Stark Rise in Afghan Civilian Casualties in 2015

2015, the most deadly year for Afghan civilians 2015, the most deadly year for Afghan civilians © AFP

14 February 2016
Civilian casualties hit a new high in 2015, according to the UN 2015 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.


More Afghan civilians were killed in 2015 than in any other year, says the United Nations in its newly released 2015 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. This is the seventh year in a row of civilian casualties reaching a new record.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), along with the United Nations Human Rights Office, produced the annual report and documented 11,002 civilian casualties (3,545 deaths and 7,457 injured) in 2015. This amounts to an overall increase of four per cent from civilian casualties in 2014. Most of the civilian fatalities are caused by ground engagement, followed by targeted and deliberate killings, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Anti-Government Elements continued to cause the most harm, resulting in 62 per cent of all civilian casualties, despite a 10 per cent reduction from 2014. Yet, the rate of harm in such attacks continued to be so high in 2015 because of Anti-Government Elements increasing their use of tactics that deliberately or indiscriminately cause civilian harm.

“The people of Afghanistan continue to suffer brutal and unprincipled attacks that are forbidden under international law,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The conflict in 2015 had appalling consequences for children, with one in four casualties was a child.

“The report references commitments made by all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, however, the figures documented in 2015 reflect a disconnect between commitments made and the harsh reality on the ground,” said Danielle Bell, director of the United Nations Human Rights program in Afghanistan.  Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA echoed her concerns and stated that, “the harm done to civilians in totally unacceptable. We call on those inflicting this pain on the people of Afghanistan to take concrete action to protect civilians and put a stop to the killing and maiming of civilians in 2016.”


To read more, visit:

Read 10117 times