“The conference will call for a rapid upscaling of funding so that the lifesaving humanitarian operation can continue; and call for full and unhindered humanitarian access to ensure that Afghans continue to receive the essential services they need,” he said. a statement issued Friday by a UN spokesman.
Stéphane Dujarric said the UN remains committed to providing humanitarian aid to millions of people in need throughout Afghanistan. “Development gains must also be protected in order to link the humanitarian response to the medium and long-term stability of Afghanistan. The rights, security and well-being of women and girls are an essential part of this connection.”
“The reality is that the displacement crisis is inside Afghanistan,” with more than 600,000 Afghans displaced this year, “80 percent of whom are women and children,” said UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch, who spoke from Pakistan earlier Friday.
Despite enormous challenges and a rapidly evolving humanitarian emergency, UNHCR and partners in Afghanistan are committed to staying and providing protection and critical assistance to displaced Afghans to deal with the enormous and growing human suffering. pic.twitter.com/YcEK4isO3R
– UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (@Refugees) September 3, 2021
In an appeal to the world not to divert its attention or focus from Afghans and Afghanistan, he warned that we can not allow this to “become a humanitarian catastrophe”.
Baloch described the situation at the country’s borders with Pakistan, saying the UNHCR had not seen such a “large influx of refugees” crossing over to Pakistan and Iran before.
The explanation for this is unclear: “It may be that some of these people may not think they have the right documents, others may not be as comfortable in terms of confronting armed guards at the borders,” he said. “Afghans are still able to get through Pakistan,” he explained, “but it’s very regulated,” and you have to show documents such as your ID card, passport or visa.
Mr. Baloch’s appeal follows the UNHCR’s repeated call on Tuesday for Afghanistan’s neighbors to keep their borders open to those fleeing.
Journalists need emergency protection: rights experts
States must provide emergency protection to Afghan journalists and media workers who fear for their lives and seek security abroad, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Friday.
Women’s safety is of particular concern as they face increased risks since the Taliban’s political takeover of Afghanistan, “they added, as” they may be targeted for working in the media or simply being a woman in public life “.
To remind the Human Rights Council of the various resolutions on the security of journalists adopted in recent years, the experts called for accelerated visas, aid for evacuation and open borders for those wishing to leave Afghanistan.
Reports of targeted killings of journalists and their family members, home raids, threats and intimidation in Taliban-controlled areas have risen sharply in recent months, according to rights experts.
This is taking place “in a context where Afghanistan is already considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists,” they pointed out. They called on the Council to consider setting up “an investigation and monitoring mechanism for accountability for all human rights violations that have taken place, including attacks, reprisals and violence against journalists and media workers.
Liability for human rights violations is crucial, not only for individual justice, but also for the prevention of future violations, ”they argued.
They emphasized the crucial preventive role of the Human Rights Council and called on the Council and all states to do their utmost to preserve the hard-won gains for media freedom, including for women journalists and media workers.
“Last week’s Council resolution on human rights in Afghanistan does not address the specific risks that journalists and human rights defenders face in the country,” they pointed out.
“The security of journalists, both women and men, human rights defenders and equality activists must be a key consideration in their commitment to the human rights situation in Afghanistan. It is imperative for all states to stand firm with the people of Afghanistan,” the experts said.
Independent human rights experts are appointed under the special procedures of the Human Rights Council and are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.