Item 2 - Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on Afghanistan (7.03.22)

Human Rights Council – 49th session

Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on Afghanistan

7 March 2022

Joint Statement on behalf of a group of countries


I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Spain, my own country Australia, and a group of countries. 

We are deeply concerned by reports of significant violations and abuses of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, including threats to their safety and barriers to their rights to education, work and full participation in civic life.  We are committed to preserving and building on the political, economic and social achievements of the Afghan people.

We reiterate that without women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in civic and economic life, women do not have the opportunity to freely express and represent their own interests, enjoy the security of generating livelihoods, or contribute to the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. 

Girls’ education and women's economic participation leads to better living standards for all.  We are deeply concerned that women have been increasingly and systematically excluded from public life in Afghanistan, with reports of job losses, restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, including through arbitrary detentions, restrictions on political participation and lack of access to essential services.  We support the right to freedom of opinion and expression as exercised by peaceful demonstrators during recent women’s rights protests in Afghanistan.

The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is marked by gender-specific restrictions which must be addressed.  Easing the humanitarian crisis requires that women have the agency to partake equally in all aspects of the response, and that girls are free to continue their education as the schooling year begins this month.

Women’s empowerment and girls’ education benefits all Afghans without distinction.

Afghan women have demonstrated they are active and tireless agents of change and are crucial in shaping the future of their country.  We must stand by our commitments to support Afghan women to participate fully, equally and meaningfully at all levels of decision‑making, as acknowledged by HRC resolution 45/28, Special Session resolution 31/1 and HRC resolution 48/1.

Afghan women and girls deserve to live in safety, security and dignity.  We remain steadfast in amplifying their voices to ensure their concerns are heard. 

Thank you. 

HRC49 – Afghanistan Joint Statement - List of Co-Signatories as at 7 March, 1.00 pm

  1. Australia
  2. Spain
  3. Norway
  4. Estonia
  5. Czech Republic
  6. Liechtenstein
  7. Albania
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  9. Croatia
  10. Denmark
  11. Finland
  12. Sweden
  13. Luxemburg
  14. Latvia
  15. Lithuania
  16. Belgium
  17. Greece
  18. Poland
  19. Austria
  20. Italy
  21. Slovenia
  22. France
  23. Israel
  24. Germany
  25. UK
  26. Chile
  27. Iceland
  28. Ecuador
  29. Canada
  30. North Macedonia
  31. Mongolia
  32. New Zealand
  33. Slovakia
  34. Portugal
  35. Netherlands
  36. Cyprus
  37. Malta
  38. Colombia
  39. Romania
  40. Ireland
  41. Turkey
  42. Guatemala
  43. Hungary
  44. Montenegro
  45. Republic of Korea
  46. Brazil
  47. Costa Rica
  48. Uruguay
  49. Peru
  50. Japan
  51. Serbia
  52. Monaco
  53. Switzerland
  54. Andorra
  55. United States of America
  56. Vietnam
  57. Timor Leste
  58. Georgia