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. 
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.
Boys feel too ashamed to report sexual harassment from their teachers. (Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Mohammad Asef Ghazniwal
12 Feb 17
Students in Ghazni province say that they are too ashamed to make formal complaints.
Sudabah Ehrari
12 Feb 17
Gender violence, poverty and associated social problems fuels widespread mental health problems.
Pedestrians pass through the Torkham border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
10 Feb 17
An influx of former refugees returning from Pakistan has put intense pressure on services.
An Afghan midwife student examining a pregnant woman at the Bamiyan Provincial hospital. (Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Arezo Mohammadi
9 Feb 17
Community care has massively reduced maternal mortality.
Mosa Khan Zabuli
6 Feb 17
Event hears how social development has suffered as a result.
A participant at the IWPR debate in Baghlan province. (Photo: IWPR)
Hamid Shirzai
31 Jan 17
Observers warn that groups intended to help maintain stability are abusing their power.
A member of the Afghan Air Force stands in the doorway of a hangar in Kandahar. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Zabiullah Mobariz
31 Jan 17
Social prejudice and limited facilities makes life tough for the handful of female students at the country’s aviation academy.
Afghan girls look through a window of a classroom in Kabul,. (Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)
30 Jan 17
Women are still routinely disrespected and even abused for giving birth to baby girls.
Ordinary Afghans face harassment due to their family links. (Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Farid Tanha
27 Jan 17
Relatives of both of state security operatives and insurgents say they are subject to harassment from the other side.