Afghanistan: Systematic violations of women's and girls’ rights demand an urgent and proportionate response

Statement at the 50th Session of UN Human Rights Council

Urgent Debate on Afghanistan

Delivered by Horia Mosadiq, Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization

CIVICUS and Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization welcome the holding of this Urgent Debate.

The situation for women and girls in Afghanistan is absolutely critical. Since the Taliban took power, the rollback of the rights of women and girls has been swift, unprecedented, and in some cases deadly.

Women and girls are increasingly restricted in their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, association and even movement, and the situation is worsening.

Women human rights defenders fought for participation and human rights in the fragile peace process ongoing before the Taliban takeover, at significant risk and with insufficient support. With systematic oppression now in place and risk magnified to an unimaginable extent, such international support is more critical than ever.

The grave and systematic violations of women's and girls’ rights demand an urgent and proportionate response, to protect those on the ground and to hold the Taliban accountable for abuses. There needs to be a clear sign that the international community takes seriously this situation. We urge the Human Rights Council to take action that will materially support women human rights defenders and those they protect.

We further call on States to provide Afghan human rights defenders with financial, diplomatic and political support, including by issuing humanitarian visas and funding resettlement programmes, and to apply pressure on the Taliban to create a safer space for human rights defenders and journalists in Afghanistan.

We thank you.

 Civic space in Afghanistan is rated as "Repressed" by the CIVICUS Monitor