International Humanitarian Law Webinar Series on Afghanistan


The Australian Red Cross and the Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW Sydney held a series of online information and discussion sessions on Afghanistan.

The series examined the situation in Afghanistan through the lens of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), humanitarian principles and humanitarian action now and into the future. The three events took the format of panel sessions, followed by interactive Q&As.

The series covered the following topics:

Session 1: Protecting the Vulnerable (Part 1) - Women and Children

Wednesday, 16 March 2022
3pm-5pm (AEDT)

How has the crisis affected women and children? How are they protected under international humanitarian law and human rights laws? 


  • Dr Shireen Daft, Macquarie University
  • Victor Moses, Country Director, CARE Afghanistan
  • Semin Qasmi, formerly UN Women and currently with Australian Red Cross
  • Asuntha Charles, National Director, World Vision Afghanistan
  • Zola Maddison, Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor, Save the Children
  • Sitarah Mohammadi, Legal Researcher, Afghanistan Human Rights Democracy Organisation and a former Hazara refugee from Afghanistan

Session 2: Protecting the Vulnerable (Part 2) - Refugees and Internally Displaced People

Wednesday, 30 March 2022
3pm-5pm (AEDT)

How are agencies responding to population movements within Afghanistan and to neighbouring countries and beyond? How are refugees and internally-displaced people protected under international humanitarian law and human rights laws? 


  • Susanne Schmiedl, Fulbright Scholar, UNSW Sydney and Programme Director, Afghanistan Conflict Sensitivity Mechanism (ACSM). 
  • Nai Jit Lam, UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative in Canberra
  • Liza Beinart, Migration Support Program State Lead for Western Australia, Australian Red Cross
  • Pranamie Mandalawatta, IHL Legal Adviser, Australian Red Cross
  • Hamid Hussainzada, Research Associate, Domestique Consulting / former Communications Officer, International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Afghanistan.

Session 3: Healthcare in danger

Wednesday, 13 April 2022
3pm-5pm (AEDT)

How has the pandemic and other health issues been managed during the crisis in Afghanistan? What protections are included in international humanitarian law for frontline healthcare workers?


  • Chris Binks, Former Delegate, Medicins Sans Frontieres
  • Natasha Chabbra, Humanitarian Policy Advisor,  Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
  • David Heslop, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, UNSW
  • Jamal Ahmad Mahmood, former Trainer and Head of the Learning and Development Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross’s Kabul Delegation
  • Mahpekay Sidiqy, Kabul Orthopaedic Organization
  • Kylie Leach, Head of the International Humanitarian Law Team, Australian Red Cross