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French and British Governments Need New Approach to Irregular Migration

At least 27 people, including a young girl, died in the frigid waters off France this week while trying to cross to the United Kingdom in an inflatable dinghy. The tragedy has intensified a dispute between British and French officials over who bears…
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat headed in the direction of Dover, Kent, United Kingdom, August 10, 2020.
News

Closing Secondary Schools to Girls Causing Lasting Harm

“I want to go to school and become an independent woman who chooses and decides for her life,” 16-year-old Nasiba told me. “If I am educated, men wouldn’t dare to interfere but if I am not, they will decide my whole life for me.” She lives in Kabul…
Women demonstrate for their rights during a gathering for National Teachers Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 5, 2021.
News

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. 
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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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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

Court Recognizes Urgency of Climate Crisis

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe today and governments are not doing enough to cut emissions and prevent catastrophic impacts on children’s…
Portugal Wild Fires
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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
News

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…
2017wrd_Afghanistan_Education
News

Dutch Government Should Welcome Unaccompanied Children from Greek Islands

Last week, Luxembourg became the first European country to welcome migrant children, twelve girls and boys, from the Greek Aegean Islands. And on April 16, 47 others arrived in Germany, the first to benefit from a plan to relocate…
Migrant children board a plane for Luxembourg
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

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
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

Preventing Rescue at Sea, Punishing Survivors on Land

The current Italian government’s inhumane approach to refugees and migrants has reached a new low. On September 23, news emerged that Italy had pressured Panama to revoke the use of its flag on the Aquarius, the only…
A wooden boat carrying 29 people, mainly Syrians, just before their rescue and transfer to the Aquarius. October 10, 2017
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.
News

EU Should Act Against the Unlawful Practice Globally – And at Home

The European Union could do more to help end child marriage, and members of the European Parliament are working for it to do just that. On Thursday, the parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee adopted an…
End Child Marriage 2
News

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

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.
News

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.