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ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN - PDF

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									               ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN
 Directorate of Human Rights and Women’s International Affairs
                   Ministry of Foreign Affairs

CRC INITIAL REPORT PROCESS, ESTABLISHMENT OF CRC REPORTING MECHANISM
            AND CAPACITY BUILDING OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES


 The process would aim to produce the initial report on CRC and build sustainable capacities
 within the Government of Afghanistan for meeting its implementation and reporting
 obligations on CRC.

 The main components of this process would be to produce the initial report on CRC, to
 establish CRC reporting mechanism and to complement the capacity-building project,
 coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with assistance from UNICEF-Afghanistan for
 the governmental staff and non- governmental stakeholders and to raise a wider awareness
 on CRC.

 The Office of Human Rights & Women's International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign
 Affairs is the responsible unit with the government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and
 will make sure to produce the report in a competent and timely manner based on the CRC
 guidelines and within the given timeframe (Annex I)

 A detailed Work Plan will be developed with the participation of all stakeholders to
 complement and streamline the reporting process (as Annex II)

 This process will take 12 months and requires a budget of USD xxxxx (Annex III)
BACKGROUND
For a nation-building and peace process to become rooted and for the state to increase its
legitimacy, The Government of Afghanistan has to address the pressing needs of Afghan
Children. Treaty reporting is an appropriate instrument for the state to strategically align its
policies in such a way that communities can be brought together, whilst vulnerable and
marginalized groups can be brought into active participation of the nation-building process1.

The state’s legitimacy can only be attained if it addresses the rights of all groups within Afghan
society-across all ethnic lines and age. The treaty reporting process is a mean for the government
to develop policies that realize those rights, particularly for children. The gradual empowerment of
marginalized groups and in some instances that include children would ultimately reverse the
process of alienation from the state whilst the state’s legitimacy would increase. These benefits
are particularly relevant for a country that is coming out of an extended period of conflict and
starting to rebuild its institutions and the nation.

Afghanistan is a party to most of the major international human rights treaties2. It has an
obligation to implement the treaties and to periodically report on its progress to the treaty body
committees. Afghanistan ratified the CRC in 1994. Lack of a stable government and peace in has
led to delay in reporting for many years. Up to date, no initial report could be produced and
submitted to the committee on the Rights of the Child.

The present process would aim at supporting the government, in particular the Office of Human
Rights & Women's International Affairs which is responsible for human rights treaty reporting at
the MoFA, in conceiving the mechanisms that will respond to treaty reporting obligations in a
competent and timely manner and with the participation of line ministries, non-governmental
stakeholders and children participation. It is envisaged that at the end of the process, the state
report on CRC, will be produced, translated and availed to the public.

BASIC PRINCIPLE OF THE CRC REPORTING
The Committee emphasizes that the process of preparing the report should be a broad and
participatory one which offers an opportunity to conduct a thorough review of the measures taken
to harmonize national laws and policies with the CRC. Implementation should be examined, with
emphasis on measures that have been taken to improve services and the capacity of
professionals working with children. It is meant to be a process that encourages and facilitates
popular participation and public scrutiny of Government policies. In addition, the process of
preparing the report should create awareness and understanding of the CRC in all sectors of
society, especially among children.

Principally the participation of the civil society (i.e. AIHRC, CPAN, NSP structure, non-
governmental organizations) children and sub-national duty bearers are imperative and
compulsory for the reporting process.




1
  Even though it is not correct to say that any specific group would benefit from the implementation of a
particular human rights treaty, it should be mentioned that the treaties Afghanistan has ratified clearly
address the needs of the marginalized groups of Afghan society, i.e. women, children, ethnic minorities,
IDPs / returnees.
2
  Afghanistan has ratified the following treaties; CESCR, CCPR, CERD, CEDAW, CAT, CRC (and
CRCOPSC).




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PROCESS OF THE CRC REPORTING
1. STRATEGY
a. CAPACITY BUILDING
The CRC reporting will complement to the capacity building project implemented in 2006/7 for the
governmental and non-governmental staff, through their involvement to the reporting process and
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the provision of the support from Technical Assistant/Facilitator .

UNICEF and OHCHR will technically and financially contribute to capacity building of the focal
points involved in the reporting process.

