The call was made during a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on “Serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan,” by Humanists International’s Director of Advocacy, Elizabeth O’Casey.
In her statement she warned, “History and current events show us that a whole host of people, including women and girls, women and LGBTI+ rights defenders, human rights defenders and those promoting humanist values, journalists, writers, civil servants, interpreters, former security personnel, and minorities and people with disabilities, are targets for extensive human rights abuses and violations by the Taliban.”
She also noted that, as observed by the High commissioner for human rights previously, “some of the many violations that have taken place, may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
The statement called on the Council to pass a resolution which “reflects the severity of the situation on the ground, and does service to the dignity of the Afghan people.”
As part of that, Humanists International insisted it should establish an international monitoring and accountability mechanism to address ongoing abuses in Afghanistan, and said:
“Any resolution which does not include a meaningful mechanism for monitoring, reporting and accountability, would be a shameful failure by the international community and Council itself. It would betray all the courageous people who have risked so much to defend human rights for all, in Afghanistan.”
The statement also called for immediate and safe evacuation for all Afghans who need it, and the removal of all barriers to exit, including bureaucratic ones. As well as the halting of forced returns to Afghanistan, and ensuring the human rights of refugees arriving from Afghanistan are fully respected.