Women and girls risk violations under Taliban’s control

 Woman wearing niqab walks among people   Woman wearing niqab walks among people Photo by Mhrezaa by Unsplash

24 August 2021

Michelle Bachelet warned that the treatment of women and girls is a “fundamental red line” that should not be crossed by Taliban forces.

During the emergency session at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet, UN human rights chief, reminded Member States of credible reports of violations of international humanitarian law against civilians in areas under the control of Taliban.

According to Reuters, the UN human rights chief had received reliable reports of serious violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan, including summary executions of civilians and Afghan security forces who had surrendered, recruitment of child soldiers and repression of peaceful protest and expressions of dissent. As stated by Euronews, with the Taliban back in control of Afghanistan after 20 years, many in the country and around the world fear a return to the brutal Islamic law of the past, where women and girls suffered from a lack of basic human rights. For this purpose, there are many worries regarding the fate of many women who are still on Afghan territory. Anita Ramasastry, Chair of the Coordination Committee of UN Special Procedures, asserted that people in the country are  hiding as the Taliban continues to search homes door-to-door and there are serious concerns that such information gathering may lead to them being targeted for reprisals. According to UN news, searches, arrests, harassment, and intimidation, as well as seizures of property and reprisals are already being reported. Ms. Bachelet added that a fundamental red line will be the Taliban's treatment of women and girls, and respect for their rights to liberty, freedom of movement, education, self-expression and employment, guided by international human rights norms. In particular, ensuring access to quality secondary education for girls will be an essential indicator of commitment to human rights.

These reports, as stated by Ms. Bachelet, underscore the importance for the Human Rights Council to work in unison to prevent further abuses and that Member States establish a dedicated mechanism to monitor the Taliban's implementation of its promises. Following the meeting, The Human Rights Council adopted a draft resolution, urging the international community to remain engaged with Afghanistan along political, humanitarian, human rights and development tracks.









Author: Jasmina Saric; Editor: Gianpaolo Mascaro


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