Afghan human rights are universal too

In the gym, my eyes rest on one of the TVs hanging on the wall. There is a commercial for save the Children Search for. The video was filmed in Afghanistan. Girl with big dark eyes staring intently at the camera. Her name is Ara and she is eighteen months old. Her arms were measured to confirm the obvious at a glance. She was severely malnourished. I can hardly look at these kinds of pictures. As a Dutch Afghan, I have always been aware of how different my life would have been had my parents not fled. I see myself in Ara.

It is a painful realization that this girl is just an individual in the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Afghanistan. More than half of about 40 million Afghans live in poverty. The United Nations predicts that this number will rise and that 97 percent of the Afghan population will live below the poverty line – almost everyone.

sell kidney

Meanwhile, desperation has pushed many Afghans to their limits. People sell their kidneys to feed themselves and their families. Even more painful are reports of girls being sold to adult men for a few hundred dollars.

As the image of little girl Ara haunts me for the rest of the evening, I wonder what future awaits her if she survives the human catastrophe and her life is saved. The Taliban are not known for their cleanliness Record About human rights, and women’s rights in particular. Under the Taliban, Afghanistan in the 1990s had the strictest gender segregation in the world. Since the peace negotiations with the United States in 2018, the Taliban have attempted to cover up this image. Afghans around the world saw the empty promises of their propaganda and warned of the consequences of negotiating with and legitimizing a terrorist group like the Taliban.

The “new Taliban” was a feat that this fundamentalist Islamic movement could not afford for a long time

Unfortunately we were right. The “new Taliban” was a feat that this fundamentalist Islamic movement could not afford for a long time. For example, they promised to grant “amnesty” to civil servants and former soldiers, but hundreds of people have since disappeared – some have been killed, it is known. Despite pledges to respect press freedom, major broadcasters such as the BBC have now been banned from entering the country. Reports of mistreatment of journalists are published regularly.

The most poignant example of human rights violations is the recent decision to close girls’ secondary schools, despite previous promises to open them. Afghanistan is now the only country in the world where girls have been denied the right to an education. Millions of girls can no longer dream of a future in which they can study and work.

Although the Taliban keep saying that schools will eventually open, nothing has changed in their ideology. this is the truth. The group adheres to the same philosophy as in 2001 – then declared the West 9/11 The war against this idea. The effects of war do not disappear once international forces leave the country. The lives of children like Ara, if at all saved from starvation, will be marked by signs of strategic mistakes and decisions of others.

Not only is urgent assistance essential to save lives, but the humanity of Afghans is also at risk. The situation in Afghanistan is a test for anyone who cares about human rights. It cannot be the case when the towel is thrown when human rights abuses have taken place for a long time or when they occur in a country that is supposed to be far from us.

Read also: Women in Afghanistan: ‘We don’t really want to live like this’

However, interest in Afghanistan in Europe has faded into the background, especially now that a new war has begun on their continent. Urgent developments, such as the decision to close girls’ schools, hardly work Addresses

Nice words

While people here offer an empty room to receive refugees from Ukraine, hundreds of Afghans entitled to be evacuated to the Netherlands are still waiting for their fate in critical conditions in their own country. This is while many countries, including the Netherlands, have tried to legitimize their long-standing presence in Afghanistan in the past twenty years with admirable words and references to the universal nature of human rights and the importance of women’s liberation. Thousands of dead soldiers and civilians, referred to as collateral damage, would have been the necessary sacrifice for the greater good. But twenty years later, nothing has come of it.

Despite its geographical location, Afghanistan is not far from us. The states that have pushed the human rights narrative in particular have a duty to heed the repercussions that the Afghan people are now experiencing.

Sponsorship can be done by supporting activists and grassroots movements in Afghanistan, and by donating to trusted organizations and individuals providing emergency assistance. But also by evacuating deserving Afghans as quickly as possible, treating refugees as equals, and continuing to search for a diplomatic solution in which human rights are a common denominator. The human rights of Afghans are no less universal than the rights of Europeans. Afghanistan deserves the same solidarity that innocent civilians in Ukraine or elsewhere deserve. And Ara deserves this solidarity, too.

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