In the wake of widespread human rights violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch continues to call for increased pressure on the Taliban, including a travel ban on Taliban officials.
Heather Barr, associate director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement today, on Thursday, that firmer measures against the Afghan Taliban were needed, and that “deep concern” was insufficient and will not help Afghanistan.
She maintained that the time has come for governments to turn global consensus that the Taliban’s acts are unlawful into concerted steps that remind the Taliban that the world is ready to stand up for Afghans’ rights, especially women’s and girls’ rights.
Heather Barr pointed to the UN Security Council’s renewed travel ban on Taliban officials as leverage to exert pressure on the Taliban.
The United Nations prohibited some Taliban officials from traveling in 1999 as part of its response to “violent and terrorist” acts in Afghanistan, but the embargo was suspended three years ago after US-Taliban representatives began discussions in Doha, Qatar’s capital, so that Taliban could participate.
The option will be considered by the UN Security Council later this month. According to the associate director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, this is another opportunity to extend the ban.
She specifically named a number of Taliban intelligence and political officials who she believes should not be allowed to travel.
Heather Barr also proposed that the UN Secretary-General visit Afghanistan, arguing that this would draw international attention to the issue, raise pressure on the Taliban to respect human rights, and provide global solutions to end Afghanistan’s severe humanitarian crisis.