SAVE THE CHILDREN STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF THE LAW ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS BY THE PARLIAMENT OF AFGHANISTAN

Tuesday 10 December 2019

The law was initially passed by presidential decree in March 2019, but Parliament could not endorse it due to disagreement by officials on the legal age of a child. The Afghan Parliament has now decided to recognize that children require appropriate time to physically and mentally develop into adults and that all children, both girls and boys, under the age of 18 years must be protected from abuse and supported closely through access to education and other services.

Onno van Manen, Country Director of Save the Children, said, “Save the Children welcomes yesterday’s announcement that the Law on the Protection of Child Rights has been ratified by the Afghan Parliament. The law, which is largely based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is a monumental piece of legislation which protects children from abuse, but also ensures their access to essential services, such as medical care and schooling.”

Save the Children remains committed to supporting the children of Afghanistan and will do its part in support of the implementation of this law. Records of child casualties have been reported in 2019 whilst millions of children suffer from severe malnutrition and lack of access to education.

Onno added, “We call on the Government of Afghanistan to enact this law with haste, including through the development of plans supported by adequate financial resources for which we also call upon the international donor community. After 18 years of unremittent violence across many areas of Afghanistan, there is no longer any child which has not been impacted by conflict. It must stop now before the childhoods of another generation are forfeit.”