In Afghanistan, the Solidarity Center encourages citizens and nascent unions to participate in the development of a national labor law in accordance with international standards.
|An Afghan journalist photographs the damages at Kandahar prison after a prison break on June 14, 2008. © EPA/Humayoun Shiab
Afghans have endured decades of civil strife, years of severe drought, and a shattered infrastructure while Operation Enduring Freedom continues to combat remaining Taliban and Al-Qaida elements. Due to its tumultuous past and current state of disorder, Afghanistan has no established trade union culture. Despite this, a small group of nascent unions operates in the country, including the Afghanistan Teachers Support Association (ATSA), the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association, and two factions of the National Journalists Union of Afghanistan.
The Government of Afghanistan and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs have taken the first steps to foster legislation to protect the rights of workers through their promulgation of the Labor Code 2007. The most basic and important of these rights are the rights of freedom of association and adherence to international labor standards and ILO Conventions. Still, future reforms of this code are necessary to support social and economic development that will create not only an efficient economic system, but also one that will provide social justice to the key players in the process – Afghan workers.
"What Drives You to This Dream?"
A champion of press freedom and women’s rights in Afghanistan, Farida Nekzad works under tremendous pressure at a time when women journalists are being threatened and killed for their reporting. Despite the danger, Nekzad is committed to staying in her country and continuing her work. Read her interview with the Solidarity Center's Tim Ryan.