Thematic areas: Humanitarian Norms, Humanitarian Access, Gender
Since the Taliban’s ascension into the de facto government of Afghanistan in August 2021, their acts have been those of the state. This obligates the Taliban to respect humanitarian norms, ensure peace and stability, and strive for equality and inclusion. Against this background, security and safety remain an exceedingly high concern with other marginalized groups vying for power.
The complex situation isolates vulnerable Afghan groups, such as religious and cultural minorities and women and girls. Global and regional dynamics also influence Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis. With Western powers disengaging and no recognition of the Kabul de facto authority, regional actors are becoming increasingly involved. The humanitarian situation in 2022 worsened due to multiple factors, including drought, natural disasters, economic shocks, and protection threats, shifting from 2021’s focus on conflict. Localized violence, war’s lasting effects, and recent large-scale displacement hinder recovery efforts and resilience. Protection concerns encompass gender-based violence, abduction, forced displacement, child marriage, discrimination, property theft, access restrictions, and humanitarian access challenges. Afghanistan’s situation remains highly fragile, demanding dialogue, rights protection, and community cohesion.
Geneva Call’s activities in the country
Training Programs for Former Taliban Turned Policemen
– Implemented impactful training programs and delivered more than 150 sessions over 2 years for former Taliban members now serving as policemen in seven provinces, emphasizing human treatment of civilians.
– Extended training to police officers, prison staff, and patrol members, resulting in notable positive changes.
– Interviews with participants highlighted improved interactions and understanding of humanitarian principles.
Access to Police HQ in provinces of operation
– Negotiated with the Head of Education Director of Police HQ, resulting in an agreement to train trainers (education manager and literacy manager of each police district) on humanitarian norms and principled law enforcement.
– The Training of Trainers (ToT) initiative is conducted over 3 days for all police officers reaching hundreds of trainers in Kabul, Balkh, and Nangarhar provinces. The ToT training is set to be extended to other provinces where Geneva Call operates (Bamyan, Kandahar, and Kunduz).
Awareness raising and consultation program for communities
Awareness-raising and consultation sessions are conducted for communities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) through a set of 18 messages. The end goal of these activities is to improve communities’ knowledge of IHL and their capacity to advocate for their own protection. Over two years, almost 200 awareness-raising and consultation sessions were conducted with communities and CSOs.
Workshops for national and international religious scholars
Workshops with religious scholars are conducted in Geneva Call’s provinces of operation to spread key messages on humanitarian norms for the protection of civilians.
Engagement with students and scholars
Led the International Summer School on humanitarian norms for scholars in Kabul, fostering opportunities for collaboration with Kabul University.
Mass media and print campaigns promoting humanitarian norms and civilian protection
Launch of mass media campaigns (radio, TV, and social media) with messages on the protection of civilians in line with Islamic principles and Afghan traditions.
Almost 300 law enforcement personnel trainers received training from Geneva Call and will then train other members, improving law enforcement practices in six provinces.
Almost 200 awareness-raising and consultation sessions were held with communities and CSOs over 2 years. Delivery of more than 150 sessions for former Taliban members now serving as policemen.
Fahad Abbasi – COUNTRY DIRECTOR