Herat officials work to protect children from violence

Abdul Haq Ahmadi, prosecutor for Herat province, speaks at the children’s rights and civilian protection symposium in Herat. The symposium, sponsored by TAAC-W and the Italian Army, highlighted the complex and important work of developing and maintaining procedures focused on the protection of children’s rights in the region.
13 Feb 2018

HERAT, Afghanistan – Showing renewed determination to protect children from violence, Afghan and Italian leaders melded their expertise at a children’s rights and civilian protection symposium here.

The symposium, a video conference with Italian leaders, highlighted the complex and important work of developing and maintaining procedures focused on the protection of children’s rights in the region.

"The symposium has been a good opportunity for the Herat prosecutor office in order to exchange ideas with Italians prosecutors,” said Abdul Haq Ahmadi, prosecutor for Herat province. "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is trying to reduce violence against children and women.”

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, child casualties remained at high levels during the first six months of 2017, accounting for 30 percent of all civilian casualties. Attacks on schools and hospitals by the Taliban, IS-K and other terrorist groups pose a serious security risk to children, as well as impeding access to education and healthcare. Poverty continues to push children towards recruitment by armed actors. The Afghan National Police have arrested members of human trafficking rings, saving dozens of children intended to be smuggled into Pakistan to be trained as suicide bombers for the Taliban.

Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, supported by Resolute Support officials at TAAC-W and in Kabul, are working to implement and monitor procedures that protect children, building on the policy signed in Kabul in December, 2017.

On Dec. 5, 2017, Tariq Shah Bahrami, the Afghan minister of defense, signed and put into force a Child Protection Policy. The policy is the outcome of a significant, year-long Afghan-led effort to codify a number of measures to provide for greater protection of children, including preventing the use of violence against children involving any personnel in the Afghan National Army and its associated civilians and contractors in the MOD. It also sets out procedures for monitoring, reporting and investigating violations by any MOD personnel and declares the intent to hold those who commit these crimes accountable. 

TAAC-W and Afghan leadership in attendance at the Herat symposium included the TAAC-W commander, Brigadier General Gianluca Carai, deputy governor of Herat province Monisa Hansazadah, the commanders of the ANDSF in the area, as well as Afghan and Italian judges and prosecutors who work to implement the rule of law and protect innocent people from violence. 

General Claudio Graziano, Italy’s Chief of Defense, said the sharing of knowledge, skills and ideas will increase common knowledge and interoperability in both military and police matters, improving the rule of law throughout Afghanistan.

Deputy governor Monisa Hansazadah added, "I would like to say thanks to Italians for the opportunity they gave us today. I also appreciate the prosecutor’s effort to deep study this important topic.”

TAAC-W, the NATO Resolute Support advisory command in Herat, is working to develop the capability and sustainability of the ANDSF throughout the western part of Afghanistan.

Read more about protecting children in armed conflict.


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