The facilitation of Study Visit to abroad (to Geneva and a country in the reporting process or
recently completed the reporting process) for the selected personnel will also contribute to build
the capacity for the CRC reporting.

A Coordinator, a Translator and a Database Consultant for the reporting will be recruited to
support the coordinating unit during the preparation of report. Also, a Technical Advisor will be
recruited to provide technical support to the drafting and steering committees for 6 months.

Through wider civil society participation in the reporting process, equal access to information
related to treaty-reporting will be created between governmental and non-governmental actors.

b. MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION
The report preparation is the responsibility of the State Party. Yet, this should not rule out
participation of non-governmental stakeholders in the process of preparing the report.

Ideally, NGOs and NGO coalitions should be actively involved in the reporting process. In a few
countries there has been extensive consultation with NGOs and their contributions have been
fully incorporated into the official State Parties’ reports to their satisfaction. Irrespective of whether
NGOs have contributed to the preparation of the government report, the Committee still expects a
serious and independent assessment from NGOs of the implementation of the Convention at
national level.

Involvement of children in the reporting process is another important aspect. Consultation with
children, on how they perceive their rights are respected has brought an important new dimension
to the reporting process. In some instance, there has also been participation of children during
the Committee’s pre-sessional working group.

The Committee believes that the process of preparing a report provides an important opportunity
to conduct a comprehensive review of the various measures undertaken to harmonize law and
policy with the CRC and the monitor progress made. It has noted that the most useful State
Parties reports are those which provide a clear picture of the value placed on children and their
rights by the Government and society at large. Therefore, the Committee encourages that the
report should go beyond providing the legislative framework and suggests that it reflects a multi-
disciplinary approach to the implementation process.

The report should embody the spirit of the CRC, which recognizes as a fundamental principle the
participation of children in all aspects of society. This includes the roles of the child and
adolescent within the family, the school, the community and as s/he interacts with different
sectors of society including political system, the justice system, and the social welfare system.
The report should indicate how visible or invisible children are in society and the extent to which
their voices are heard.

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 A technical assistant/facilitator will be recruited for short-term at the initial stage of the process to help the
coordinating unit. The technical assistant/facilitator will also help drafting committee in preparation of the
detailed Work Plan for CRC reporting process.


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c. ADVOCACY AND PUBLIC EDUCATION
Consultations organized at national and sub-national level with duty bearers and children will help
to create increased awareness and understanding of the rights of the child and encourage
accountability among duty bearers. It will also help the local authorities to do better planning for
the implementation of the CRC.

Report preparation process will sensitize those involved on the CRC. CPAN will use its network to
contribute to CRC reporting process and to organize focus group discussions with local
communities, children and youth at sub-national level. These activities will increase knowledge of
youth, children, parents and communities on children’s rights.

Official launch of the initial report on the CRC will create nationwide awareness on CRC and will
alert the government to take corrective measures to fulfil the gaps identified throughout the
process. It will also encourage donor communities to allocate resources in that end.

The translation of the report into local language(s) and its publication will avail information to a
wider audience. The SC will advocate that the report will be the subject of parliamentary debate
and consideration by non-governmental organizations.



2. MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENT
a. COMMITTEES (NATIONAL/SUB-NATIONAL SET-UPS)

i. Establishment of the Steering Committee (SC)
The process will be managed through a Steering Committee with the support from UNICEF and
the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The SC will play an advisory
role to the whole process of the preparation of the initial report.
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The Coordinating Unit will be created under the department of Human Rights and Women’s
International Affairs of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and will oversee the overall reporting
process.

The Steering Committee will be composed of fourteen members: the Directorate of the Office of
Human Rights & Women’s International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of
Law and Treaties, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, OHCHR, UNICEF, MoLSADM, Ministry of Justice
(MoJ), Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Information,
Culture and Youth (MoICY), Ministry of Interior (MoI), Child Protection Advisor to the President,
Health Advisor to the President, Education Advisor to the President, Afghan Independent Human
Rights Commission (AIHRC), and Save the Children Alliance. The Steering Committee can
decide to include additional applicable members.

Donor communities can be invited as observers to the SC meetings.

