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Dec 06, 2017
UN envoy pins hope on revised Afghan penal code
Dec 05, 2017 - 19:32
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday hailed the revised Afghanistan Penal Code as an important step towards protection of human rights, but the Afghanistan rights body says many problems remain in the area.
UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, told an event here that the code criminalized Bacha Bazi after the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission broke silence on the issue and published a report.
The Penal Code, a collection of 33 relevant laws, after some amendments and correction in some of its provisions was officially introduced on November 11.
Some crimes -- such as cyber crime, Bacha Bazi, land grabbing, administrative corruption, corruption and rigging -- which were not considered crimes in the previous version of the penal code, were added to the new code.
Tadamichi Yamamoto also congratulated Afghanistan over obtaining membership of UN Human Rights Council and said: “The promises made by the Afghan government while obtaining membership of this council should be implemented properly.”
Afghanistan became member of UN Human Rights Commission last year.
AIHRC head Sima Samar, who also attended the meeting, said Afghanistan had major achievements in human rights area during the past 16 years, but problems still persisted.
She called insecurity, civilian casualties in the conflict, poverty, joblessness, children’s abuse and child labor were forms of human rights violations still many Afghans suffered from.
“Eight million children currently have access to education across the country, but many children (a majority of girls) still do not have access to education.”
She said almost half of the nation was suffering from economic problems, something misused by militants and mafia groups.
She said many Afghans still lacked access to justice amid weak law enforcement. She said presence of children and Bacha Bazi in Afghan Local Police (ALP) ranks was a problem yet to be addressed.
Samar said many Afghan women continued to face different types of violence. She asked the government to take necessary steps towards dealing with the mentioned problems.
Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak, who was present in the meeting, said problems still existed in Afghanistan but his ministry was trying to fully enforce laws.
“I want to improve relations between the people and police, you would soon witness changes in police behavior and performance,” he said.
Barmak said there were no children in Afghan National Police while 90 percent of ALP forces had been cleared of children.
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