to promote human right inside Afghanistan and abroad.

At the close of the event, Paktya University’s law faculty dean, Noor Anwar Farooqi, said the event helped energize the young human rights advocates. “I believe they will follow their words with action and work to bring positive change in their communities,” he said.

Afghanistan has made significant advancements to protect and promote human rights, including by adopting laws that advance women’s rights, access to justice and press freedom. Nonetheless, challenges remain in actualizing these rights.

In Paktya, much like in other provinces across Afghanistan, the conflict continues to threaten the fundamental rights and freedoms of thousands of families who have been displaced from their homes and remain unable to access education, healthcare or meaningful employment opportunities.

The United Nations recognizes the crucial role young people can play when included and actively engaged in deterring human right abuses and finding lasting peace. Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015) urges member States to increase the representation of youth in decision-making because they are “a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and prosperity.”

UNAMA continues to work with advocacy groups and institutions, including youth groups, provincial councils, religious leaders, women’s groups and local media stations, to create platforms – using radio, social media and television – to enable Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.

In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. 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.