HRRAC has been working at extractives sector since 2010 and is implemented relevant projects in transparency and accountability at extractives, health and education, women participation in peace process and access to justice. HRRAC has implemented a long-term similar project with Oxfam Novib on “Human Rights Status in Extractives Mining”. HRRAC has similarly implemented a project with Oxfam on “Gender Mainstreaming at Extractives in the Northern Afghanistan”.
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In 2015 HRRAC’s “Below Ground: Social Development, Safety and Health, and Transparency and Accountability in the Mining Sector in Afghanistan” report showed that one of the main characteristics of the mining sector in Afghanistan is that the vast majority of mines are ‘illegal.’ In other words, they are not officially licensed by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP). As a result, they do not follow any standard as specified in Afghanistan’s laws. It is a similar situation for the 340 licensed companies that the MoMP authorized to extract oil, gas, and minerals. Even if legally registered, these companies engage in irresponsible mining practices affecting communities and depleting local environmental resources while fueling conflicts. There is a clear threat from illegal and irresponsible mining to the environment, public wellbeing, local security and of course to international security. As a result of which transparency and accountability in the sector is at stake. The sector fuel corruption at provincial and national level and in addition to that, one third of the insurgents and other volatile elements revenue come from natural resources and this will further increase if appropriate steps and measures are not taken to ensure transparency in sector.
In order to “decrease corruption in the mining sector by promoting transparency in the extraction of mineral resources,” HRRAC works to Ensuring Transparency through community and civil society engagement in the mining Industry of Afghanistan”, it builds on HRRAC’s 2015 recommendations which aimed at increasing compliance with Afghanistan’s mining laws by increasing citizen involvement and Oversight over mining activities.
We advocate for Afghanistan’s mineral policies alignment with that of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative. HRRAC was a member of multi-stakeholders group and now play the role of observer. HRRAC is working on a mining for development forum at national level in order to advise and oversight government and companies activities. In addition to that, we have established Mine Watch Committees at provincial level in ten provinces. They are composed of community members, civil society and journalists. We advocate for community engagement at extractives and have development specialized toolkits for community, civil society and private sector productive engagement. We are a strong proponent of community development agreement and social licensing in the sector. HRRAC has been advocating for gender mainstreaming at extractives and has published several researches on the subject. HRRAC works for increased awareness regarding the adverse impacts of extractives on the environment and how to respond to it.