Promoting Human Rights and Good Governance in Afghanistan | Institute for War and Peace Reporting


Promoting Human Rights and Good Governance in Afghanistan

With the withdrawal of NATO-led combat troops and a new government led by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in 2014, Afghanistan continues to face huge challenges. The presidential election was a protracted process that itself caused uncertainty. According to Human Rights Watch, the troubled political transition, coupled with growing pressure from Taleban insurgents, contributed to a further deterioration in respect for human rights nationwide, including impunity for abuses committed by all military forces, indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian deaths, and threats to women’s rights and freedom of expression.


Despite the rapid development of independent media since the collapse of the Taleban regime in 2001, and the increased number of Afghans working as professional journalists, human rights abuses remain largely unreported. This is largely due to reporters lacking the capacity to investigate the issues, fear of reprisals, and that fact that some media outlets are controlled by warlords. As a result, investigative journalism remains weak, and few outlets have the skills, resources, or sometimes the will to undertake balanced, in-depth reporting. 

To address these issues, IWPR has launched an initiative aimed at Promoting Human Rights and Good Governance in Afghanistan, designed to develop the capacity and willingness of Afghan media to engage with human rights issues. The programme is funded by the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan.

The main aims of this intervention are:

  • Greater capacity of journalists and editors to conduct investigative journalism;
  • Higher number of in-depth reports produced on human rights matters;
  • Greater civil society engagement with human rights issues;
  • Improved independent human rights monitoring;
  • Support for wider efforts to advance human rights, good governance and rule of law;
  • Building capacity for collective action on critical issues, particularly among traditionally marginalised groups (including women and young people) and among communities living outside major urban centres. 
27 Mar 17
Without officials papers it’s impossible to vote, travel or get medical care.
Afghan boys study Koran in a religious school. (Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)
Akmal Zaher
27 Mar 17
Children face routine beatings both at home and at school.
Aryan Parwani
27 Mar 17
Official promises to ensure community has access to basic services have yet to be realized.
Sohaila Ahmadi
22 Mar 17
The consequences of early marriage often ruin girls’ lives.
Poppy field in Afghanistan's Helmand province. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
Gul Ahmad Ehsan
16 Mar 17
Local producers say they can now plant and harvest their fields all year round.
Akmal Zaher
11 Mar 17
Women say they face unremitting harassment in the public sphere.
The Hazrat e-Ali mosque complex in the northern town of Mazar e-Sharif. (Photo: ISAF Public Affairs Photo)
Qayum Babak
2 Mar 17
Activists warn of flourishing trade in male prostitution and “bacha bazi” or boy play.
A classroom in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Mohammad Ibrahim
27 Feb 17
A lack of security in districts means that boys and girls can simply not learn.
A boy begs in the busy market area of Kabul. (Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Ozra Aziz
27 Feb 17
Impoverished parents and organised gangs routinely exploit children for profit.
Nangarhar University graduates. (Photo: UNAMA News/Flickr)
Zahir Tarakai
14 Feb 17
Lack of representation means that women find it even harder to access justice.