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Progress on human rights promotion underlined

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan government and the European Union (EU) delegations held a High Level Meeting on Human Rights on Monday in capital Kabul, a statement from the EU said,

Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabani, First Lady Rula Ghani, EU Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin, European Union Special Representative and Head of Delegation to Afghanistan attended the meeting which was co-chaired by DM Hekmat Karzai and Ambassador Mellbin.

The Government informed about achievements made and the ongoing work in the area of human rights such as women’s rights, children’s rights, torture and ill-treatment as well as freedom of expression.

Constructive discussions were held about the situation in Afghanistan and about cooperation between the EU and Afghanistan, including with its member states present in the country.

The Government reiterated its commitment to improve the human rights situation in Afghanistan in line with national and international obligations and to launch the necessary judicial reforms. The Government presented achievements such as its renewed Penal Code and its provisions on crimes against humanity, war crimes, human trafficking, sexual harassment and Bacha bazi.

Moreover, the Act against Torture has been approved and the Mechanism for Oversight has been established.

The Government has invited the UN Reporters for Human Rights Defenders to visit Afghanistan in 2017.

The EU welcomed the renewed Penal Code, the National Action Plan on early and child marriages and the National Action Plan for socially vulnerable persons and persons with disabilities.

The EU also pointed out that, although the adoption of laws and national action plans is a positive step, it has to be followed by the implementation and more concrete action to ensure human rights for all Afghan women and men, boys and girls.

The EU emphasised its commitment to strengthen human rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan, and encouraged the Government of Afghanistan to follow up on the recommendations made by the United Nationas (UN) Committee against Torture as well as to increase the efforts to stop violence and discrimination of women and girls in society.

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