Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – 18th Session
Intervention for Afghanistan
Delivered by Peter Mulrean
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., U.S. Mission
UN Human Rights Council
Geneva, January 27, 2014
The United States welcomes the Afghan delegation to the UPR Working Group.
We commend the work of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which, despite extremely difficult circumstances, continues to make significant progress in increasing awareness about human rights issues, documenting the current human rights situation, and speaking out about abuses. However, we are concerned that the government did not consult with civil society in the appointments of new commissioners (as required by the Paris Principles) and has only disbursed a small portion of the money it promised for its operation.
Afghans continue to face high levels of violence. We are alarmed by the increase in incidents of violence against women, including elected female officials and other women in high profile positions, as well as the punishment of victims of trafficking, family abuse, and other crimes.
We remain concerned by allegations of human rights violations by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
Bearing in mind these issues, we recommend that Afghanistan:
- Take measurable steps to fully implement the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law, and investigate thoroughly all suspected cases of gender based violence and violence against defenders of women’s rights and bring those responsible to justice;
- Thoroughly investigate allegations of human rights violations by members of the ANSF, and hold perpetrators accountable;
- Allow the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to safely operate and carry out its mandate in an independent and effective manner.