Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Afghanistan: Second anniversary of Taliban takeover
15 August 2023
Today marks two years since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
The High Commissioner reminds the de facto authorities that Afghanistan, as a State, has obligations under international law to respect, uphold and promote the rights of all people without discrimination. We remain deeply troubled by the human rights situation, in particular the severe restrictions imposed on women and girls, whose rights to access education and work, their freedom of movement and participation in daily and public life have been eroded by a series of discriminatory edicts issued since the takeover.
UN Human Rights staff continue to work in Afghanistan monitoring, documenting and advocating on a range of human rights issues, including the rights of women and girls, fundamental freedoms, the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the rights of detainees. We are engaging with the de facto authorities on these issues and remind them of their obligations under international human rights law. We also meet with de facto security agencies on individual cases of human rights violations and visit prisons to meet detainees.
The High Commissioner calls on the international community not to forget the people of Afghanistan, who in addition to facing severe limitations on their human rights, are living through a dire humanitarian and economic situation. There are no Afghans who remain untouched in some way by the violence and conflict of the past four decades. Victims and their families continue to seek justice, accountability and much needed, and at times, life-saving support.
It is not too late to change the trajectory of the country, and for the Taliban to change its policies based on the understanding that the respect and protection of human rights are essential for the prosperity, cohesion and stability of the nation. The people of Afghanistan have the right to a peaceful and harmonious future and the Taliban, as the de facto authorities, have the obligation to ensure that this right is realized.