avatar for Sima Samar

Sima Samar

Government of Afghanistan
President’s Special Envoy and State Minister for Human Rights and International Relations
Dr. Sima Samar is a well-known women’s and human rights advocate and activist within national and international forums. Dr. Sima Samar has also served as the first Deputy Chairperson of Interim Administration of Afghanistan as well as the first Minister of Women's Affairs in Afghanistan's history from December 2001 to June 2002. As the Chairperson, she led the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) from June 2002 to July 2019. Currently, she is serving as the president’s special envoy and state minister for human rights and international relations. Acknowledging her vast human rights expertise and experience, she was appointed as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan and served in this post till 2009.

Sima Samar is a doctor for the poor, an educator of the marginalized and defender of the human rights for all in Afghanistan. She has established and nurtured the Shuhada Organization in 1989 in Quetta, Pakistan. Since then, under her leadership, the Shuhada Organization has operated more than one hundred schools, fifteen clinics and four hospitals dedicated to providing education and healthcare, particularly focusing on vulnerable groups such as women and children in and outside of Afghanistan.

She is also the honorary chairperson of Stop Tuberculosis Campaign as well as serving as the head of National Committee for the Prevention of Torture. This committee is a national prevention mechanism for the prevention of torture in the country. Her contribution to the cause of women rights and human rights is acknowledged worldwide and she is the recipient of more than a dozen honors and international awards. In 2009, she was nominated and shortlisted for the Noble Peace Prize along with the former United States president, Barack H. Obama.

Dr. Samar was born in Jaghori, Ghazni. She has graduated from Faculty of Medicine of Kabul University and has two children, a boy and a daughter.