Civil society activists in Afghanistan’s eastern region of Nangarhar called on all parties to the conflict to respect national, Sharia and international humanitarian law in preventing civilian casualties in armed conflict.
Speaking at a UNAMA-organized workshop focused on protection of civilians, extra-judicial killing and abduction, activists demanded that all the parties to the conflict respect human rights. In common with international humanitarian law, national and Sharia law distinguishes between combatants and non-combatants.
Civil society representatives agreed to coordinate with Nangarhar’s Provincial Council to draw media attention to the issue and to hold a press conference next week to highlight the issues to the public and all parties.
In addition to discussing conflict-related violence and its impact on civilians, workshop participants also addressed the recent increase in the number of families denied access to anti-polio vaccines in the eastern provinces. More than 60,000 children in the region have not been vaccinated, including 42,000 in Nangarhar, 17,000 in Kunar and more than 5,000 in Nuristan.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and international treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party.