Afghanistan: UN committees urge Taliban to honour promises to protect women, girls

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Representative image
Representative image

Geneva [Switzerland], August 30 (ANI): Two UN Committees on Monday (local time) called on the Taliban to honour their pledge to protect Afghan women and girls, and to respect their human rights.

"The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) call on the Taliban to honour their pledge to protect Afghan women and girls, and to respect and fulfil the human rights enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child," Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) said in a statement.

As the planned withdrawal of US troops is due to be completed within hours, the Committees urged the Taliban and all other parties to take measures to protect the lives and respect the human rights of women and children, the statement added.

The Committees expressed concern by the reports of targeted attacks on women and girls who have contributed to the country's development over the past 20 years. "These women should be praised for their important roles and contributions to economic, political and social development in Afghanistan, rather than being subjected to assaults," the UN committees added.

The Committees recalled that excessive and arbitrary restrictions on women's and girls' rights to freedom of movement and expression, education, work and their right to participate in public life are incompatible with the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination.

"Both Committees urge those in power and exercising effective control in Afghanistan to comply with the basic tenets of international human rights and humanitarian law, including their due diligence obligation to prevent and protect women and girls from gender-based violence and discrimination," the statement said.

They recalled how the Taliban has issued a number of statements in recent days referring to their plans to form an inclusive government. "They have pledged to uphold the rights of women to work and of girls to go to school. The Committees urge the Taliban to honour their own commitments and not to let history repeat itself."

The Committees, however, noted with deep concern the caveat that women will be very active in society, but within the framework of Islam. They reiterated that under international human rights law, including both Conventions, which are binding on those exercising effective control in Afghanistan, religious norms and traditions cannot be invoked to justify violations of women's and girls' human rights. (ANI)

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