Thu, Aug 17, 2017 | updated 09:41 AM IST

NATO should strengthen civilian protection in Afghanistan: Human Rights Watch

Updated: Jul 06, 2016 16:55 IST      
NATO should strengthen civilian protection in Afghanistan: Human Rights Watch

Brussels, July 6 (ANI): Human Rights Watch today said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries should endorse concrete measures to improve the protection of civilians in the conflict in Afghanistan.

Human Rights Watch in a statement said the NATO should press the Afghan government to curtail abuses by its security forces, including the military's misuse of schools, attacks on healthcare facilities, and recruitment of children.

It said that NATO should appoint a high-level envoy on protection of civilians to provide expert analysis and advice.

"The Warsaw Summit is a crucial opportunity for NATO to commit to a more robust role in reducing Afghan civilian casualties," said Brad Adams, Asia director. "Despite NATO's reduced military presence and redefined support mission, the alliance is well situated to make good on its pledges to help protect civilians," the statement said.

The statement pointed out that though Taliban and other insurgent groups have been responsible for the vast majority of attacks that have caused significant civilian casualties, Afghan government forces are increasingly putting civilians in harm's way by occupying schools, raiding medical facilities, and recruiting children.

The Human Rights Watch asserted that such actions imperil the very development goals Afghanistan's donors and that they undermine the legitimacy of the Afghan government, and fuel support for the insurgents.

Human Rights Watch also claimed that it has documented the extensive military use of schools in contested areas of Baghlan province and pressed that the practice is on the rise in other conflict-affected areas of Afghanistan.

Throwing light on the situation, it said the schools become battlegrounds as the Taliban counter-attack government positions, leaving the buildings damaged.

It also said that Afghan security forces misuse the schools leaving devastating effect on the right to education, affecting tens of thousands of children at all educational levels, as well as teachers and administrators.

With the schools being used by the soldiers, it said that the families are unlikely to allow girls to attend school which will harm girls' access to education.

The statement said that the healthcare facilities have also been at risk and both insurgent forces and the Afghan security forces are responsible for these abuses.

The Human Right Watch also highlighted the recent UN report that both Taliban and government-backed forces use child soldiers, and cases of child recruitment more than doubled in 2015 compared with the previous year.

The statement said that in its 2016 report, it documented a significant increase in child recruitment in the northeast by the Taliban and that even the pro-government forces are also responsible for exploiting children.

Human Rights Watch Asia Director, Brad Adams said that NATO should deliver on its pledges and produce concrete measures to help protect Afghan civilians from armed conflict.

"NATO is uniquely placed to improve protection for Afghan civilians due to its high-level engagement with those in a position to stop abuses, including the very officials who are personally responsible for abuses," he added.

Meanwhile, the NATO Summit scheduled to be held in Warsaw, Poland on July 8 and 9 will discuss military and other support for the Afghan government. (ANI)

Philippine police kill 32 drug dealers

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 06:55 IST     

Manila [Philippines], August 17 (ANI): Philippine Police have killed 32 suspected drug dealers in a series of raids across Bulacan province near Manila.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], August 17 (ANI): Asserting on the Doklam issue, state-run Chinese media said that India should not determine the strategic posture between the two nations over a road along the border.

Full Story >>

US urges Latin American Nations to cut ties with North Korea

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 05:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 17 (ANI): United States Vice-President Mike Pence on Wednesday requested Latin American nations to cut ties with North Korea in an attempt to halt nation's development of nuclear missiles.

Full Story >>

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 17 (ANI): The security forces neutralized two key leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan (ISIS-K), the Afghanistan branch of the terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 17 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence on Friday will discuss South-Asia strategy with their national security team.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], August 17 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump has announced to end White House's American Manufacturing Council along with the Strategy and Policy Forum, after several business leaders resigned from the Council.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], Aug. 16 (ANI): Donald Trump blaming both sides for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, saying he did not actually believe white supremacists were solely responsible for the Saturday incidents has left experts and media organisations gobsmacked, as America woke up to a cathartic news analysis of the President's press conference.

Full Story >>

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], Aug. 16 (ANI): Former United States presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush on Wednesday condemned the violent clashes in Charlottesville over the weekend saying that 'hatred in all forms' must be rejected.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Aug 16 (ANI): China on Wednesday said that its border troops are always committed to maintain the peace and tranquility along the Indo-China border.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Aug 16 (ANI): Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday assumed his charge as the Pakistan's High Commissioner to India, after his predecessor Abdul Basit announced retirement before his tenure was scheduled to end

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], Aug 16 (ANI): In a development boosting India's efforts to contain terrorism, the U.S. Department of State has designated Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Full Story >>

Confederate statues removed in Baltimore

Updated: Aug 16, 2017 19:44 IST     

Balitimore [USA], Aug 16 (ANI): Confederate statues were removed in Maryland's Baltimore city on Wednesday following white nationalists rally to defend a downtown Confederate monuments turned deadly in Charlottesville.

Full Story >>

Baghdad, [Iraq] Aug 16 (ANI): Three days after the United States-led coalition pounded their locations in Salahuddin province, Islamic State (IS) militants attacked three military bases on Wednesday and eliminated ten soldiers.

Full Story >>

Trump hails Kim Jong Un for making 'wise decision'

Updated: Aug 16, 2017 18:55 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug 16 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump has hailed North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un's decision of scrapping his plan to attack Guam as a "very wise and well reasoned decision".

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], August 16 (ANI): Ambassador of India to Russia Pankaj Saran has said that the St. Petersburg's Declaration signed by India and Russia in June this year presents a roadmap for the development of bilateral relations in the 21st century.

Full Story >>

Amazon damaging 'tax paying retailers': Trump

Updated: Aug 16, 2017 17:31 IST     

New York [U.S.A], August 16 (ANI):United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to slam American electronic commerce company Amazon.com Inc. for "damaging "tax paying retailers."

Full Story >>

PPP will not join hands with Sharif: Zardari

Updated: Aug 16, 2017 17:25 IST     

Lahore [Pakistan], Aug 16 (ANI): Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said that his party will not join hands with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Full Story >>

Lahore [Pakistan], August 16 (ANI): Several factors have contributed to the sprouting of sectarianism and extremism in Pakistan's Balochistan province, according to an editorial in the Dawn.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Aug.16 (ANI): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to submit full financial records of the party by September 7.

Full Story >>