ABOUT THE MINISTER
Afghanistan ratified most of the core international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economical, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention of the Rights of the Child. These instruments content a set of standards that form the basis of the UN human rights system and are a part of international law.
The ratification of the human rights treaties obliges Afghanistan to incorporate them into the domestic law and to enforce them in practice.Afghanistan made a legal commitment to abide by the international human rights treaties, setting forth in Article 7 of the Constitution of Afghanistan that “the State shall abide by the UN charter, international treaties, international conventions that Afghanistan has signed, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.
This pledge is further demonstrated by the Government’s commitments to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Afghanistan Compact and further elaborated in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and in its Second Pillar - Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights, which provides a comprehensive and integrated strategy, reflecting the recent experience and current conditions.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) establishes a Human Rights Support Unit (HRSU) to assist the Executive Branch to fulfill the State obligations in integrating human rights principles and standards into legislation, policy, and programmes, and consequently strengthening their service delivery to the people of the country.
The HRSU shall be primarily responsible for strengthening the Government’s capacity to fulfil its international human rights obligations in conformity with the Constitution of Afghanistan. The HRSU within the MoJ will act as an internal governmental mechanism, mandated to monitor, assess and evaluate the Executive Branch in regards to the implementation of human rights and to comply with and report on its human rights treaty body obligations.
The HRSU shall provide advisory services and technical assistance to the Executive Branch on applying human rights based approach in conducting their tasks, responsibilities and service delivery to the public.The work includes the formulation and implementation of policies, practices and procedures that develop government’s capacity to respect protectand fulfill its obligationsto ensure the enjoyment of human rights by all as it is enshrined in the Constitution:
The HRSU shall be placed within the MoJ and shall work closely with the Taqnin Department within the ministry. The HRSU shall be included into the Ministry’s organigram (Tashkeel).
At the inter-ministerial level, the HRSU shall work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health and other line ministries as may be required.
TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS SUPPORT UNIT AT THE MINISTERIAL LEVEL
At the Ministry level, the HRSU shall report directly to the Minister of Justice and the HRSU Task Force. The HRSU shall produce reports every six months. A draft report shall be sent, together with relevant documents, to the Minister of Justice and the Task Force for review and comments. The report may include recommendations to the relevant authorities. The report will be available to the public after its finalization and endorsement by the Task Force. The report shall also be published on the HRSU website.
1.5.1 Support provided by UNDP through the donors’ community
The UNDP’s Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan (JHRA) Project shall provide, within the budget and agreed activities, the necessary equipment to the MoJ to support the establishment and functioning of the HRSU.
1.5.2. Duration of the UNDP support to the HRSU
The UNDP support to the HRSU, including of staff hired under the project for HRSU, is limited only to the duration of JHRA Project and availability of financial resources thereto.Any future UNDP support to the HRSU shall depend on mutual UNDP and the Government of Afghanistan agreement and the availability of the required resources.
1.5.3. Support provided by MoJ
The Ministry in partnership with UNDP JHRA Project will rent suitable office space for the HRSU. The MoJ shall allocate the necessary office space for the HRSU once the Ministry completes the construction of new office facilities for its departments.
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