Afghanistan’s Human Rights Review: A Critical Juncture

Afghanistan's UPR in Geneva||

Afghanistan’s Human Rights Review: A Critical Juncture
Geneva, May 3, 2024

In a significant session of the Human Rights Council, Afghanistan's fourth cycle report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was adopted. This adoption marks a pivotal moment for the country, offering a platform to address and evaluate the pressing human rights challenges it faces.

Understanding the UPR Mechanism

The UPR, established by UN General Assembly resolution 60/251 and HRC resolutions 5/1 and 16/21, is a unique process that involves the periodic review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. This mechanism allows states to outline the steps they have taken to improve human rights conditions and to address ongoing challenges.

The Review Session

On April 29, 2024, Afghanistan’s delegation, led by Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), presented the national report. The report starkly highlighted the severe breakdown of fundamental human rights in the country, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. Ambassador Wahidullah Waissi presented the economic part of the UPR, shedding light on the economic hardships and their impact on the human rights of Afghan citizens.

Focusing on Key Issues

The review placed a significant emphasis on documented human rights abuses, particularly those affecting women, girls, and ethnic and religious minorities. Reports from UN agencies and various international organizations underscored the severe human rights challenges in Afghanistan, exacerbated by Taliban policies. Over 200 edicts and directives have severely restricted basic freedoms, with the most stringent measures targeting women and girls, effectively erasing them from public life and violating their fundamental rights.

Outcomes and Recommendations

On May 3, 2024, the Troika members, including the Netherlands, India, and Burundi, presented the outcome of the review. Afghanistan received 243 recommendations from 70 states. The Permanent Mission of Afghanistan, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, will meticulously examine these recommendations and submit a written report before the commencement of the 57th Human Rights Council session.

Acknowledgements and Future Steps

The Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to UNOG expressed gratitude to the UN Member and Observer States for their constructive engagement and to the Bureau, the UPR Secretariat, and the Troika members for their dedicated efforts in ensuring the success of Afghanistan's review. As Afghanistan navigates this critical juncture, the global community's role in advocating for and ensuring the protection of human rights within the country is more vital than ever. The outcomes of this review are expected to play a crucial role in shaping international responses and strategies to address the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.


The adoption of Afghanistan's UPR report during the 46th session of the Human Rights Council marks a significant step in addressing the severe human rights issues in the country. With the global community’s support and constructive engagement, there is hope for meaningful progress in protecting and promoting human rights in Afghanistan.


Last modified on Sunday, 16/06/2024

Go to Top