TOR for the SC:
• For better management of the CRC Reporting Process, members of the Steering Committee
  meet every three months in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). Provided that there is a
  need, the SC will meet on request of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). Minister of Foreign



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  The Coordinating Unit will provide logistical, managerial and secretariat support to the SC throughout the
reporting process based of the developed work plan. The members of Coordinating Unit are; the director of
the Human Rights and Women’s International Affair Department, Human Rights Desk Officer, Treaty
Reporting Desk Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and newly recruited Coordinator for the reporting
process.


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  Affair is the chairperson of the Steering Committee and on his absence, one of the President
  Advisor (member of the committee) will chair the meeting.
• The SC advises and endorses a Work Plan for the preparation of the initial report, prepared by
  the Drafting Committee.
• All members of the SC will actively contribute to the CRC Reporting Process.
• Only agreed members of Steering Committee are participants of Steering Committee meetings
  in case of his/her absence from the country, minimum three days before the meeting, he/she
  shall introduce his/her representative who should have full authority to make decisions on
  behalf of the absent member.
• The members of the Steering Committee monitor and oversee serious follow up of the
  decisions of the Steering Committee in their organization and the overall
  activities/performances of their focal points.
• The SC members provide timely feedbacks to drafts of the initial report and communicate
  closely with the Drafting Committee on the issues and concerns that may arise in the
  examination of drafts.
• The Steering Committee members share the decisions and other necessary information
  related to the CRC Reporting Process among their relevant colleagues in their organizations.
• The SC will advocate and will ensure that the needs are identified and resources are available
  for the reporting process
• The SC will discuss and approve the need of the resources for the reporting process
• The SC will provide required support to the Drafting Committee
• The SC endorses the final draft of the initial report and submits it to the MoFA (or any relevant
  body in terms of treaty monitoring and reporting).
• The SC assists MoFA in coordinating a formal release and submission of the initial report to
  the CRC committee in Geneva.
• The Steering Committee members receive progress report of the CRC reporting process from
  MoFA.
• The Steering Committee members in their meetings decide the agenda of their next meeting.
• All decisions of the Steering Committee will be decided by majority of member votes and once
  decisions are made the Drafting Committee, Secretariat of the process and focal points of the
  process are bound to their implementation.



ii. Establishment of the Drafting Committee (DC)
    The Drafting Committee (DC) will be established for the process of drafting the initial report.
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of Human Rights will lead the work of the DC with
    support from UNICEF. The MoFA, as a member of the DC will brief the SC regularly about
    the progress made in the preparation of the initial report.

    The DC will be composed of eleven members: MoFA (2 members), MoJ, MoPH, MoE,
    MoLSAMD, CSO, UNICEF-Afghanistan, AIHRC, Save the Children Alliances and a local
    NGO. In addition, the DC will have a Report Writing Working Group (professionals
    responsible for writing the report, and will be placed in the Human Rights Office of MoFA) and
    inter ministerial focal points (who will also be members of the thematic working group).

TOR for the Drafting Committee:
• Prepare a draft Work Plan (See under 2.ii.(b).) in consultation with inter-ministerial focal
  points ,which will be reviewed and endorsed by the SC.




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• Support the coordinating unit to conduct the initial desk review to identify the information
  gaps in consultation with inter-ministerial focal points.
• Support the coordinating unit to identify means to fill the above-mentioned information gaps
  and plan data collection strategy in consultation with inter-ministerial focal points.
• Participate in regular meetings (at least once a month) of the DC, including thematic sub-
  group meeting when required.
• Support the coordinating unit and Child Protection Action Network to plan and conduct field
  data collection through sub-national consultations
• Gather information from their respective ministries to fill in the questionnaires
• To establish/maintain data/information exchange link between DC and their respective
  ministries
• Attend the consultative meetings called by the coordinating unit
• Support the coordinating unit in Desk Review process
• Function as members of thematic groups
• Provide support to the writing working group as and when requested


           Selection of Inter-Ministerial Focal Points for the CRC Reporting
MoFA has trained 45 focal points representing over 18 ministries and other government agencies
for the ICESCR reporting process. These focal points will be further trained on CRC. In addition
new focal points may be added to the group from other relevant agencies. The DC will use the
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inter-ministerial Focal Points and will form them in the thematic working groups, to undertake
the desk review and compile the information and data on different themes required in the CRC
report (See under 2.a.iii)

Establishment of the Report Writing Working Group
The detail terms of reference of the writing committee should be developed shortly by the
Coordinating unit of CRC reporting process and UNICEF. Proposed members of the writing group
will include the MoFA (Members of the Officer of Human Rights and Women’s International
Affairs) and MoLSADM (Members from the office of Social Protection) and will be supported by a
Technical Advisor, Database Consultant and a Translator.

