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Human rights must be upheld in Afghanistan

18 August, 2021

Diakonia is deeply alarmed about the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, an extremist group, and the impact on the Afghan population. Given the Taliban’s track record of serious human rights violations, Diakonia is particularly concerned about the safety of women and girls, persons of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity, and ethnic minorities.

Diakonia calls on all groups exercising effective control in Afghanistan to respect international humanitarian and international human rights law, including: the prohibition of attacks against civilians; summary and extra judicial executions; the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment; sexual and gender-based violence and enslavement.

Diakonia remains concerned over renewed violence and reprisals that threaten the lives of civilians, including human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, journalists and those associated with the government and international forces and agencies.

The Afghan people need our solidarity and support when upholding and defending the gains achieved in human rights. More girls than ever before are attending schools, more women have access to healthcare and have jobs outside the households. Diakonia calls on the international community to continue provide rights based and development effective aid that benefit the needs of the people.

The safety and well-being of the Afghan people is a shared responsibility of all states and the collective international community. Diakonia calls on the international community to ensure the right to flee and to provide immediate and sustained support to persons fleeing the violence as well as neighbouring countries that are likely to see an influx of displaced persons. Such support, from planning through to implementation, must consider and respond to the needs of those likely to face difficulty fleeing and accessing humanitarian support, such as persons with disabilities and the elderly. The international community should continue to develop and support all required measures to ensure accountability for previous and on-going violations of international law.

Diakonia has extensive experience in various Asian countries in working with local organisations to advance economic development, gender justice and human rights. Its International Humanitarian Law Centre promotes respect for the laws of war worldwide and works with governments and other actors for more humanity in conflict.

For more information

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Stephen Wilkinson

Global IHL Program Manager

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More humanity in conflict

International Humanitarian Law Centre

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre promotes respect for the laws of war through independent research, advice, and advocacy worldwide.