Nearly 30 years of civil war, insurgency, and Taliban rule decimated Afghanistan’s justice system and created an urgent need for justice reform. The ILF was established in Afghanistan in 2003 as the country emerged from decades of conflict and oppression. The ILF was the first, and remains the largest, provider of legal aid services to Afghans accused of crimes, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age, or political affiliation.
When the ILF was first established in Afghanistan, most people had no way to see a lawyer until days after arrest, if ever. This put them at high risk for torture, coercion, and forced confessions. After years of advocacy, in several provinces, we now meet one-third of our clients during those crucial early stages.
Our Work in Afghanistan
Expanding access to legal aid for vulnerable populations.
Reducing pretrial detention, torture and coercion.
Decreasing time between arrest and first contact with a lawyer.
Combating policies that target women and girls.
Moral Crimes Disproportionately Impact Women
Too often, women who are victims of sexual violence are charged with moral crimes such as zina—or sex out of wedlock. Access to legal aid reduces wrongful convictions, mitigates harsh sentences, and helps survivors get the support they need.