Marking International Human Rights Day with this year’s theme being Youth Stand Up for Human Rights, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on Tuesday highlighted the role of young people in the promotion and protection of human rights.
“Young people have always been drivers of political, economic and social change, and in Afghanistan the young generation is crucial for shaping the future of the country,” UNAMA head Tadamichi Yamamoto said. “But for their full potential to be reached, protecting their rights is essential.”
Afghanistan has a very youthful population, with almost two-thirds estimated to be under the age of 25, according to UNAMA.
Notwithstanding significant progress made especially in relation to access to health services and education for girls and boys, including the enactment of the Child Act in March 2019, millions of children in Afghanistan are deprived of their basic rights – including their right to life, to health, to learn, to play, to participate and to develop to reach their full potential, UNAMA said.
It said that children continue to be negatively affected by attacks on schools and hospitals, disproportionately harmed by explosive remnants of war, and subjected to recruitment and use by parties to the conflict, as well as sexual violence.
“Listening to victims of human rights violations should be a top priority for the authorities of Afghanistan, and especially so when the victims are children, as lack of accountability fosters a climate of impunity where human rights abusers thrive,” said Fiona Frazer, UNAMA’s Human Rights Chief and the Country Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“The protection of children, women and other vulnerable groups must be at the core of any national human rights protection strategy.
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