TOR for the Report Writing Working Group:
• Review of CRC guidelines and general comments, extraction, compiling, translation and
   disseminate of information to relevant government agencies for their response.
•      Follow up with relevant ministries through members of DC (focal points).
•      Compiling, reviewing and analyzing of the information/data submitted by Inter-Ministerial
       Focal Points.
•      Preparing drafts of the CRC report
•      Organize necessary consultations with the DC for review of drafts
•      Translate the available and collected information from English to local languages and vice-
       versa.

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    Coordinating Unit will serve as secretariat for the drafting committee.
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  There are rich resources of both qualitative and quantitative study and research in child rights related
issues available in the country. A comprehensive review of the existing literature is necessary to identify
gaps of information and data in the eight thematic groups of the CRC report.
7
  This is the set-up for the treaty reports and used in the past by the MoFA. Two focal points are appointed
from each key ministry (in total 45-60 persons). As for the CRC reporting, it may require some changes in its
membership. The list of the focal points is available with MoFA and shared with UNICEF. These focal points
will receive training of CRC and orientation on the CRC reporting process.


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•   Revise drafts whenever necessary and required by the DC
•   Finalize the draft and share with DC for their consultation with the SC

Development of Work Plan
The Work Plan (Annex II), developed by the Drafting Committee and endorsed by the Steering
Committee will detail the preparation process of the initial report from desk review of the existing
data to collection of field data to review of the draft report to finalization of the report.

Preparation of the Work Plan can be done through a workshop or a small working group. The
Work Plan should be prepared and endorsed within a month since the inception of the Drafting
Committee.

The Wok Plan should be properly costed for necessary resource mobilization purpose. The DC
should request the SC to organize a fund-raising briefing with potential donors, if external
resource mobilization is required, which should take place within 2 weeks since the endorsement
of the Work Plan.

iii.Establishment of Thematic Groups
It is advisable to create/form small working groups (i.e. thematic, sectoral or whatever found most
suitable for the report preparation by the SC/DC) within the DC composed of the inter-ministerial
focal points. These working groups will perform the desk review of the available
information/data/research, as well as review of the findings of national and sub-national
consultations, these groups will make sure to address the question and required information for
each of the below mentioned thematic areas of the CRC reporting. These groups will also be
responsible to prepare the draft report incorporating national and sub-national consultation
findings.

The eight thematic areas of the CRC reporting are as below;

•   General Measures of Implementation
•   Definition of the Child
•   General Principles
•   Civil Rights and Freedoms
•   Family Environment and Alternative Care
•   Basic Health and Welfare
•   Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities
•   Special Protection Measures

b. THE ROLE OF STAKEHOLDERS
Directorate of Human Rights and Women’s International Affairs, as responsible unit for the
treaty reports in the MoFA will play a coordination role through out the reporting process as well
as will be the Managerial Secretariat Unit for the Steering Committee.

UNICEF will provide the necessary advisory and technical support to the reporting process to the
Human Rights Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

OHCHR will provide the necessary advisory and technical support to the Human Right Unit at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs through support mechanisms in Geneva, the identification of expert UN
personnel (technical advisor and in-country missions) and in country support through UNAMA.

MoLSADM as technical Ministry for the Child Rights will support the work of coordinating unit
throughout the reporting process. MOLSA will also take the lead in sub-national consultations.



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CPAN will facilitate sub-national consultations with communities, children and parents to gather
information for the reporting process.

Children will participate through consultations organized by various key players to make sure
that their views and voices are reflected throughout the reporting process.

c. TIMELINE
   Process is planned to start on 1st May 2008 and will continue up to 31 April 2009.
Details can be found in (Annex I)

d. RESOURCES
The resources will be divided in to two parts
• Resources Immediately needed to start the process
   As estimated budget sheet will be prepared to indicate the funds needed as start up fund to
   start the process. Budget Sheet (Annex III)

•      Resources needed during the process till completion
       A detailed Work Plan will be developed and the budget for each activity will be indicated in it
       which will cover all reporting process related activities
                                                                                     8
       This Work Plan (Annex II) will later be presented to a wider audience where various
       organisations will offer their contribution.

