Taliban must uphold rights of girls and women in Afghanistan, EU says

Human rights violations against women, girls and minorities on rise, says foreign policy chief

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The EU has urged the Taliban to reverse “unacceptable behaviours” and uphold the rights of women, girls and minorities, a year after their takeover of Afghanistan.

Many Afghans say they feel safer than when the Taliban was fighting against US-led forces and their Afghan allies.

But 12 months since the US withdrawal poverty is widespread, exacerbated by drought and an economy that is suffering because foreign governments' refuse to recognise the country's rulers.

Hopes that women will play any part in deciding the country's future are fading.

Development aid upon which the country relied so heavily has been cut as the international community demands that the Taliban respect the rights of Afghans, particularly girls and women whose access to work and education has been curtailed.

“One year after the Taliban took over control of Afghanistan, the humanitarian situation has worsened, and widespread human rights violations are rising, in particular against women, girls and minorities,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell tweeted.

“I call on those de facto holding power in Kabul to reverse these unacceptable decisions and behaviours.”

About 25 million Afghans are now living in poverty, well over half the population. The UN estimates that up to 900,000 jobs could be lost this year as the economy stalls.

Civil society and independent media have also shrunk, with many journalists leaving the country.

The UN mission to Afghanistan said in a recent review the group was limiting dissent by arresting journalists, activists and protesters.

Updated: August 16, 2022, 6:49 AM