These Spaces in Between: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Its Role in Transitional Justice

Citation:

Sajjad, Tazreena. 2009. “These Spaces in Between: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Its Role in Transitional Justice.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 3 (3): 424–44. doi:10.1093/ijtj/ijp020.

Author: Tazreena Sajjad

Abstract:

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) play an instrumental role in defining the human rights culture of their respective countries through their monitoring function, auditing laws, instituting human rights education and making recommendations to governments to improve human rights conditions. In countries that have experienced large-scale human rights atrocities, NHRI mandates sometimes include working to establish processes to seek accountability for war crimes. The involvement in transitional justice matters raises a new set of challenges for these institutions regarding their independence, their role in creating space for local voices and their capacity to serve as a bridge between the government and national and international actors. Using as a case study the experience of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the author identifies several key areas within which this particular NHRI has had to negotiate the tensions between the political and the legal, and the local and the international. A close examination of each of these areas reveals the common challenges NHRIs face in taking on a transitional justice mandate, as well as the particular strengths and limitations of the AIHRC and its creativity and resolve in working in extremely difficult circumstances to seek accountability for the past.

Topics: Impunity, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2009

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.