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Home Office Should Expedite Long-Term Housing, Support Services

(London) – The uncertainty and crowding in temporary housing is causing growing tensions for Afghan evacuees in the United Kingdom, especially women. Eight months after emergency evacuations from Afghanistan, many Afghan evacuees to the UK are…
Refugees from Afghanistan wait to be processed after arriving on an evacuation flight at Heathrow Airport, London, on August 26, 2021.
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Taliban Should Investigate Alia Azizi’s ‘Disappearance,’ Report Whereabouts

(New York) – The women’s prison director in Herat, Afghanistan has been missing since October 2021 and is feared to have been forcibly disappeared, Human Rights Watch said today. Alia Azizi had worked under the former government but returned to…
Alia Azizi.
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Measuring Taliban Pledges Against Practice

(New York) – The Taliban’s pledge to allow all girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan to reopen on March 23, 2022, needs careful monitoring, Human Rights Watch said today. Aziz Ahmad Rayan, an Afghan education ministry spokesman, told the media on…
Afghan girls exit classrooms at Tajrobawai Girls High School in Herat, one of the few provinces where the Taliban permitted girls' secondary schools to reopen, November 25, 2021.
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Policy Recommendations for International Donors

(New York) – International donors seeking to fund education for girls and women in Afghanistan should carefully consider and address the human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Taliban have said that they…
Girls gather to go home from school.
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Discriminatory Rules Hinder Lifesaving Assistance

(New York) – Taliban rules prohibiting most women from operating as aid workers are worsening the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Countrywide restrictions mean that aid will reach fewer families in need, particularly women-headed households.…
Men wait in a line to receive cash at a money distribution organized by the World Food Program in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 3, 2021.
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Discriminatory Rules, Ignored Protections

(New York) – Taliban officials in Afghanistan’s provinces are using a manual that imposes rules harsher than the abusive policies announced by their leaders in Kabul. And Taliban authorities often do not comply with the rights protections that the…
Taliban fighters stand guard at the entrance to the former Ministry of Women Affairs, which the Taliban has replaced with the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, which oversees the implementation of hardline Islamic rules in Afghanistan.
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Attacks on Education Rose 33 Percent Globally, Prompting Calls for Urgent Action

(New York) – Explosive weapons were used to attack about 40 schools in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2021, as Taliban forces took over key territories, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said in a report…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
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Taliban Gains Further Risk Crucial Legal Protections

(New York) – The Afghan government’s failure to provide accountability for violence against women and girls has undermined progress to protect women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Gains by Taliban forces as the United…
A painted mural with Arabic writing on a building
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Dropping Donor Support Threatens Essential Services

(New York) – Falling donor support for essential services in Afghanistan is reducing women’s access to essential health care, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More cuts are likely in coming months following the announcement by…
A new mother holds her hour-old baby in the maternity ward at Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 2020. She had travelled from neighboring Laghman province to give birth at the hospital. On May 12, 2020, unidentified gunmen attacked the hospital’s maternity ward, killing 24 people, including 16 mothers, 2 children, and a midwife. Three new mothers were killed in the delivery room. Another 20 people, including babies, were injured in the four-hour attack. Ongoing security concerns have lef
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US Should Support a Genuinely Inclusive Process, Not Just ‘Parallel’ Events

(New York) – Women should have full participation in the talks between Afghan government officials, opposition political leaders, and the Taliban under United Nations auspices, Human Rights Watch said today. Human rights advocates in…
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 14, 2017.
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Attacks Highlight Need to Uphold Press Freedom in Peace Settlement

(New York) – Taliban forces are deliberately targeting journalists and other media workers, including women, in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. Threats and attacks against journalists across the country have increased sharply since…
Afghan journalists film at the site of a bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. 
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Near Exclusion at Moscow Summit Highlights Threat to Rights

(New York) – Afghanistan’s government and its international partners are failing in their obligation to ensure that Afghan women are full participants in all peace processes. In keeping with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women,…
Former President Hamid Karzai, left, and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, second right, attend an international peace conference in Moscow, Russia, March 18, 2021.
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Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Continued Assistance for Education, Health, Media Essential

(Geneva) – Afghanistan’s foreign donors meeting in Geneva, beginning November 23, 2020, should prioritize funding for education and health, especially for girls and women, and for independent media, Human Rights Watch said today. The pledging…
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Poorly Enforced Laws Leave Informal Workers No Recourse

(New York) – The Indian government’s failure to properly enforce its sexual harassment law leaves millions of women in the workplace exposed to abuse without remedy, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should urgently…
Illustration of woman who's mouth is covered by hands
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Issue XV: The impact of COVID19- on women and girls’ education

UN Women, UNICEF and Human Rights Watch jointly issue this fifteenth alert to continue to highlight the gender specific impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. This alert focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls’ education and the…
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Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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Abuses Persist, Protections Fragile as Peace Talks Begin

(New York) – The Taliban in Afghanistan have imposed severe restrictions on rights in areas under their control despite claims of reform, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Residents reported an inability to criticize or question…
Two children walk by armed soldiers in the countryside
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Assault on Kabul Maternity Clinic Shows Cruel Disregard for Civilians

  (New York) – The attack by unidentified assailants on a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 12, 2020 shows blatant disregard for civilian life and is an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. A suicide bombing attack…
Security forces patrol as smokes rises from a maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, after gunmen attacked leading to shootout with the police and killing several people, May 12, 2020.
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Barriers, Discrimination in Health Care, Education

(New York) – Afghan women and girls with disabilities face high barriers, discrimination, and sexual harassment in accessing government assistance, health care, and schools, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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