The Taliban takeover on the Afghan Capital Kabul last August 15th brings an alarming humanitarian situation for women, young people, children, LGBTQI community, and all vulnerable populations. Such is a disheartening situation at a time of global health crisis, experienced by all.
The incidents of this week alone—from desperate scenes of people trying to evacuate in Hamid Karzai International Airport amidst sounds of heavy gunfire and the subsequent violent crackdowns on civilian protests—have continued to increase the concerns of human rights activists and defenders. Stemming from decades of conflict and mismanagement, colonialism, and foreign corruption, these recent conflicts railroads back progress for human rights in the country faster than it took building them. Despite gaining aid from the United States for security and development, the government, authorities in power, and other International powers within the country have failed to create a secure and stable infrastructure. The presence of a heavily dependent economy due to rampant corruption, siphoning of forein aid and the lack of strength within government structures have further continued to weigh down on these failures.
While attacks continue to affect all civilians, women and girls and LGBTQI people, are faced with dire consequences. The safety and security of working women in the fields of healthcare, education, journalism, and law enforcement are greatly compromised. At this moment, a war is waged on the bodies of women and other minorities. These include, but are not limited to assassination of human rights defenders, rollbacks on religious freedom, restrictions on freedom of movement, the forced wearing of the Burka, women being forced out of employment, and early forced child marriages.
We are extremely concerned for the safety of our fellow members of the LGBTIQ community in this tense situation, after remarks of executing gay people by the Taliban.These supremacist narratives of hate will further inspire the inherent discrimination and violence inflicted against LGBTQI people.
We urge the international community to initiate conversations and spread awareness about the situation in Afghanistan. We call for the need to maximize reach in our multimedia platforms, engage relevant political communities and stakeholders to strengthen these voices of solidarity and take immediate action. We urge everyone to make donations and support the organizations, fundraisers and petitions working to help the situation on the ground. We further extend our plea to countries offering refugee support to Afghan people to prioritize LGBTIQ persons, women, girls and people with disabilities.
We cannot stand aside and watch this violent assault on the human rights of the people of Afghanistan. Our collective duty as a global community stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. We are with all of our fellow youth, women, and LGBTQI people in Afghanistan.
Attacks on the human rights of one are attacks on the human rights of all!
Program Officer, Bahaghari Center
President, Youth for YOUth Organization
Anthony de Vicente Lopez
Board Member, Youth Voices Count
Executive Member, Hami Daju Vai
Devandy Ario Putro
Member, Power of Pride
Executive Director, ILGA Asia
Mary Hope Abilo
Team Dugong Bughaw
Paolo Martin Saberon
Cebuano Youth Ambassadors Inc.
Chairperson – Philippine Board of Trustees,
Youth Voices Count
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer,
Bisdak Pride, Inc.
Core member, LoveIsDiversity
Program Manager, Queer Voices of Bhutan
Advisor and Founder, BIMBA Kiribati
Chairman, Equite Sri Lanka
Tushar Kanti Baidya
Project Director, Inclusive Bangladesh
-  Afghanistan: 65 media workers, rights defenders killed since 2018. (2021, February 17). UN News. https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/02/1084702
-  Afghanistan. (2021, May 12). United States Department of State. https://www.state.gov/reports/2020-report-on-international-religious-freedom/afghanistan/
-  Ellis-Petersen, H. (2021, August 20). Afghanistan: thousands stranded in Kabul as Taliban go door-to-door. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/20/afghanistan-kabul-evacuations-thousands-taliban-search
-  Sullivan, R. (2021, August 16). What rules will the Taliban impose on women in Afghanistan? The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/asia/south-asia/taliban-afghan-women-children-rules-b1903373.html
-  Oppenheim, M. (2021, August 17). ‘Prisoners in homes’: The women in Afghanistan barred from leaving home without a man. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/asia/south-asia/afghanistan-taliban-kabul-women-b1903497.html
-  Kumar, R. (2021, August 4). Taliban trying to force Afghan girls as young as 13 into marriage. The National. https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/asia/2021/08/03/taliban-trying-to-force-afghan-girls-as-young-as-13-into-marriage/
-  Grant, B. K. (2021, August 20). LGBT in Afghanistan: “I could be killed on the spot.” BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-58271187
For additional reading, you may also see the official statement of ILGA Asia: