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Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
Child Rights Protection Unit
Introduction: Taking into consideration its mandate emanated from article 58 of the Afghan Constitution and based on structure and mandates of the AIHRC for protection and promotion of child rights, the Child Rights Protection Unit has designed its work procedures in two parts of promotion and protection of child rights and carries out its activities in those directions. As we know Afghanistan is one of those countries that have signed Child Rights Convention and is duty bind for its implementation. Adherence to international conventions, especially to the Convention on Child Rights obliges the state of Afghanistan for better implementation of Child Rights Convention in a country where spirit of war still prevails and mostly victimizes children and women. There is an urgent need for elevation of public awareness on child rights.
Legal Base of the Child Rights Protection Unit: In accordance with article 21 of the law on structure and mandates of the AIHRC, resolution number 7 dated 12/2/1383, the Child Rights Protection Unit alongside other program units carries out all its activities, taking into consideration the strategic plan and action plan, national laws, observation of guiding principles and norms of the Commission and other child rights international documents to which Afghanistan is adhered.
Areas of Activities and Working Procedures
- Child rights awareness
- Monitoring on child rights observation and violations
- Establishment of coordination among government and non-governmental organs
- Putting forward suggestions and recommendations to the state
- Child Rights Promotion:
Child Rights Awareness:
The Child Rights Protection Unit considers its key and main duty to make the public aware about child rights through holding workshops, conferences, roundtable discussions, interviews and dialogues, publishing national and international documents to enlighten public mentality through publishing of brochures, handbooks on child rights, films, essays, posters and dissemination charts to elevate public awareness on child rights in the society.
Awareness raising programs on child rights are conducted according to the strategic plan of the Commission and monthly plan of this unit.
Public Awareness raising programs on child rights and awareness process is conducted mostly through holding workshops requested by government and non-governmental organizations or based on our strategic plan. Holding of workshops starts with preparing a proposal, consideration of logistic process, fixing the number of participants in a workshop, using various methods for conducting workshops, and continues with evaluation of the workshop, identification of qualified trainers and finally ends up with preparation of a report about the workshop. These are the steps observed by Child Rights Protection Unit.
In relation to publication of printed material and holding of roundtable discussions and conferences, the topics are mostly envisaged in the strategic plan and implemented according to their urgency.
The process of printing materials starts with handing over a proposal to the Executive Director and then instruction is given to the printing house. Based on the need and urgency of the topic, circulation number is determined. After printing, the published material are ready for distribution to participants of workshops, school teachers, justice, judicial and police organs, as well as to other people.
In relation to film production the procedure is that a proposal is handed over to the Executive Director Office and then the Press Unit receives quotations from different film making companies and they chose one company to produce the film.
Child Rights Protection Unit plays an important role in promotion of child rights through publication of research reports on children.
Publishing research reports and delivering them through media is very important for promotion of child rights in the society. This also relates to children human rights promotion which will be pointed out in protection section.
B: Monitoring Role: Base on article 58 of the Constitution, Child Rights Protection Unit conducts consistent monitoring on implementation of national and international documents about promotions of child rights in different organs such as Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disables, Ministry of Education and Public Health Ministry and considers its duty to monitor the centers where children are kept. If child rights violation is witnessed, they immediately contact the in charges and explain to them about child rights mentioned in the national and international documents and ask them to make commitment not to repeat the same violation. This issue covers both dimensions - promotion and protection of child rights therefore it will be explained in protection section too.
C: Coordination Role: Child Rights Protection Unit plays an important role in mobilization and coordination of child rights programs with other related sections of the Commission and outside national and international institutions. This coordination of activities is mostly in the area of child rights awareness programs and it is counted as one of the key responsibilities of this unit. Most of these coordination activities are carried out by in charges of this unit in cooperation with outside institutions or requested by outside institution for public awareness elevation through holding of workshops. In addition, implementation of the strategic plan is carried out through coordination among various institutions and NGOs.
D: Amendments in Children Law and Proposed Recommendations: Observation of Child Rights Convention and international documents in the national laws and standardizing the national laws is a duty of the state. Child Rights Protection Unit has made specific recommendations about reflection of international laws in the national laws. Regarding gaps in the law related to juvenile delinquencies, some points of views have been shared in specific sessions with the Ministry of Justice.
