Human rights

Human Rights Day: honouring Afghan human rights defenders

People who defended and upheld human rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan are being honoured by the Law Society of England and Wales on International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2021. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “As the world marks International Human Rights Day, I offer my deepest respect to the lawyers, judges, prosecutors and others who dedicated their lives to upholding the rule of law in Afghanistan over the last two decades.

“I know most of you are now in hiding with your families, in fear for your lives. We stand in solidarity with you. We recognise the work you have done to support human rights and the rule of law in your country and the particular risk you and your family face because of that work. We continue to do all we can to press the UK government to open viable routes for you to rebuild your lives in safety.

“To the British government, I say again you must open the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme for those at risk as a matter of urgency.

“Judges, lawyers and prosecutors who supported international efforts to establish human rights norms and the rule of law in Afghanistan must be eligible for resettlement under this scheme and given a place within the first 5,000 to be accepted under it.

“Britain has a proud history of protecting and upholding human rights. We share these values with nations across the world and they bind us.”

The Law Society promotes and defends human rights in the UK and internationally. We support lawyers at risk and speak out against threats to judicial independence and the rule of law.

I. Stephanie Boyce concluded: "Respect for human rights is integral to the rule of law. These principles strengthen and protect societies and economies around the world. The UK government must live up to these values, even in the most challenging of circumstances such as in Afghanistan today."  

Notes to editors 

Find out more about our human rights work

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Press office contact: Harriet Beaumont | 0208 049 3854

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