As part of the preparations for the Geneva Conference in November 2018, APPRO made a presentation on Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG-DEVCO), in Brussels on June 15, 2018. The presentation highlighted the key outcomes from ARM, the remaining challenges and ways forward in promoting and protecting fundamental rights in Afghanistan. 

About the Presentation 

During the Brussels Conference of October 2016, the Government of Afghanistan presented its agenda to sustain development, peace and reconciliation efforts in the country during 2017-2021. Endorsed by the international community and civil society participants, Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) outlines Afghan-led efforts to achieve self-reliance through sustainable development. Specific commitments to  fundamental  rights were made by the Afghan Government under ANPDF and  the “Self-Reliance Through Mutual Accountability Framework” (SMAF), endorsed at the Brussels Conference.

These commitments are at the core of the Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) project, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by APPRO-Europe through Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO) from 2015 to 2018, to support informed policy and action on the protection and promotion of fundamental rights consistent with Afghanistan’s commitments and treaty obligations.

ARM is premised on the recognition that the most basic, fundamental rights of Afghan citizens are under threat by the ongoing armed conflict and resultant instability. Under these conditions, effective and efficient rights programming by international donors and the Government of Afghanistan requires in-depth knowledge of a rapidly changing context with a wide range of localized variations on the one hand, and evidence-based, constructive interface between the government, civil society, regional and international stakeholders on the other. To serve these requirements, ARM was designed to:

  1. Conduct regular monitoring of the current conditions of fundamental rights in Afghanistan using a set of indicators based on internationally recognized standards for monitoring Civic, Social and Economic rights
  2. Generate informed, pragmatic, and constructive advocacy by civil society on fundamental rights’ needs, based on empirical data, and
  3. Increase the capacity and responsiveness of public institutions to evidence-based advocacy on fundamental rights by Afghan civil society.

In November 2018 the United Nations will host the International Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Geneva. The body of knowledge created through implementing ARM is likely to make a timely contribution to the proceedings of the Geneva Conference since these findings take stock of the progress made in addressing fundamental rights to date, the remaining challenges, and the need for an inclusive discourse between the government and civil society to move forward.