Mission to Uruzgan, one of Afghanistan’s “Forgotten Provinces”, 19–26 August 2013

On 19 August 2013, a small team of legal experts arrives in the province of Uruzgan in Southern Afghanistan. Its tasks are to assess the situation in the justice sector, to train law professionals and to advise them on institutional and legal matters

The mission was carefully prepared together with Afghan justice officials on the national and provincial level. It was part of a project aiming at assessing and comparing the capacities of the justice institutions in all provinces and strengthening them particularly in those provinces, which had been least supported since the fall of the Taliban regime. Like all projects in Afghanistan, it was realised by the Max Planck Foundation in cooperation with the Hamida Barmaki Organization situated in Kabul.

The team identified a number of provinces which have been “forgotten” in the efforts to rebuild Afghanistan’s justice system. Typically, these are insecure, rural and mountainous provinces without any large city, such as Uruzgan, Nimruz, Jowzjan, Farah, Ghor, Daikundi and Zabul. Similar missions to these and other places were equally planned until the end of 2013. The short-term trainings that were realised as part of the project covered various legal topics, including family law, criminal law, and human rights.

The project was launched in reaction to the enormous differences between the capacities of the justice institutions in the Afghan provinces. While most of the judges, prosecutors and Ministry of Justice officials were present according to the official organisational charts in some places, merely 20 per cent were to be found in others. While dozens of trainings had been organised in some provinces, only few law professionals had been invited to trainings in others. As a consequence, many Afghan citizens in insecure and less developed areas have dramatically less access to justice than their compatriots in more secure places and cities.

Further information on the overall project “Strengthening the Judiciary in ‘Forgotten’ Provinces