Side Event 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council “The Right to Education in Afghanistan”
The Side Event 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council “The Right to Education in Afghanistan” was held in Geneva, Switzerland on March 31st. Representatives from 33 UN member countries, IGO, UNESCO, and NGO organizations attended the event under the theme of “Unleashing the Potential of the next Afghan Generation: The Right to Education in Afghanistan,” and was co-hosted by the G7+, the Belgian Permanent Representative to the United Nation Human Rights Council, HWPL Swiss branch, and Action for Development. The event hosted discussion regarding practical solutions to improving the educational environment of Afghan children.
Mr. Habib Mayar, G7+ Deputy General Secretary, emphasized the importance of promoting peace and stability through national dialogue and reconciliation. He explained that it is due to decades of war, suffering, and instability that the right to education for women and girls in Afghanistan has been denied. Mr. Mayar appealed to the delegates to put aside political agendas and think from the perspective of their human conscience, to allow for solutions to be found that can promptly ensure that the right to education in Afghanistan is upheld.
Ms. Parasto Hakim, Founder of SPAK Underground and Online University, Afghanistan, said that Afghanistan currently focuses solely on religious education. She requested that the UN focuses on the re-establishment of schools for women and girls and issues resolutions to recognize sexual offenses against women as a serious crime in Afghanistan. Moreover, she strongly urged the UN Human Right Council to do more work to help the children in Afghanistan.
Mr. Mohammad Nadir Azedpana, Principal of Mukhtar School, Afghanistan, shared how he had partnered together with HWPL to teach peace education. His experience showed that pupils who had engaged with the topics of peace, human values, the importance of families, and good manners through the HWPL Peace Education Curriculum had shown great improvements in terms of classroom behavior and school performance. Such pupils had become more polite, had grown in self-confidence, and seen improvements in their test scores. Mr. Nadir Azedpana shared plans to conduct and extend the peace education classes and expressed his gratitude towards HWPL for providing this opportunity.
H.E. Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, stressed that schools in Afghanistan are no longer places of learning, but where soldiers are created. He called upon the UN Council to push for an accountability mechanism that can ensure the protection of human rights for all in Afghanistan and emphasized the need to proceed in unity when addressing the worsening human rights situation in Afghanistan.
Starting with the Side Event 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council, HWPL will continue to discuss the right to education for women and children in Afghanistan.