UN Human Rights chief happy with tenacity of Afghans during visit to Kabul

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has lauded the “spirit and tenacity” shown by the Afghans to protect their rights.

Bachelet heaped praise on Afghans during her short visit to Kabul, during which she held meetings with representatives of the de facto authorities and civil society representatives.

“The spirit, tenacity and unquenchable desire of Afghans for their human rights to be protected – and for their children to inherit a peaceful law-abiding land – is palpable. Afghans will decide their future and it is for us in the United Nations and for the international community to support all efforts to promote all human rights for all the people of Afghanistan,” she said.

Since August last year, following the Taliban’s takeover, there have been some drastic changes in the country, with the decline in hostilities afterwards the conflict-related casualties have reduced dramatically.

But Bachelet fears that the humanitarian and economic crises may claim far more lives.

“Today, one in three people in Afghanistan face an emergency or crisis levels of food security and there is limited access to cash, high levels of unemployment and displacement. Furthermore, there remains an unfortunately high risk of attacks by the ISKP and others,” she said.

In a statement on Thursday, Bachelet had stressed that Afghan women must be given the space to lead if the country is to find peace and progress.

Speaking from Kabul, Bachelet said Afghan women have been threatened and attacked for speaking up, and excluded from positions of power.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights stressed that girls should be able to go to schools and universities and be empowered to contribute robustly to the future of their country.

Earlier in the week, Deborah Lyons, the Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) emphasized that women’s denial of rights to free movement, work, participation in public life and education, is limiting greater economic development for the country.

“More needs to be done to promote equality of opportunity for women and girls in all areas of their lives,” she stressed.


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