Afghanistan

Advocacy

Hizb-i Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP), and the Taliban forces and affiliated groups, including the Haqqani network, are each listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2022 annual report (S/2022/493) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for committing grave violations against children. In September, the SG will report on UNAMA’s mandate, pursuant to SCR 2626 (2022). Between the Taliban’s takeover on August 15, 2021, and June 15, 2022, UNAMA recorded 441 child casualties (159 killed, 282 wounded), many of which resulted from attacks on civilian targets and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Children made up 71 percent of ERW casualties. The recruitment and use of children and sexual violence have been exacerbated by the ongoing economic crisis and the de facto authorities’ definition of a child as any individual not showing physiological signs of puberty. The detention of children has increased in conflict-affected areas, and the UN’s lack of access to detention centers remains an issue. A recent report by Save the Children found that 46 percent of girls in Afghanistan are not attending school, 26 percent of girls are showing signs of depression, and girls are almost twice as likely as boys to go to bed hungry. The Security Council has expressed “deep concern regarding the increasing erosion of respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban.” The Security Council should:

  • Strongly condemn all attacks on civilians and civilian objects, and demand that all parties in Afghanistan fully uphold their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL), as appropriate;
  • Urge all parties to immediately cease recruiting and using children, to release those within their ranks, and to treat children allegedly associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG) primarily as victims, prioritizing their reintegration in line with international juvenile justice standards and using detention only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate time;
  • Call on the de facto authorities to abide by Afghanistan’s national and international commitments to protect children, including the definition of a child as any individual under 18 years, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the Paris Principles and Commitments, and the Safe Schools Declaration;
  • Reiterate the urgent necessity to cease the military use of schools and reopen schools for all female students without further delay, and to swiftly reverse the policies and practices restricting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Afghan women and girls, including by restoring specialized mechanisms to deal with cases of violence against them;
  • Ensure allocation of sufficient resources to the UN Country Team to strengthen capacities to deliver on its child protection mandate, including for monitoring and engagement with parties to end and prevent grave violations, and to address threats posed by landmines, ERW, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Norway is the lead country on Afghanistan.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – September 2022.

Publications

UN Action

Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: Afghan National Police (including the Afghan Local Police) – recruitment and use of children and sexual violence against children (January 2011)
Sanctions Committee: 1988 Sanctions Committee and 1267 ISIL and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Indonesia)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Afghanistan: 2021; 2019; 2015; 20112008
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Afghanistan: 2020; 2016; 20112009
UN Mission: UNAMA

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Afghan National Police (including Afghan Local Police)~* a a a a a a a a
Factions associated with the former Northern Alliance a
Factions in the south of Afghanistan a
Factional fighting groups a
Haqqani network* a a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b
Hezb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar* a,b,c a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b a,b
Hezb-i-Islami a
Jama’at al-Da’wah ila al-Qur’an wal-Sunnah* a a a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
Taliban forces/remnants of the Taliban* a a, b, d a,b,d,f a a,b a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
Tora Bora Front* a a a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
Latif Mansur Network* a a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d a,b,d,e a,b,d,e
ISIL – Khorasan Province a,b

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.

News

News