Afghanistan ranked 149th on access to justice for children


KABUL: Afghanistan has been ranked as 149th in the world on how effectively children of the war-torn country can move courts to defend their rights, says a global network of child rights organisations.

New research by the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) — Rights, Remedies and Representation — condenses findings from 197 country reports, researched with the support of hundreds of lawyers and NGOs.

It takes into account whether children can bring lawsuits when their rights are violated, the legal resources available to them, the practical considerations for taking legal action and whether international law on children’s rights is applied.

Afghanistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1994 but its status in Afghan law is unclear. Children under 18 lack legal capacity and must rely on their parents or guardians to challenge violations of their rights.

“As the courts rarely have access to written law, they regularly resort to applying Sharia law to resolve the disputes before them while judicial corruption and the government’s interference with court cases hinder access to justice,” CRIN said.

Director of CRIN Veronica Yates said: “While the report highlights many examples of systems poorly suited to protecting children’s rights, there are also plenty of people using the courts to effectively advance children’s rights.”

CRIN is a global research, policy and advocacy organisation. Its work is grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Its goal is a world where children’s rights are recognised, respected and enforced.



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