US Special Envoy Stress on Human Rights as Center of Engagement with Taliban

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West stressed in a tweet on Sunday, December 11, that human rights should be at the “very center” of engagement with the Taliban.

“This Human Rights Day, we are reminded that Afghan women and girls face indefensible restrictions – in education, employment, movement, and political life,” he said in a tweet. The US special envoy added that space for free expression has shrunken after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021.

West noted, “We must keep human rights at the very center of our engagement with the Taliban, with all Afghans, and as we approach programming and diplomacy.”

The situation of human rights, particularly women’s rights, has dramatically shrunk under Taliban rule.

After taking the power again, the Taliban closed secondary schools for girls and removed women from most of the governmental posts.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement on Saturday, December 10, said that the brutal violation of women’s rights has been one of the most prominent “aspects” of the Taliban government to date.

The UN Mission called on the Taliban authorities to live up to commitments embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a landmark document codifying everyone’s fundamental rights and freedoms.

“The UN urges the de facto authorities to reverse the slew of edicts and practices they have introduced that restrict the basic rights of Afghans, especially those of women and girls”, the statement further reads.