Afghanistan reviewed by the UPR
Monday, 11 May 2009 01:23


On 7 May 2009, the UPR Working Group reviewed the human rights situation in Afghanistan. The 13-person delegation was led by Dr Muhammad Qasim Hashimzai, Vice-Minister of Justice. A large number of States took part in the dialogue, expressing their appreciation for Afghanistan’s comprehensive and frank national report and for the progress achieved in the last seven years. Many States, however, also addressed challenges, many of which were acknowledged in the national report. The delegation tried its best in carefully answering questions and concerns. The following main issues were raised:

  • Women: Many States expressed their concern about continuing widespread discrimination and violence against women and, in particular, about the adoption of the Shia Personal Status Law, restricting the rights women. Several States recommended to amend the law in accordance with international law
  • Children: There was widespread concern about the many challenges faced by children, such as lack of education and their recruitment by (State and non-State) armed groups. Particularly the rights of girls was a major concern, especially with regard to education, forced marriage and the low age of marriage
  • Independence judiciary and NHRI: Questions were raised about the independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights norms in relation to the right to a fair trial and due process. Some States recommended reforming and strengthening the judicial system. Concerns were also raised about the independence of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  • Freedom of expression and the press: Many concerns were expressed about the lack of media diversity and limited freedom of expression, and the increase in threats and intimidations against journalists. Some States recommended to swiftly implement the new media law
  • Death penalty: Several States recommended the re-establishment of a moratorium on executions as an initial step towards the abolition of the death penalty. Egypt, however, recommended Afghanistan uphold its sovereign right to impose the death penalty
  • Ratification and cooperation with international mechanisms: Some States recommended the ratification of other (new) international treaties and Optional Protocols and the submission of periodic reports to the treaty bodies. Some States stressed that many international human rights obligations have yet to be incorporated into existing domestic laws or translated into new laws
  • Technical support and overall assistance from the international community: Almost all States, including Afghanistan itself, underlined the importance of assistance and technical support from the international community
  • Other concerns raised included the fight against corruption, the security situation and the increase of civilian casualties, torture and administrative detention, difficulties surrounding transitional justice, upcoming elections, the worsened situation of IDPs, challenges with regard to health care, poverty alleviation, and food security.


ISHR's reports on the UPR reviews can be found here

Click here for general information about the UPR and reviews from this session onfthe Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, Congo, Malta, and New Zealand.

Download the timetable for the remainder of the 5th session.



Last Updated on Monday, 11 May 2009 04:32
© by The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) 2018