Afghanistan: Oral statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council


On 18 June 2024, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) delivered an oral statement during the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. The statement, prepared with FIDH’s member organization Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA, calls for the codification of gender apartheid as crime under international law. Read the oral statement below.

UN Human Rights Council – 56th session

Item 2: Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan

18 June 2024

Madam Vice-President, Mister Special Rapporteur,

FIDH and Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on the institutionalized system of discrimination faced by women and girls in Afghanistan, which echoes our grave concerns over the nature and prevalence of the violations that are systematically committed in the country.

Since the Taliban’s seizure of power almost three years ago, the human rights situation has not ceased to deteriorate. The oppression, segregation, and discrimination of women and girls in Afghanistan is now unparalleled in the rest of the world. This is why FIDH and Armanshahr believe that the current legal vocabulary is no longer sufficient to describe this situation and call on all states and stakeholders to recognize this as a situation of gender apartheid.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur’s assessment that the time has come for the codification of gender apartheid in international law. We recall that the ongoing negotiations for a treaty on crimes against humanity provide an opportunity to do that. It would send a strong message to all those, including the Taliban, who seek to oppress women and girls that it will not be tolerated.

Thank you.

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