The General Directorate of Human Rights, Child Rights and Gender
The Gender Department was established in 2007 (1387) with 41 posts throughout Kabul and Afghanistan’s provinces. In its second year, the Department was elevated to a Directorate and its duties expanded to include human rights and children’s rights. The General Directorate of Human Rights, Child Rights and Gender is charged with ensuring that Afghanistan adheres to Article 22 of the Afghan constitution, the UN charter, and international treaties and conventions to which Afghanistan is party that concern human rights, gender equality, reduction of violence, monitoring and prevention of human rights violations, securing and respecting the rights of children, and promoting human rights values among the police.
The Directorate’s gender department coordinates with MoIA’s recruitment groups to assist in identifying and recruiting qualified female applicants. The MoIA currently has more than 2,000 women working in civilian and military capacities, and plans to eventually employee 10,000 women in the national police force. Last year Directorate representatives participated in MoIA recruitment efforts to prevent recruitment and hiring of personnel under the age of 18.
The Directorate also participated last year in a policy development commission, created by the Deputy Minister of Security to comment on the Strategy for the Management of the Affairs of ANP Female Personnel. Directorate representatives served on the commission alongside representatives from such organizations as the United Nations, the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) and international policing, and human rights organizations. The Minister approved the Strategy in March 2014.
119 Police Directorate
In 2009 (1388) MoIA established the 119 informational call center with financial support from NATO. It has 58 employees, seven of whom are female. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people to report crimes and suspected terrorist activity, as well as police misconduct, corruption, and human rights violations.
Complaints are referred to the appropriate department for follow up. A calls reporting a suspected planned terrorist attack, for example, is referred to the MoIA’s Quick Action Response Unit for immediate action and follow up. The number of people contacting the 119 centers everyday has increased steadily since the service was established. The 119 call center helps to prevent incidents that could harm people and damage property. Last year the 119 call center assisted the national police in disabling 173 different types of mines and explosives planted all around the country; disabling 15 suicide bomb vests; and arresting 20 suicide bombers before they could act. Through the center, Afghan citizens further assisted in the arrest of three people who were planting landmines, and the discovery and seizure of a great deal of explosive material and heavy weaponry. Approximately 70 bags of explosive Ammonium Nitrite, 60 mortar shells, six barrels full of explosives, and a motorcycle loaded with of explosive material were discovered by the police thanks in part to citizens utilizing the 119 service. The 119 call center further assisted in the arrest of 29 murderers, seven kidnappers 32 house burglars, and 19 car thieves. In 2013-14 (1392) centers were established in an additional five provinces: Kandahar; Helmand; Nangarhar; Herat; and Balkh.
Communications and Public Affairs Directorate
The Media and Public Affairs Directorate (MPAD) is responsible for conveying the messages of the Afghan national police to Afghan and international audiences in a timely manner, and is tasked with informing the public and media about the country’s security status. The MPAD also works to monitor and share the Afghan public’s opinion about security, policing, and other issues related to the MoIA. The MPAD comprises News, Production, Media Monitoring, Website, Media Relations, and Archive sections. In 2013-14 (1392) The MPAD focused upon four main areas: public diplomacy, strategic relations with media, countering insurgent propaganda and managing ANP public relations. Last year, The MoIA spokesperson conducted 34 press conferences on a variety of security issues, and to announce developments within the MoIA. The MPAD issued 1,263 press releases, announcements and media alerts.
The MPAD maintains the MoIA’s strong online media presence, updating the Ministry’s official Website and its Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts. The Spokesman also maintains his own professional Twitter account. MPAD further works to ensure that MoIA news and security information regularly appears on YouTube, Flickr, and SoundCloud.
MPAD expanded and improved the Ministry’s website last year through immediate posting of news releases, an increased the number of photographs, and introduction of public service information campaigns. The MoIA’s website’s pages concerning community policing, women’s and children’s rights and issues, passport information, the national identification process, the driving license process, and provision of vehicle registration documents were significantly expanded last year.
With the support of UNESCO, MPAD publishes the Afghan national police Khedmat magazine, making the monthly publication available to the Afghan police and public. Each issue of Khedmat is designed to provide information and training material useful to police for conducting their jobs. In 2013-14 (1392) 12 issues were published, each with distribution of 15,000.
Significantly, the MPAD worked last year with the Office of the Minister to create and introduce the television program “Police and People” which airs on Afghan national television. The program features the Minister or the Deputy Minister providing updates and briefings on the country’s security situation and on newsworthy developments within the police service and the MoIA. Each episode the Minister or Deputy Minister accepts questions and comments from citizens who call into the program. If the official is unable to answer the question immediately on air, the question is researched and answered the following week. The MoIA has produced and aired six segments to date. This program is an example of the Minister’s and the MPAD’s commitment to facilitating good communication with the Afghan people who are invited to share their comments, questions, suggestions, or complaints regarding mistreatment by police.
The MoIA recognizes that full transition to a civil police service should include soliciting and listening to citizen concerns and feedback. In 2013-14 the MoIA initiated two formal mechanisms to do this: the National Consultative Council (NCC) and the Provincial Consultative Councils (PCCs). The NCC is designed as a regularly held forum for citizens representing diverse segments of Afghan society to raise issues of general concern and to identify citizen priorities concerning the country’s police service. NCCs allow a variety of Afghan populations to have their voices heard, and will assist the MoIA in making decisions that are better informed by the citizens it serves. The PCCs, hosted by Provincial Chiefs of Police (PCOPs), will replicate this model at the Provincial level.
The first National Consultative Council was held on April 23, 2013presided over by the Minister. Twenty-two members of government and civil society organizations representing women, youth, journalists, and others attended. The second NCC was held on August 15, 2013 and was attended by 21 members. NCC members raised a variety of new issues and made a number of suggestions for the direction of the police service at both the national and community levels. The MPAD also began planning for launch of the Pilot Provincial Consultative Councils.
Last year the MPAD began regular issuance of Public Service Information campaigns, completing two in 2013-14 (1392): Road Safety in August 2013, and a Campaign against Violence against Women in March 2014. Both campaigns included nationwide mobile phone text messages, online social media outreach, and informational television and radio spots. The MoIA plans to increase and expand its public service information campaign work in the upcoming year.