HAWCA’s representative participation in two panels of UN HR Council Session 14

The United Nation Human Rights Council holds its fourteenth session at the United Nation Office in Geneva-Switzerland from 31 May to 18 June 2010. On the first day, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, gives an update to the Council. The 14th session consisted of 36 meetings. The session was attended by representatives of States Members of the Council, observer States of the Council, observers for non-Member States of the United Nations and other observers, as well as observers for United Nations entities, specialized agencies and related organizations, intergovernmental organizations and other entities, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations.

In this session The Human Rights Council held panel discussions on trafficking, protection of journalists in armed conflict, women’s human rights and the impact of toxic and dangerous wastes on the enjoyment of human rights. The Council will also adopt reports from various examinations under the Universal Periodic Review.

Selay Ghaffar, Executive Director of HAWCA, had the chance to attend the UN Human Rights Council session 5 in May 2009 as part of the formal Afghan delegation to present the UPR of Afghanistan. This year she has got the opportunity to attend the UN Human Rights Council session 14th at Geneva in order to attend two panels: i- Afghanistan Women – Challenges for Rights, Advocacy for Peace ii- Human Rights to Peace – Gender; organized by Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (AEDIDH), Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN), Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Worldwide Organization for Women (WOW) and NGO Committee on Status of Women – Geneva on 4th June 2010 at Palais des Nations, Geneva-Switzerland.

Selay Ghaffar, the first presenter of the panel “Afghanistan Women – Challenges for Rights, Advocacy for Peace”, brought into the notice of the participants and country representatives the most crucial and challenging issues women and children are facing in Afghanistan. In her speech she highlighted the concern of civil society in protecting human rights of women in the most insecure situation and asked for the support of international community and United Nation to take this issue as an important challenge for afghan women.  The panelists in this panel were: Ms. Selay Ghaffar – Executive Director of HAWCA; RAWA Woman Leader; Mr. Vernor Munoz – UN Special Reporter on the Right to Education; Ms. Lois A. Herman – WUNRN; Annal Favalli – Coordinamento Italiano Sostegno Donne Afghane Onlus (CISDA); Dr. Q. M. Islam – World Health Organization – Director of the Department of Making Pregnancy Safer Program; Simona Cataldi – Author of The Women’s Vote in Afghanistan and Afton Beutler – WOW.

In the second panel “Human Rights to Peace-Gender”, Selay Ghaffar discussed the violation of human rights in Afghanistan by different actors and showed her concern in violation of basic rights like access to education, health, employment and other areas. In her speech she highlighted the importance of women participation in peace process and politics. She was critical of current peace and insecurity situation in Afghanistan and asked the UN to take an urgent action to find ways for peace in Afghanistan. She said “without having peace in a country you should expect all kind of violation and discrimination. Women and children are the first victim of insecurity in the country”. The panelists in this panel were: Mr. David Fernandez Puyana – AEDIDH – Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law – Human Rights to Peace – Process – Resolution – Advocacy; Ms. Ms. Madeine Rees – Secretary General of WILPF; Ms. Selay Ghaffar – Executive Director of HAWCA; RAWA Woman Leader; Ms. Salwa Kader – President, US Federation for Middle East Peace – USFMEP; Ms. Lois A. Herman – WUNRN and Ms. Krishna Ahooja Patel – WILPF.