15 Mar 2022

Annual lecture: Afghanistan: The future of human rights

Welcome to the Chr. Michelsen annual lecture 2022!

This year's annual lecture, Afghanistan: The future of human rights, will be given by Shaharzad Akbar, former chair for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

As the Chair of Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission, Shaharzad Akbar was tasked with documenting the human rights violations of the Afghan government, international forces, and the insurgent forces of the Taliban. However, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan with shocking speed, she and many of her colleagues were forced to leave the country. The Commission has not been operational since 15 August 2021. The human rights situation in Afghanistan has gone from difficult to devastating since the Taliban takeover, with increased restrictions on women’s rights, severely limited freedom of expression and assembly, targeted killings and arbitrary detentions and torture; all taking place in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. 

In her lecture Ms. Akbar will share her personal reflections on the past and future of human rights work in Afghanistan. Could the Afghan human rights community have acted differently in the years and months leading up to the Taliban takeover? What are productive ways of engaging with the Taliban from a human rights perspective? Which incentives can be employed by external actors, such as Norway?

Shaharzad Akbar is a prominent Afghan human rights advocate, intellectual and feminist. She is currently working on establishing a new human rights initiative focused on Afghanistan.


The lecture will be streamed, and you can follow it online. 

If you would like to attend the lecture in person, we ask that you please register here.