News Releases

Afghanistan: The international community needs to act for women’s rights

53rd session of the Human Rights Council

Oral statement on the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan

Oral statement delivered by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

Mr. President,

As a human rights defender, being part of HRD+ and affiliated with the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), we welcome the joint report of the SR and the Working Group on Discrimination against Women and appreciate the inclusion of civil society in its preparation. However, we would like to emphasize that the report doesn’t reflect the full extent of the dire situation of women and girls in Afghanistan. While the UN’s main bodies have provided a comprehensive recommendation on women’s rights violations, the lack of coordination between UN members has allowed the de facto authorities to increase the restrictions on women’s rights.

Last year, as a civil society organisation, we demanded accountability for human rights violations in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the situation has deteriorated significantly since then. Gender apartheid is worsening and requires immediate attention.

We would like to call on the Human Rights Council to consider establishing a broader independent mechanism for human rights violations in Afghanistan. We also call on Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to respect the fundamental rights of Afghan refugees and specifically call on Pakistan to stop arresting, harassing and deporting Afghan refugees, women and girls.

Thank you