Report of Civil Society and Human Rights Organization Office in the North and Northeast Region of Afghanistan about Access to Information to the 6 th General Assembly of CSHRO
By Nasima Azkia CSHRO north-north east coordinator
Dear colleagues participants of 6 th General Assembly of CSHRO
Access to Information is one of the basic human rights issues of citizen. Each citizen has the right to information in order to organize his or her life in the society. The article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 50 th of Afghanistan Constitution provide legal condition for access to information for the citizens of Afghanistan.
The Civil Society and Human Rights Organization organized the first debate on access to information in Afghanistan in 2006. A national seminar was organized in Afghanistan with the representation of 26 provinces in Kabul in 2006. During the seminar representative of civil society organization decided to work together for access to information strengthening in Afghanistan . At the end of 2006 the second national seminar was organized in Bamyan province of Afghanistan . During this seminar representatives of local government supported the idea of access to information in Afghanistan.
In May 2009 the Civil Society and Human Rights Organization organized the analytical symposium on access to information in Mazahr-e- Sharef city of Balkh province. The goal of the symposium was to invite some academics, intellectuals and media representation to provide their articles about access to information. During this symposium 6 articles were presented. The articles dealt with main principals of access to information, challenges of implementation for access to information, democracy and access to information, access to information during the election, access to information media, election and organic collaboration, access to information and national and international legislation.
The participants of the symposium decided the following elements:
• A working group should be designed in Mazahr-e- sharef to study the national and international legislation and to work for initial draft of access to information.
• The Civil Society and Human Rights Organization should organize national debate on access to information in Afghanistan.
According to symposium the working group was designed by four national scholars in the field of media, law, religion and social saince.
The working group has been working since 2009 with the constructive collaboration with CSHRO Secretariat and Danish Institute for Human Rights. The initial draft of access to information was broadly discussed with four strategically important regions of Afghanistan.
Mr. Kova Sahab who is a lawyer and coordinates the new ideas form the regions and integrated into the initial draft law of access to information. The initial draft of the access to information law is consist of 8 chapters with 30 articles the members of the group studied the international society access to information legislations.
Today we have the finalized first draft of access to information law and we hope that the Civil Society and Human Rights Organization work with the other national and international institutions to advocate the draft law to the Afghan legislative body.