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Twenty Rights Groups Call for Justice and Accountability

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.…
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. 
News

Donors Should Sustain Vital Services While Decrying Violations

Donor countries to Afghanistan say they want to keep protecting the human rights of women and girls, even as international troops prepare to depart the country. But a bill introduced in the United States Senate last week raises tricky issues about how…
Women walking Nadir Khan Overlooking Kabul womens rights us withdrawl
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Education Ministry has a Crucial Role in Addressing Teen Pregnancies

“I want to [talk] about female candidates who sat for the…examination [while] in hospitals. As I celebrate, I also want to castigate our parents in the most severe terms possible.” These were the words of Kenya’s cabinet secretary for education,…
young mothers collect books library
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Attackers Target Girls Leaving Kabul High School

Scenes from Sayed ul-Shuhada High School in Kabul, Afghanistan, where as many as 85 people including many schoolgirls were killed in an attack this weekend, should break anyone’s heart. They certainly broke mine. In 2017 a filmmaker and I spent a week…
Books, notebooks, and other school supplies are left behind after May 8's deadly bombings near a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 9, 2021.
News

Government Proposal for Mosque-Based Primary Schools Raises Concerns

An Afghan government proposal that children study in mosques for the first three years of primary school raises concerns about its commitment to the right to education. “We are working to transfer the first, second, and third grades of the school…
Main image for Afghanistan Report
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Pandemic Creates New Barriers for Women and Girls Already Facing Deep Inequality

On May 28, 2020, Human Rights Watch launched a survey to learn more about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on students, parents and caregivers. As of June 6, people in 54 countries had completed the survey; it’s still open here—please fill it…
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News

Investigate Alleged Rapes by Teachers, Police

When allegations of widespread sexual abuse of children surface, it’s supposed to be the perpetrators who get investigated and taken into custody. But not in Afghanistan. Mohammad Musa Mahmudi and Ehsanullah Hamidi are two…
Afghan police officers search a vehicle at a checkpoint on the Ghazni highway, in Maidan Shar, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.
News

Attacks in Civilian Areas Kill and Injure Hundreds

On July 1, a Taliban truck bomb apparently aimed at a Ministry of Defense facility in Kabul blew out the windows of a nearby school, injuring many civilians, including dozens of children. The attack is a grim reminder of the war in…
A security forces soldier arrives at the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan
News

Suicide Bombing Latest Attack Targeting Shia Community

Madina, 17, headed off to class last Wednesday as she had always done, pursuing her hope to go to university and earn a business degree so she could start her own company. But for Madina and 39 other students – all under 20 years old –…
Men carry the coffin of a relative who died in the suicide bombing at Mawoud Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2018.
News

Policy Bans Government Doctors from Conducting Abusive Tests

A new policy in Afghanistan promises to bar government health workers from engaging in the abusive practice of forcing women and girls to undergo invasive and medically meaningless vaginal and anal exams to determine whether they are “…
A demonstrator attends a rally outside the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Belgium, October 5, 2016.
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The Government Has Defined Harassment, But Abuse is Still Common

Any Afghan woman can tell you that sexual harassment is widespread in Afghanistan. A 2016 study found 90 percent of the 346 women and girls interviewed said they had experienced sexual harassment in public places, 91 percent in…
A demonstrator attends a rally outside the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Belgium, October 5, 2016.
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UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
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Governments Need to Better Protect Girl Students from Attack

“There were two bombs in the school,” said 16-year-old Malalai, describing an attack in January 2016 against her girls’ school in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. She said the Taliban had left a letter in the schoolyard: “They said…
Main image for Afghanistan Report
News

Afghan Military’s Sexual Exploitation of Boys Persists

A United States government oversight agency has slammed Afghan government officials for active complicity in the “in the sexual exploitation and recruitment of children by Afghan security forces.” In its most recent quarterly…
An Afghan military honor guard waits to greet U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis upon his arrival to meet Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan April 24, 2017.
News

Robot Visits US, Afghan Girls Stuck at Home

We want to make a difference and most breakthroughs in science, technology, and other industries normally start with the dream of a child to do something great.  – Team Afghanistan’s statement on the competition website They…
Members of Afghan robotics girls team which was denied entry into the United States for a competition, work on their robots in Herat province, Afghanistan July 4, 2017.
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Urgent Action Needed to Help Millions of Children Forced into Work Each Year

Rahimullah, a 15-year-old Afghan boy, told Human Rights Watch last year that he has worked as a brick maker for five years, working from 4:00 a.m. until nightfall. “My smaller siblings also work,” he said. “When they turn five,…
Hazrat Hussain, 10, loads bricks onto a truck. Hazrat doesn’t go to school and works alongside his two teenage brothers at a brick kiln outside Kabul.
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One-Third of Casualties from IEDs, Unexploded Ordnance, and Airstrikes are Under 18

If you had any doubt the war in Afghanistan is getting worse for civilians, statistics out today show that in the first quarter of 2017, children were increasingly bearing the brunt of the bloody conflict. While there was a…
Residents walk past damaged shops after a suicide car bomb attack on a government security building in Kabul, Afghanistan April 19, 2016.
News

Up to One-Third of Afghan Girls Married Before Age 18

The Afghan government launched a National Action Plan this week to end child marriage, an important initiative in a country where about a third of girls marry before age 18. Child marriage is deeply harmful, leaving girls at increased risk of leaving…
An Afghan girl (R) jumps rope on a hilltop in Kabul, Afghanistan May 18, 2015.
News

Protecting Children of Rape, the Invisible Victims of Conflict and Political Violence

Akinyi was only 11 years old when three men broke into her home in Kericho, Kenya, in December 2007, as post-election violence raged, and gang raped her and her mother. Akinyi became pregnant, but did not want anything to do with the baby girl she bore.…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News

Deaths and Injuries of Children Soar From Unexploded Ordnance, Aerial Operations

The 2016 civilian casualties report from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a stark reminder of just how terrible the war in Afghanistan has become. Following the pattern of previous years, 2016 set a record: UNAMA…
Afghan men carry empty coffins for the victims of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 24, 2016.