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Boost Aid for Civil Society, Education, Health, Media

(New York) – The US government should address fears of increased insecurity fueled by its announced plan to withdraw all military forces from Afghanistan by committing to expanded support for human rights, including women’s rights, Human Rights…
President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, about the withdrawal of the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. 
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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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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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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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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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(London/Washington D.C.)  -- “I never come here, just because of boys,” Atifa says, pointing at the door of the stall. “They’re opening the door.” Atifa, a sixth grader in Kabul, Afghanistan, attends a school of 650 girls. Since they study in tents…
Girls in Afghanistan -- And everywhere else -- Need toilets
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“My sister finished the first year at school, but then she got tired and decided to leave. She walked four hours each way every day, so that made her tired,” Sabina, 12, who grew up in rural Balkh province, said. Sabina was able to study starting at age…
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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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UN Refugee Agency Complicit in Government Coercion

(Kabul) – Pakistani authorities have carried out a campaign of abuses and threats to drive out nearly 600,000 Afghans since July 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The returnees include 365,000 registered refugees, making it the…
An Afghan refugee family forced out of Pakistan stands by a hired truck laden with their possessions after an overnight journey, October 2016
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Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.
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Press for Education, Civilian Protection at Brussels Conference

(Brussels) – Afghanistan’s foreign donors should press the government to safeguard gains in education and promote civilian protection, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to foreign leaders. Participating countries to the Brussels…
President Ashraf Ghani speaks to delegates and ministers during the London Conference on Afghanistan on December 4, 2014.
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Gales of laughter greeted my question: “So, which is worse, ISIS or the Taliban?” I was speaking to a room full of women who had recently fled areas in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province controlled by groups claiming allegiance to the…
An Afghan woman in Chaghchran capital of Ghor province June 2, 2014.
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Unenforced Law Puts Thousands at Risk of Injury, Death

(New York) – The Afghan government is failing to protect tens of thousands of children, some as young as 5, from hazardous conditions in the workplace, in violation of Afghanistan’s labor laws. The 31-page report, “‘They Bear…
Helal, 10, works as a brick maker at a brick kiln outside Kabul. He told Human Rights Watch that the brick mold is heavy and his hands hurt working with wet clay. Helal doesn’t go to school because he has to work.
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Since the 2001 U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan, Western countries have invested heavily in education there. But as security across the country deteriorates, schools in many places are under threat, not only from resurgent…
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President Ghani Should Back Sweeping Reforms Now

(New York) – Afghanistan’s new government should take urgent steps to combat sexual harassment of women in education, employment, and public life, Human Rights Watch said today. There are no laws in Afghanistan that specifically prohibit sexual harassment…
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This week, reality struck home for Afghanistan over the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Ratified by Afghanistan in 2003 during the early heady post-Taliban days when it seemed like a bright future for…
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Security Council Should Impose Sanctions for Targeting Children, Teachers

(New York) – Armed forces and armed groups that attack schools and teachers should face consequences from the United Nations Security Council, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said today. The UN Secretary-General’s annual…
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Any Deals With Insurgents Should Guarantee Women's Rights

(Kabul) - Ongoing Taliban attacks on women in Afghanistan show why women's rights should be a priority in any political agreement with insurgent forces, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Afghan government and its international…
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ONE MORNING late last year, Setareh's students found a landmine in their classroom. It was hidden under a bag in the mud-brick building of the first girls school in her rural Afghan village. The landmine was not, of course, unexpected. The Taliban had…