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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Afghanistan

05 April 2023



“The Taliban de facto authorities’ announcement banning Afghan women from working with the United Nations in Afghanistan is utterly despicable.

It is the latest in a series of steps taken that have eroded the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls – including a ban on girls attending school above the sixth grade, ban on university education for women and girls, restrictions on women’s freedom of movement in public spaces, orders regarding women’s clothing, banning women from working in the administration and commercial enterprises, and banning their employment in NGOs.

It also comes at a time when 28.3 million people in Afghanistan are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Instead of working together to support the most vulnerable, such measures could drive the people of Afghanistan into further despair.

This is a systematic, relentless assault on the people of Afghanistan as a whole by the Taliban de facto authorities, which appear to be actively working to incapacitate, intimidate and harass half of the population.

The Taliban leadership must rethink these deplorable policies against women, for the sake of the people of Afghanistan and for the future of the country.”


For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi
Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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