Describing the Disaster Is Not Enough: Urgent Actions Needed Beyond Words

During yesterday’s assembly, representatives from various nations and human rights organizations in Geneva delivered a comprehensive breakdown of the circumstances faced by women after the ascension of the Taliban to power.

None of the speakers contested that the Taliban were not committing human rights violations or suggested that the people of Afghanistan merited living under a Taliban Emirate.

It was duly explained that the Taliban are obstructing women’s access to essential services like healthcare, education, and employment.

The conversation also highlighted that women are caught in an intricate web of inhumane deprivations, and the patriarchal administration and societal norms have compounded difficulties for most women to such an extent that some resort to suicide.

Accounts of women being murdered, escalating domestic violence, compulsory marriages, child trafficking, and displacement of women and children were all reported.

The participants’ discussions captured the essence of a painful human rights crisis, necessitating immediate global action. But the real question is, what concrete actions should these reports precipitate?

Should we only extend the scope of reporting projects, allowing the continued study and assessment of the human rights situation of the Afghan people? How do we put an end to this crisis and curb the rampant infringement of Afghan people’s rights? Is it conceivable to negotiate human rights issues with the Taliban, and through encouragement and promotion, compel the group to establish an Emirate where human rights are upheld?

The Taliban, unapologetically, spurn the global norms of freedom and human rights. Instead, they view the curtailment of freedom and “salvation” of the Afghan people from “human rights” as their foremost mission. They deem human rights and freedoms as the origin of evil and decadence, and they persecute, torment, and extinguish individuals for the perceived crime of seeking fundamental freedoms, such as education. A significant number of non-political individuals are currently incarcerated, accused of attempting to reopen schools. There’s no grounds to anticipate that under the Taliban regime, women will obtain freedom or that critique of the group will instigate behavioral or policy reforms.

The dominant narrative within the group, and the ethos that influences their recruitment, negates the formation of a government or an administration that ought to manage affairs and strive for the welfare and advancement of the people.

The true disaster is that, following protracted negotiations and a formal agreement, the Afghan administration was surrendered to a group that neither believes in governance nor supports any system that could elevate society from its primitive state. This group’s primary expertise lies in devastation and negation. Currently, the very “global system” and the institutions that orchestrated the surrender process are convening meetings, critiquing the Taliban’s conduct, and enumerating the countless sufferings of our restrained nation.

The sole merit of these enumerations and descriptions is that they serve to impede the establishment of the Taliban Emirate’s legitimacy.

However, in circumstances where unofficial powers lend their support to the Emirate, thwart serious opposition against it, and allocate funds for its continuance, what advantages do these meetings and reports offer to girls who are denied an education, women who are shackled within their homes, men who are compelled into enforced silence and migration, unemployment, and starvation? The United Nations and international organizations bear the responsibility of aiding in the extraction of the Taliban’s grasp from the throats of the Afghan people, rather than merely focusing on reporting and drafting proposals to augment the provision of humanitarian assistance and the financing of palliative projects.”