Representatives from the U.S. and Afghan government in attendance for Human Rights Day.
Representatives of the governments of Afghanistan and the United States attended a “Human Rights Law Day” in Kabul yesterday. The event was hosted by the academic legal English program of the Afghanistan Rule of Law Stabilization Program – Formal Component, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The program focused on building the capacity of Afghan legal professionals by enhancing their communication and presentation skills through moot court competitions, legal research and writing workshops, and courses on legal English and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam preparation.
Guest of Honor and keynote speaker Dr. Sima Samar, Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, provided opening remarks about the current human rights landscape in Afghanistan. Dr. Samar noted that all Afghans should respect the rule of law and proactively defend it without an expectation that the government be the sole provider and protector of justice. She urged all Afghans to engage in this process and to promote justice through the simple act of allowing their sisters and mothers to play sports and attend school.
Referencing an Afghan proverb, Kate Somvongsiri, USAID’s Rule of Law Team Leader, also emphasized that, “human rights are the natural rights of all human beings, and just as the sun cannot be hidden with two fingers, neither can the undeniable existence of human rights” in any society.
After the opening ceremony, students of the program gave presentations about emerging political rights, human rights, and civil issues facing Afghanistan. The event culminated in a feature gallery presentation of original student artwork promoting public awareness of these legal rights.
USAID’s formal rule of law project is designed to develop the human and institutional capacity of the justice sector, increase the public’s access to justice, particularly women, and promote the public’s demand for rule of law in Afghanistan.