Assisting human rights advocates to carry out their work in accordance with the UN Human Rights System was the focus of a UN-backed workshop in Pul-e-Khumri the capital of northeastern Baghlan province.
Close to 20 members of the local civil society and human rights community took part in the one-day event.
Participants were briefed on the recently published Dari and Pashto versions of the “Civil Society Space and the UN Human Rights System” booklet, which has been progressively launched in Afghanistan starting in September.
Prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the publication is designed to aid activists take full advantage of the UN Human Rights System to promote freedom of expression and association, peaceful assembly and the right to participation.
Ghulam Rasul Qani, a civil society activist, noted that the workshop was a valuable learning opportunity that would enhance the effectiveness of human rights work in the province.
While the ongoing conflict was identified as a factor that tended to limit the operations of civil society, Sayed Arif Abid, the head of the Executive Board of Baghlan Civil Society Organizations Network, recommended the establishment of a provincial mechanism for the protection of civil society activists.
Baghlan is a strategic province that connects north and northeastern provinces through the Salang Pass with the capital Kabul, and is home to significant industry, including a large cement factory.