KABUL Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Tuesday called for accelerating efforts at starting intra-Afghan peace talks, which the commission termed a reasonable way to end conflict and stop bloodshed.
A statement from AIHRC received by Pajhwok Afghan News said that war was the most serious challenge for law enforcement and observing human rights in Afghanistan.
AIHRC reports indicate a shocking and unprecedented increase in civilian casualties, the source said, adding the conflict denied Afghan citizens access to their basic human rights, including the right to health and justice.
The commission said security concerns affected people’s rights to freedom of movement, travel and peaceful assembly.
“War casualties have led to an increase in the number of poor and single-parent households and orphaned children, which in turn has alarming consequences for the human rights situation of children in urban and rural areas,” the statement added.
It said the ongoing conflict has diminished opportunities for investment and entrepreneurship and affected people’s right to work and employment.
“The current war has led to an increase in the number of vulnerable groups such as Internally Displaced Persons, immigrants, people with war-related disabilities, widows and child soldiers. These groups are often deprived of their basic human rights,” the source continued.
Despite the devastating impact of war on their lives, these vulnerable groups lack a clear and defined role in the peace talks: their concerns and demands are not voiced in this important process, the commission said.
“AIHRC calls on the parties to talk to agree on a clear mechanism to consider and integrate the demands and concerns of these groups in the negotiation process,” it added.
The commission said it believed peace talks could only be fruitful if the parties recognized the diverse and multifaceted realities of Afghanistan and reflected the diversity by forming inclusive negotiating teams.
As an impartial and non-political institution, AIHRC will have a constructive role and will contribute to this important national process, the source said, adding that the commission will monitor parties’ compliance with human rights standards in various stages of the process.
Acknowledging that the current conflict has created an enabling environment for gross and widespread violation of human rights, AIHRC emphasized that disregard for human rights in the peace talks will not lead to a peaceful future for Afghanistan.
To achieve lasting peace, the peace process must ensure presence, participation and inclusion of human rights institutions, women and other representatives of diverse segments of the Afghan society, the statement concluded.