2. Child Rights Protection: Base on principles and items of the Convention on Child Rights and taking into consideration (the bests for children and taking into view the best interests of children), the Child Rights Unit is making serious efforts to protect valuable children, provide justice for children, ensure their participation, monitor the situation of children including child workers, addicted children and prevent child trafficking and child abuse taking into view observation of national and international laws as following:
A: Monitoring According to its mandates, the Child Rights Protection Unit is duty bind to monitor on general situation of children in the framework of the AIHRC responsibilities. Monitoring on situation of detained children, children without guardian who live in orphanages, street children, child workers and situation of children at schools is carried out as following:
Monitoring on Child Correction Centers: The basic aim of monitoring on children detention centers is to bring improvements in condition of detained children. Monitoring is conducted on welfare, health, education and sanitation situation of these children as well as observation of their rights during arrest and as a whole general condition of these children. At the end of monitoring mission a report on general situation of children mentioning the cases of child rights violations together with corrective recommendations are prepared to be handed over to related organs including ombudsmen section of Justice Ministry. These recommendations are sent to the Ministry of Justice for improvement of the situation in children detention centers. Monitoring on children correction centers are conducted at country level. The problems of children at detention centers in the provinces are discussed with related provincial authorities and also communicated to the Ministry of Justice for removal of those problems. In relation to children in conflict with law, monitoring is conducted on implementation of the said law and corrective recommendations are made. Also monitoring is conducted on juvenile delinquency investigations. Specific recommendations are made about lack of children correction centers in most of the provinces.
Monitoring on Orphanages: Monitoring on orphanages is conducted at country level. Health, welfare, food, educational situation, behaviors of teachers inside the orphanages is monitored. A report about problems of children together with recommendations about solution of the problems is prepared and sent to the related organs including to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disables and Ministry of Education.
Monitoring on Children Education Condition: In relation to protecting the right of children to education, Child Rights Protection Unit carries out consistent monitoring on education situation of children at schools and reports the cases of violation of children rights to education at schools to the Ministry Education through letters.
Coordination among Units in the Commission and Outside Institutions: To protect the rights of children whose wrights are violated, the cases are shared with Investigation and Monitoring Unit and Women Rights Unit. Most of the cases are received by the Child Rights Protection Unit through complaint addressed to this unit or obtained during monitoring missions. Protection of children through outside organs is mostly achieved through coordination meetings with government and non-governmental organizations and children come under protection. Participation in the monthly meetings with GMC, CPAN and AWN can be mentioned as examples. As envisaged in the strategic plan, Child Rights Protection Unit has cooperation with international institutions such as UNICEF, Union of Save the Children, Swedish-Norwegian Save the Children, USA Save the Children, British Save the Children, Japan Save the Children, EFA Institution and they cooperate with each others in most cases. Launching researches on child workers, children in conflict with law, publication of brochures can be mentioned as examples of such cooperation among the above mentioned organizations. In addition, reciprocal cooperation between this unit and state organs such as Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disables, Ministry of Fight Against Narcotics, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Information and Culture continues. Child Rights Protection Unit has established working committees with the said organs. Most problems related to children are discussed and evaluated in the committee sessions at these ministries and nongovernmental organizations. In cooperation with Women Rights Unit and, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and Human Rights Education Unit, complaints of children are evaluated and through various coordinated monitoring missions effective and necessary measures are taken. Sometimes such cooperation with government and nongovernmental organizations is carried out taking into consideration the best interests of children. Taking into consideration its strategic plan, Child Rights Protection Unit in cooperation with state organs designs specific strategies in relation to children in conflict with law, child beggars, and children with disability, sexually abused children, kidnapping and trafficking of children. Child Rights Protection Unit is duty bind for implementation of the strategy for children in crises which is prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disables and also cooperates with the said ministry in making the national plan for children with disability, preparing of a regulation for child beggars as well as the national plan for children in conflict with law.
Corrective Recommendations: Based on its monitoring and evaluation on activities of executive organs, judicial and justice, police and Education Ministry as a whole evaluation of general situation of children in the country, Child Rights Protection Unit presents consistent corrective recommendations to related state organs.
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