This month marks one year of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, with the country facing one of the world’s most significant human rights crises.
After more than 40 years of conflict, it is estimated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that 24 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance.
2.6 million Afghan refugees have spread across the world, which the UNHCR said accounts for “one of the largest protracted refugee situations in the world,” and 3.5 million Afghans have been internally displaced.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Taliban have broken multiple pledges to respect women’s rights, enforcing strict restrictions on women’s and girls’ education, movement and expression. This includes being prohibited from traveling without a male family member present and limited access to secondary schooling.
“The scope, magnitude and severity of the Taliban’s violations against women and girls are increasing month by month,” said Amnesty International in the Death in slow motion: Women and girls under Taliban rule report released in July.
“The international community must urgently develop and implement a robust, coordinated and effective strategy that pressures the Taliban to bring about these changes,” it said.
The human rights crisis follows the country’s loss of international support, natural disasters and climate-related issues and lack global food security; all of which are currently contributing to Afghanistan’s deteriorating economy. There has also been an increase in extrajudicial killings, detentions and torture led by the Taliban, according to the UN.
Additionally, 95 percent of Afghan households face food insecurity, a 15 percent increase from August of 2021, according to the World Food Programme.
Acute malnutrition rates in children have skyrocketed, with more than 3.5 million children suffering due to lack of food.
“Humanitarian assistance alone is not enough to address all needs now and in the future,” said Dr Ramiz Alakbarov in his statement on food insecurity and malnutrition in Afghanistan.
“It is absolutely necessary to keep people alive and healthy, and to prevent vulnerable people in the most precarious situations from sliding ever further into need.”