In Afghanistan we promote human rights and aim to relieve poverty. We are working towards reopening our citizens advice centres in Kabul and Pul-e Khumri, and expanding our advice network to other parts of Afghanistan.
In 2013, the ACAA received funding worth £250,000 from the UK’s Department for International Development (“DFID”) to operate two Citizens Advice Centres in Kabul and Pul-e- Khumri between 2013 to 2016. The project enjoyed significant success and, following an external evaluation, was scored an A++ by UK Aid Direct for substantially exceeding expectations and providing excellent value for money.
For two years at our citizens advice centres we provided free, confidential and often life-changing services and advice on a wide range of issues, helping those least able to access justice and their rights, including women, young people, internally displaced people, returnees and the disabled.
During those first two years, more than 6,000 people used the centres’ services, including 1,553 who received legal advice. More than 500 women received legal advice just in our first year, with the majority of those cases looking at issues of divorce, domestic violence and forced marriage. The biggest single issue we help with is domestic violence, followed by unemployment, divorce, murder and poverty.
We took cases to court and ran family mediation services, and we also referred to other non-governmental organisations, the local authorities, ministries and health services. We ran sessions on promoting education for girls and boys, on maternal health, nutrition, diabetes, depression, winter health checks for internally displaced people, women’s rights, disability rights, employment rights and the environment. We also ran a legal outreach service for women in prison.