Afghanistan: the Council must expedite discussions towards a more robust international accountability mechanism

Statement at the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council 

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan

Delivered by Horia Mosadiq, Afghan human rights activist

Thank you, Mr. President,

We express our grave concern over the ongoing discriminatory and regressive treatment against women and girls as well as the targeting of human rights defenders and civil society in the country. The recent ban on higher education and employment in NGOs is only the latest clear example of the Taliban’s concerted plan to crush women’s rights and role in Afghan society.

The ban on access to employment in NGOs for women has significantly impacted the work of local NGOs to provide service and support for women, children and marginalised groups. It has also prevented the delivery of humanitarian support and other life-saving aid to those in need.

Those denouncing these restrictions have been harassed and attacked. Peaceful protesters, especially women rights activists, have been subjected to increased restrictions and violence and press freedom has further deteriorated. The widespread impunity for these violations has contributed to an increasing climate of fear since the Taliban takeover.

The international community has not done enough to hold the Taliban accountable for their abuses and discriminatory policies and it needs to act now to avert a further escalation of the crisis. Particular attention should be directed to the threats and harassment against women human rights defenders as described in the Special Rapporteur’s report.  

We call on the Council to publicly call out the Taliban for the ongoing human rights violations and expedite discussions toward a more robust international accountability mechanism.

We ask the Special Rapporteur, what should the Council do to adequately and promptly support civil society, especially women rights activists operating within the country?

We thank you.

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



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