EU Special Representative (EUSR) and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Afghanistan Franz-Michael Mellbin said that Afghanistan has made some gains in the human rights sector, but called for more work to be done to bolster human rights especially women’s rights in the country.
Speaking at the same event, Afghanistan’s minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani said that the international community must not ignore human rights violations by Taliban insurgents in various parts of the country.
But, Afghanistan’s first lady Rula Ghani expressed satisfaction over government’s initiatives to promote human rights in the country, particularly that of women’s rights.
“I hope that the situation of women and other vulnerable people in Afghanistan improves in a few years,” said Rula Ghani.
The remarks were made during the 3rd Session of the Afghan Government and the European Union’s High-ranking Officials on Human Rights in Kabul.
“Unfortunately the fact is that there are still serious challenges that remain when it comes to the human rights situation in Afghanistan; the situation remains difficult and in some areas progress is fragile, the key remaining areas of concern for the European Union and member states are issues within women’s rights,” said Mellbin.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), meetings such as this would be helpful in promoting the human rights situation in Afghanistan.
Rabbani called on the EU officials to take notice of human rights violations by the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban and other terrorist groups have been committing various war crimes in different parts of Afghanistan. Their inhumane acts of violence have been in direct violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws. Their war crimes and crimes against humanity includes unlawful punishments, persecution of identifiable groups, attacks against civilians, and destruction of places of worship and public establishments,” Rabbani stated.
Rabbani went on to say that the institutionalization of human rights and women’s rights in government’s overall system has been one of the country’s main goals. We have been striving to achieve this goal untiringly together with our national and international partners, he said.
At the gathering, Afghan and EU officials focused on a number of key issues relating to human rights such as women’s rights, children’s rights, imposing restrictions on Bacha Bazi, women harassment, demonstration laws, access to justice, freedom of speech, the right of living, torture law and mistreatment.