Agenda Item 6: Universal periodic review
Statement by: International-Lawyers.Org and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
4 July 2019
Thank you, Mr President,
We welcome the report of the working group on the Universal Periodic review of Afghanistan.
While a legal framework to provide protection for violence against women has been established, there remain obstacles limiting women’s access to justice.
We applaud the enactment of local laws on the elimination of violence against women as a major development as well as the steps undertaken by the government to implement and enforce the law. However, it is not implemented to the same degree in all provinces and is in many cases subject to mediation and to decisions based on cultural norms rather than the use of the legal framework to ensure accountability.
Lack of easy access to justice and accountability for gender-based crimes is leading to ineffective implementation of existing legislations. The institutional, social and cultural obstacles need to be addressed in this instance.
Very few cases of violence against women, particularly cases of rape or sexual abuse, are reported compared with the actual prevalence rates. Women and girls are prevented from reporting acts of violence for reasons including stigma, shame and discrimination, as well as the insufficient protection mechanisms.
International-Lawyers.org and Geneva Centre for International Justice recommend that Afghanistan reinforce its measures protecting women and girls from violence and ensure the implementation of the legal frameworks permitting access to justice for gender-based crimes.
Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice