Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tackling Injustice in Afghanistan

We are excited to announce that this week we are beginning a yearlong program to inform and engage communities in Afghanistan about legal rights and access to justice. Bond Street Theatre-trained Youth Leaders from across the country have come together in Kabul to address the major barriers to justice in their provinces, and discuss solutions. 

Our Kabul facility is already a hive of activity, with the teams hard at work devising awareness-raising strategies to bring accurate information to the public, and spark community dialogue.

Much of Afghanistan relies on traditional councils for dispute resolution, with outcomes that are often arbitrary, driven by personal relationships, discriminatory against vulnerable groups, and impose overly harsh sentences. Up to 80% of legal disputes are resolved outside of the formal justice system. To improve access to justice and the consistent application of laws, citizens need a clearer understanding of their rights, and the resources available to uphold them. 

Over the next week, the Youth Leaders will create original mobile theatre plays and media campaigns to tour in their home regions, which will 
inform the public of their rights, and engage in dialogue with local authorities, police, justice officials and religious leaders. By promoting justice sector reform that meets the requirements of the formal justice system while respecting local frameworks, they hope to engage all members of their communities in the justice process.
With youth under the age of 25 making up over 50% of the country's population, young people are in need of opportunities to have a voice in their country's future.
Building on the enthusiasm and success of our Provincial Youth Leadership project, we are excited to watch our Youth Leaders take on this new collaboration, using their leadership and communication skills to disseminate information about rule of law and access to justice in their own communities across Afghanistan. We can't wait to see what they come up with!