Item 2 - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. JST EU. (6.03.2023)

United Nations Human Rights Council 52nd session.

Item 2 - Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. EU Statement

6 March 2023


Thank you, Mr President.

The EU thanks the Special Rapporteur for his work and report, and welcomes his continued access to the country.

We are alarmed by findings that the human rights crisis in Afghanistan has further worsened.

The Taliban’s erasure of women and girls from public life is near absolute, following their ban on women and girls’ secondary and tertiary education, and from NGO work.

The EU, as one of the major providers of humanitarian and basic needs assistance to the people of Afghanistan, strongly condemns the ban of women from working for national and international NGOs, and calls on the Taliban to lift their decision immediately. Women have a particular important role in the delivery of assistance, especially to other women. Restricting women’s participation in this critical work will prevent the delivery of such assistance to a large part of the population, including widows, women-led households and children.

 The discriminatory denial of women and girls’ rights contravenes Afghanistan’s human rights obligations, including under CEDAW, and may amount to persecution on gender grounds a crime against humanity which is defined and prohibited by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The EU is deeply concerned by the human rights situation of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities and groups, children, LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, former personnel of the republic, journalists and other media workers, who suffer violations and abuses including killings, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment, and torture. The EU condemns the re-introduction of public corporal punishments, which constitute a cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. The EU calls for accountability for the violations of international humanitarian law, and for human rights violations and abuses. In that respect, the EU welcomes the investigative efforts of the International Criminal Court, to which Afghanistan is a party, and supports those of the Special Rapporteur and UNAMA.

Special Rapporteur, the rise in extrajudicial killings in Afghanistan is a particularly alarming trend. What more can be done to hold the perpetrators accountable?