Editorial

Ending discrimination everyone’s responsibility

Violation of human rights and humanitarian law have been widespread around the globe in general and in war-stricken countries in particular. A large number of individuals have been suffering severely and neither national laws nor international instruments could safeguard their rights, liberty and dignity.
People’s rights and freedoms were trampled upon both in individual and collective life. There are many reasons behind the malpractices and violation of people’s rights and liberties. Despite heated topics about democracy and human rights and global conferences, the public sufferings have continued unabated. The conflict and terrorism had multiplied the public sufferings and there seems no light at the end of the tunnel.
According to a study, twenty-five percent of Afghans are victims of ethnic, linguistic and religious discrimination while 14 percent are faced with negative consequences of the practice. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) conducted the research study titled “Evaluation of Average Implementation of the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”.
Findings of the study, conducted in the outgoing solar year, were released on Tuesday. The commission polled 3,498 persons of all ethnic groups in 29 provinces through questioners on ethnic discrimination. According to the report, racial discrimination is prohibited under international law, Afghanistan’s constitution and other statutes. Perpetrators of racial discrimination shall be punished under the country’s criminal law. In Afghanistan, racism is seen as a challenge to security and stability.
The study calls differences between ethnic groups in Afghanistan one of the main sources of racial discrimination. People often suffer because of the negative practice. According to the study, ethnic discord has been a key factor behind civil war and violence. All important national events are shaped on the basis of ethnic interests.
Ethnic differences forced residents to forge affiliations with different groups and enforce their political agenda based on such considerations. The study credits the Afghan government with trying to eradicate ethnic prejudices and strengthen national unity. It thwarted discrimination in line with Article 22 of the Constitution and Articles 218, 256, 409 and 870 of Afghanistan’s Penal Code.
Considering legal and religious bases regarding the equality of race, tribe and ethnicity, the issue of equality should be viewed from different perspectives such as equality in human dignity, equality in rights and responsibilities, equality in determining destiny, equality in creed and religion, equality in exploiting national investments, equality in getting education, equality in being provided opportunities in employment and appointment and so on.
The country’s enemies have long been trying to deteriorate the situation in the country using ethnic and racial means and to some extend they have been succeeded to destabilize the country. Therefore, all Afghans considering the bitter experiences of wars and bloodshed, should do more to keep unity and foil enemies’ vicious plans of using any ethnic, religious and racial differences for their own interests.
The equality of tribes and ethnic groups is a highly significant issue and one of the fundamental principles in human rights discourse, which has been stressed in international instruments and national laws, mainly in Afghanistan.

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