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Human Rights Council’s Credibility Hinges on Taking Strong Action at Emergency Session

As reports mount of grave human rights abuses by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an emergency session this week. It should immediately mandate the strongest possible monitoring mechanism. Before their…
22 اگست، 2021 کو کابل، کے نواحی علاقے وزیر اکبر خان میں ایک چیک پوسٹ پر طالبان جنگجو ڈیوٹی دے رہے ہیں۔
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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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Governments Backing Talks Should Press for Civilian Protections

With Afghan peace talks making little progress, the latest report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) makes for grim reading. Although 2020 saw an overall decline in civilian casualties — the lowest numbers since 2013 — a…
Kabul street where gunmen fatally shot two women judges who worked for Afghanistan's high court, and wounded their driver, January 17, 2021. 
News

Failure to Prosecute Abusers Fuels ‘Vicious Cycle’

It has been five years since Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that his government would “not tolerate torture.” If that were so, the latest United Nations report wouldn’t be needed. Instead, the report documents the government’s failure to…
Taliban prisoners look out a prison door in the city of Jalalabad, August 3, 2020.
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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
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20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
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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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UN Finds ‘Staggering’ Numbers Tortured in Kandahar

In its biannual report released today, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) noted a modest decline in torture allegations across the country. This is good news. But with about one-third of conflict-related detainees still alleging…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during during a peace and security cooperation conference in Kabul, Afghanistan February 28, 2018.
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.
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But Ignores Afghanistan’s Torture Scourge

On Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani promoted his country’s bid to join the UN Human Rights Council. To make his case, Ghani cited the importance of the Universal Declaration of…
Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017.
News

Roma Afflicted with Lead Poisoning in UN-Run Camps

The United Nations may be undermining its own efforts to promote human rights, at a time when rights are under threat worldwide. That’s the view of a UN panel of experts, which investigated complaints of human rights violations by…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug Camp outside Trepca mine, on the outskirts of Mitrovica, June 22, 2009.
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UN Committee Calls for Action against Gen. Abdul Raziq

When the United Nations Committee against Torture grilled Afghanistan’s delegation last month about government efforts to curb torture, members asked about one person in particular: Gen. Abdul Raziq. That was no accident. Raziq, the…
General Abdul Raziq, Afghan National Police chief for the southern city of Kandahare, addresses officers during their graduation ceremony at the Kandahar Regional Training Center in southern Afghanistan, Jun. 7, 2012.
News

Body Ignores Own Advice to Give Clear Apology for Tragedy that was UN’s Fault

It looked like justice for Kosovo’s lead-poisoning victims was finally within reach. Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson convened a meeting in December 2016, just as he and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were preparing to hand the…
News

Insurgent Attack Destroyed Braille Printing Press, Classrooms

A horrific attack on August 25 in Kabul targeted the American University of Afghanistan, leaving 13 civilians dead and dozens injured after a harrowing 10-hour siege. It also claimed another vital educational institution – the country’s sole high school…
Damage from shrapnel is seen on the walls and locked garage doors at the Vocational High School for the Blind in Kabul, following an attack on August 25, 2016 that left the school closed.
News

Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
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Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani rang in the new school year on March 22 – proclaiming “a clarion call for prosperity, stability, and mobility.” President Ghani is right about the power of education to transform the lives of a new generation of…
map of afghanistan
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Afghanistan’s schools and health facilities will be among the most dangerous places in the country this Saturday. That’s because the government has designated hundreds of schools and dozens of clinics as polling centers for the April 5 presidential…