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Child marriage prevalent human rights violation in Afghanistan: UN

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(Last Updated On: June 30, 2020)

Child marriage is the most prevalent human rights violation in Afghanistan, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a statement.

Every year, millions of girls are subjected to practices that harm them physically and emotionally, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends, and communities, the UNFPA said.

According to the statement released on Tuesday, conflict, poverty, and holding on to certain traditional beliefs and behaviors put underage girls at risk in Afghanistan, especially in remote and rural areas.

“These risks not only prevent girls from their human rights, but also their social rights, and prevents them from education, harms their protection, and increases health threats including their reproductive health and the ability to choose if and when they have children,” the statement said.

“Harmful practices against girls cause profound and lasting trauma, robbing them of their right to reach their full potential,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.

Many harmful practices are human rights violations because they arise from discriminatory gender norms that perpetuate inequality. And they are imposed on women and girls, regardless of consent.

The UN said that violence against women has been increased during the lockdown. The Attorney General Office of Afghanistan recorded 249 cases of beatings during the Coronavirus quarantine.

 “The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk,” Dr. Kanem says. “We will not stop until the rights, choices, and bodies of all girls are fully their own.”

The UNFPA noted that governments should ensure these practices end because they have ratified the international treaties to protect the rights of women and children.

“Afghanistan has signed on most international conventions to protect children, including early marriage. From the policy perspective, the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Early and Child Marriage (NAP ECM) in Afghanistan has been adopted and is key progress towards prevention and ending the early marriage in the country, but it needs implementation continues to be a challenge,” read the statement.

Child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights that robs girls of their education, health, and long term prospects. The elimination of child marriage requires joint action of the Government of Afghanistan, religious communities, civil society, and national and international partners.

“We need to renew our commitment and ensure this harmful practice is prevented, and girls and their rights are respected,” the organization said.

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Abdullah introduces list of cabinet nominees to Presidential Palace

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation has introduced a list of cabinet nominees to the Presidential Palace.

Sources close to Abdullah, however, say that there are still differences over the proposed list between Abdullah front-rows over seat distribution.

Figures listed as candidates for the designated-ministers; Massoud Andarabi for the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Fazl Ahmad Manavi for Ministry of Justice, Anwar al-Haq Ahadi for Ministry of Agriculture, Noor Rahman Akhlaqi for Ministry of Immigration, Mohebullah Samim for Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Mostafa Mastoor for Ministry of Peace, Masoumah Khavari for Ministry of Communications, Nisar Ahmad Ghoriani for Ministry of Commerce, Mansour Saadat Naderi for Ministry of Economy, Bashir Ahmad Tahianj for Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Kanishka Turkestani for Ministry of Higher Education, Abbas Basir for Ministry of Transport and Najib Agha Fahim, Candidate for Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled.

The list of ministerial nominees for Abdullah Abdullah’s share, however, has clashed within his party members.

Sources close to Abdullah say that the National Movement Party wants three ministries from Abdullah’s share and does not agree with this list.

According to sources, the National Movement has nominated Bashir Ahmad Tahianj for the Ministry of Agriculture, Qudratullah Zaki for the Ministry of Transportation and Kanishka Turkestani for the Ministry of Immigration.

But some other figures close to Abdullah deny the disagreements within the group.

On the other hand, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance says that 11 new provincial governors have been nominated by the president so far and that this process will continue. Abdullah Abdullah, according to the power-sharing agreement between him and Ghani, can introduce 50% of the Afghan cabinet members.

Arg and Sapidar Palace have not officially commented on the matter.

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Afghanistan customs revenue lost to ’embezzlement’

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Although taxpayers pay customs duties at the Afghan customs, not all of the revenue being collected in the Afghan government’s account, local officials said.

The ports of Torkham in Nangarhar, Islam Qala in Herat, Hairatan in Balkh, Aqina in Faryab, Spin Boldak in Kandahar, Shirkhan Bandar in Kunduz, Angur Ada in Paktika and several other ports in the north and south of the country have witnessed widespread corruption.

In these ports, although custom fees are paid by taxpayers, little money is raised in government reserves, most of the ports are said to be in the hands of gunmen and the powerful.

Local officials in the provinces where the ports are located say that corruption in customs has recently peaked.

On the other hand, the Integrity Watch of Afghanistan criticizes the lack of administrative reforms, adding that unreasonable appointments have increased corruption in the country’s customs and that the government has not yet taken any steps to reform the process. According to the head of the institution, the current situation has led to organized corruption in customs.

The Ministry of Finance also promises to bring transparency to the country’s customs.

Finance Ministry spokesman Shamrooz Khan Masjidi said customs revenues are being closely monitored to prevent corruption.

Earlier, the governor of Herat said that Islam Qala’s revenue was being looted by mafia gangs and the warlords. According to economists, this is the case in most of the country’s customs.

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COVID-19

Afghanistan witnesses decline in Coronavirus cases: MoPH

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Jawad Osmani, Acting Minister of the Public Health, says the number of people infected with the Coronavirus decreased to halve compared to a month and a half ago. 

Coronavirus has declined in Afghanistan; as the Acting Minister of Public Health himself has removed the medical mask from his face at the press conference and used a home mask instead. 

Javad Osmani said: “Compared to two months ago, the infected patients to the virus decreased by 30 percent. If the Coronavirus patients do not reach less than 5%, the situation will not get back to normal.”

On the other hand, the Anti-Corona Emergency Committee warns that as of today, 15 moving teams are inspecting restaurants, cafes, and parks, and if they do not follow the health recommendations, they will be fined first and then they will be banned.

“Today we have sent 15 moving teams to the city to fine and block restaurants and cafes that have started arbitrarily, and this time nothing is acceptable,” said Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, Kabul’s governor.

Meanwhile, officials at the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs said that those citizens who remain out of the Hajj shift this year will be able to perform the Hajj next year while maintaining the same shift.

Officials at the Ministry of Public Health say that researchers have found that the Coronavirus can spread through the air. They warn people if they do not avoid unnecessary patrols and commute on Eid al-Adha, they will see the second wave of coronavirus.

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