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New law needed to protect victims of conflict and terrorism

Graphic: Dr Sima Samar, AIHRC Chairperson, addresses the media

A new report by the AIHRC found more than 64,000 civilians were victims of war and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the past nine years.

A new law should be established to protect victims of armed conflict and terrorism in Afghanistan and deliver appropriate reparation, according to the Afghanistan Independent Commission on Human Rights.

An analysis of data collected by the AIHRC revealed that 64,104 civilians were victims of war and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the past nine years.

Of this number, 23,130 were killed and 40,974 were wounded. Around 18% of victims were children, 7.5% were women and 64% were men. The identity of 22% of victims was unclear

The Taliban and other anti-government armed groups were responsible for 69.8 % of civilian casualties, while government and pro-government forces were responsible for 10.7% of civilian casualties. The perpetrators of 19.5% of civilian casualties were not identified.

Launching the report, AIHRC Chairperson Dr Sima Samar said: "Unfortunately, the government does not have any appropriate support plan for victims of terrorist attacks."

The report states that although the government pay Afs 100,000 for victims of terrorist attacks and Afs 50,000 for those who are injured, these payments have no legal basis and are not sufficient for the victims.

"It is necessary to provide a proper legal base in order to protect people in various categories," Dr Samar said.

"For example, we do not have preparedness and support programs for internally displaced persons. We have no guarantee for the continued support of the victims."

As part of its inquiry, the Commission interviewed 3,129 people who were directly or indirectly victims of terrorist attacks.

Of these victims, 1,813 said that they had sought assistance from the government and other agencies, while 1,316 others said had not sought any support. Almost a quarter (22%) said they did not seek support because they did not trust the government.

The report included six key demands made by victims of war and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, including:

  • Prosecution of the perpetrators;
  • Payment of compensation or reparation;
  • Establishing a legal basis or enacting a law on compensation
  • Ensuring security for victims
  • Participation of victims in peace programs;
  • Creating suitable conditions for the enjoyment of specific social services, such as distribution of scholarships

More details from the National Inquiry on Protection of Victims of Armed Conflict and Terrorism are available on the AIHRC website.

Date: 6 June 2018

Source: Afghanistan Independent Commission on Human Rights

Image credits

  1. Dr Sima Samar, AIHRC Chairperson, addresses the media - fghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission,