For Individual Dignity

Last year, over 2,700 civilians were killed as a result of the conflict. They were the innocent victims of an increasingly deadly war. The current approach towards civilians caught in the conflict isn’t working.

We believe we need a fresh approach. An approach that focuses on protecting civilians and gives them and their families the dignity they deserve. An approach that builds trust with the Afghan people, rather than adding to the mistrust and grievances that can fuel conflict.

It’s a fresh approach focused on individual dignity.

Fresh: rebuilding trust

In 2010, over 2,700 civilians were killed and over 4,300 were injured as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan, according to the UN. For the Afghan people, it was the deadliest year since the start of the current conflict. The Taliban and other armed groups were linked to the majority of these deaths. After pressure, NATO forces introduced policies to reduce civilian casualties. While they had some success, NATO and Afghan government forces were still linked to 440 civilian deaths in 2010.

As a result, many people continue to have little trust in the forces that are meant to protect them. And every time Afghan civilians are killed and injured in air strikes or night raids, and every time the internationally-backed Afghan security forces abuse their positions of power, that trust erodes further still.

A fresh approach emphasising the protection of civilians, and ensuring that all allegations of military misconduct, harm or the loss of innocent life are thoroughly and transparently investigated, would shift this.

And, as a result, the trust of the Afghan people could be rebuilt instead of pursuing an approach that adds to the mistrust and despair that can fuel conflict.

It makes sense.

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