The important role of community leaders in promoting and protecting human rights was the focus of a UN-backed event in Afghanistan’s southeast province of Ghazni.
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The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a report said that some 40 religious scholars, women’s rights activists, journalists and other community leaders gathered for the daylong symposium to discuss how civil society can more effectively empower their communities by increasing awareness of human rights and putting in place better mechanisms to protect those rights.
According to the report, during the discussion, the participants highlighted many challenges faced by communities across the southeastern province, including violence against women and human rights violations resulting from the armed conflict in Afghanistan.
As the discussion turned to education, participants called for investment in schools as well as in community awareness initiatives to promote human rights, especially the rights of women.
“Afghanistan should pay more attention to education,” said Wakil Ashrafi, a civil society activist. “Without an educated society, it’s difficult to address human rights.”
“At the conclusion of the daylong event – which also focused on formal methods to monitor and report violations – participants reaffirmed their commitment to promoting human rights in their communities and pledged to work together with the provincial government to advance the human rights agenda,” the report added.