We raise awareness and increase knowledge on the situation of human rights and development in Afghanistan, Sweden and EU at large.
Engage in Policy Advocacy
We engage in policy advocacy and lobbying concerning human rights and development in Sweden and other key platforms within EU.
Context and Challenges
Afghanistan has been in protracted conflict for almost thirty-five years, which has seriously hampered poverty reduction and development, strained the fabric of society and depleted its coping mechanisms. Additionally, over the past five years, armed non-state actors have challenged the territorial control of the Government and expanded the geographical scope of the conflict beyond the southern and eastern regions of the country.
Consistent with last year’s trends, however, ground engagements continued to cause most civilian casualties followed by improvised explosive devices and suicide and complex attacks.
In addition to high numbers of civilian casualties and huge population displacement due to conflict, 2017 continues to bear witness to restricted access to health and education facilities, with 17 conflict-related incidents targeting health-care or health-care workers recorded within the reporting period. Forced displacement is reported from 29 out of 34 provinces and 58 per cent of all displaced people are girls and boys under 18.
According UNDP’s Human Development Report 2015, Afghanistan ranks 171st out of 188 countries surveyed. Factoring into this low score are endemic challenges of poverty (36%), low participation of women in the national workforce, a high dropout rate for children and inadequate healthcare.
Despite some progress, human security remains Afghanistan’s major challenge. Some districts remain inaccessible due to continuing anti‐government activity. Afghanistan faces an uncertain economic outlook. Growth has slowed considerably and unemployment is on the rise. Ongoing insecurity hampers investment and encourages many of the most productive and well-educated citizens to migrate.
The World Bank estimates that growth in 2016 will be below 2% percent and will remain low in the medium term. Declining levels of international support have reduced demand and contributed to deflation, which is likely to exacerbate an unemployment rate already at 40 percent.
Women still face widespread discrimination and human rights abuses. Most girls remain out of school, women are largely restricted to low-paid, unregulated employment, harassment is widespread, political participation is limited, and women face numerous obstacles to getting fair treatment from the justice system. In addition, women are often shut out from effective and gender-responsive healthcare – particularly in rural areas, where a lack of facilities and trained female healthcare providers remains a serious barrier improving health outcome.
Access to justice remains limited, particularly for the poor, those in isolated areas and women. There is only one lawyer for every 11,000 people and a need for greater capacity among legal professionals and relevant government institutions. Legislation is often contradictory or fails to comply with international best practices and Afghanistan’s international obligations. Awareness of human rights and legal procedures is low and compounded by high rates of illiteracy. As a result, traditional justice bodies, whose verdicts sometimes conflict with human rights standards, settle 80% of disputes.
Afghanistan is among those countries most threatened by climate change. Despite an abundance of renewable energy possibilities, including wind, water, solar and biomass, inadequate technology, policy and management capacity mean they are not being properly exploited. Forest coverage has been decimated, very little land is available for farming, and environmental degradation and poor management of natural resources have left a legacy of pollution and public health issues.
BRD Theory of Change
Raise awareness on increase knowledge on the situation of human rights and development in Afghanistan in Sweden and EU at large:
BRD as rights-based organization and part of Swedish civil society will continue to be engaged and awareness raising on the situation of human right and development in Afghanistan, through improved communication through its social media platforms, organization events and information sharing through participation in the relevant meeting, seminars and conference both in Sweden and EU in order to generate more support for improving human rights and development in Afghanistan. BRD has completed a comprehensive communication strategy and developed an action plan for outreaching to a broader audience. Effective communication with key actors and donors will facilitate better relation with BRD existing donor and partners within EU and can also create new opportunities for partnership and collaborations.
Engage in policy advocacy and lobbying concerning human rights and development in Sweden and other key platforms within EU;
BRD is actively engaged and lobbying and advocacy as part of the Swedish civil society to increase support and encouraging more resources for addressing the key challenges in the way of human rights, peace, security and development in Afghanistan. BRD has been actively participating in the civil society consultation process for the new 4 years strategy for Afghanistan by the government of Sweden, organized by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and Folk Benedetti Akademie (FBA). BRD will soon join the CONCOD Advocacy Platform through which BRD will have access to the European Union. BRD is also engaged in advocacy and lobbying in Geneva, recently we have been engaged with ISHR and other key players for providing civil society prospective in the criteria and activities for the recruiting special reporter on Human Rights Defender.