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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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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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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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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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Talks Should Include Women, Victims’ Groups, Reformers

(New York) – Upcoming talks between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghan political leaders should make human rights protections a priority, Human Rights Watch said today. The negotiations should include meaningful participation by…
Women walk along a street in the old part of Kabul February 29, 2020.
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No Political Will to Prosecute Powerful Perpetrators

(New York) – Two recent cases in Afghanistan highlight the failure of authorities to prosecute sexual assault implicating powerful people, Human Rights Watch said today. The Afghan government should take immediate steps to provide…
Afghanistan women’s football team.
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Justice Delayed is Justice Denied for Women Athletes

(New York) – The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) needs to act more swiftly on complaints and evidence brought by women players of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by leaders of the Afghanistan Football…
Afghanistan women’s football team.
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Alleged Sexual Assault, Injustice Violate Rights, Deny Equal Access to Sport

(New York) – Afghan authorities should fully investigate and appropriately prosecute the sexual assault claims by 20 members of Afghanistan’s national women’s football team, Human Rights Watch said today. The Fédération Internationale de Football…
Afghanistan women’s football team.
News

Reports of Ill-Treatment Show Need for Transparency, Monitoring

(Paris) – Uzbek authorities should immediately and unconditionally release an Afghan citizen whose 13-year imprisonment and alleged torture in custody have only recently become known, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International…
A guard in a solitary confinement block at an unidentified prison in Uzbekistan. Prisoners in solitary confinement in Uzbekistan’s prisons experience cramped cells without bedding—some in total darkness, others with permanent bright lights
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Act Urgently to Reverse the Declining Number in School

(New York, June 13, 2018) – The World Bank, along with the Afghan government and its donors, should use its new education program to reverse the declining number of girls in school in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday in a letter to bank…
Girls sit for lessons on a stairwell inside a school building.
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Insecurity, Government Inaction, and Donor Disengagement Reversing Vital Gains

(Kabul) – Afghan government and international donor efforts since 2001 to educate girls have significantly faltered in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Sixteen years after the US-led military intervention in…
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