3. COLLECTION AND ORGANIZATION OF INFORMATION/DATA
a. DESK REVIEW
The initial desk review to identify the information gaps will be conducted by the drafting committee
at the first stage of the reporting process. There are rich resources of both qualitative and
quantitative study and research in child rights related issues available in the country. A
comprehensive review of the existing literature is necessary to identify gaps of information and
data in the eight thematic groups of the CRC report.

b. ESTABLISHMENT OF DATA COLLECTION MECHANISM
After the initial desk review is completed and the information gaps identified, the drafting
committee will work on establishing a mechanism for data collection using the existing structures
such as CPAN, identified focal points for the treaty reports and using consultative workshops with
children, sectoral consultative groups, civil society representatives at national and sub national
level (i.e. regional, provincial, community, etc...).

c. Afghan-Info TRAINING TO DATABASE CONSULTANT AND REPORT WRITING GROUP
As soon as the DC formed and Database Consultant recruited Afghan-Info training will be
provided to the selected members of the DC and Database Consultant by the Afghan-Info Officer
of the Central Statistics Office (coordinated and organized by UNICEF).

d. CONSULTATIONS (NATIONAL/SUB-NATIONAL)
i.     Consultation with the Inter-Ministerial Focal Points
Inter-ministerial focal points will be consulted on regular basis during the course of the report
preparation to respond to the CRC questionnaires.




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     Donor communities, International NGOs, Civil Society, etc…


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     ii. Sub-National Consultations
     Guided by the spirit of the CRC, the process of the report preparation should be participatory as
     much as possible. Children and civil society’s involvement throughout the process is particularly
     encouraged by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Hence the DC will make sure that the
     report preparation process (proposed in the Work Plan) involves children and civil society.

     In close consultation with the Steering Committee, the Drafting Committee will determine the level
     of sub-national consultations (i.e. regional, provincial, community, etc.) depending on the topic of
     the discussion and elaborate it in the Work Plan.

     In order to facilitate sub-national level consultations, the DC will closely work with existing
     regional network on child protection, education, health and other child rights concerns. The DC
     should develop a detail plan and mechanisms of how to involve provincial Child Protection Action
     Network (CPAN), National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and other sub-national civil society
     groups in the process. Sub-national consultations should be involved in identifying issues of
     concern in the CRC thematic areas, collecting information on those issues, and reviewing the
     draft outcomes of sub-national consultations.

     Lastly, the DC should review the existing literature with sub-national level analysis in prior to sub-
     national consultations. This will facilitate to identify and narrow down topics to be discussed with
     certain regions, provinces, and communities/groups.

iii. Consultation Workshop with National CPAN
A consultation workshop will be held with national CPAN at country level to provide inputs and
feedback on the drafted report which will help the drafting committee to revise and finalize the draft
reporting by incorporating the comments of this workshop into the drafted report.

4. MAJOR LINES OF ACTION
i.       The Initial Report Preparation
•   Establishment and endorsement of the Steering Committee and of the Drafting Committee
•   A workshop will be conducted for all focal points at national level to improve their knowledge of
    CRC and create a common understanding of their responsibilities and obligations towards the
    initial reporting process.
• Development of the Work Plan: An intensive workshop will be conducted for the members of
    the drafting committee to draft a clear/detailed Work Plan which should be facilitated by an
    expert in CRC reporting process.
• Review and endorsement of the Work Plan by the Steering committee
• Establishment of the thematic/sectoral working groups
• Desk Review of the existing data/information/studies and research by thematic working groups
• Sub-national consultation activities
• Compilation of the findings of sub-national consultations
• National level consultation with national CPAN
• Endorsement of the final report by SC
• Submission of the report to CRC committee
ii. The Pre-sessional Working Group
iii. Between the Pre-sessional and the Plenary Session
iv. The Plenary Session
v. Follow-up to the Plenary Session and the Concluding Observations
vi. Periodic Reporting to the Committee


     9
      The modality of the sub-national consultation for the Global Move for the Children developed and used by
     Save the Children Sweden is recommended to be used for CRC reporting process.


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