Human rights indicators in Afghanistan


Please review the following sources and read the articles on the current situation in Afghanistan: CFR: Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch: Afghanistan, and UNHRC on Afghanistan. Analyze this crisis with regards to human rights indicators in Afghanistan listed in this week’s readings.  No outside research is necessary for this assignment.

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Human Rights Indicators in Afghanistan

Quantitative and Qualitative Indicators

The September, 11, 2001 attack on United States soil prompted the government to deploy troops to Afghanistan. The troops would fight alongside Afghan tribes in an attempt to bring down the Taliban government that harbored the al-Qaeda terrorist group responsible for the attack that killed over 3000 people (Maizland, 2021). This forced the Taliban leaders to escape to Pakistan where they regrouped and started counter insurgence attacks against the Afghan government and its newly formed allies. Since the civil war began, it has claimed more than 111,000 civilian casualties 2,400 US troops, and more than $104.5 billion, amount in dispersed foreign aid and over $2.3 trillion trying to remake Afghanistan (Biddle, Boot & Lemmon, 2021). These aid from numerous foreign donors were enabling locals to get access to healthcare and maintain the country’s economy afloat. Twenty years later, the United States had reached a limited level of involvement. The United States administration under Donald Trump signed an accord with the Taliban against hosting terrorists groups within Afghan territory and set a deadline for withdrawal of the military troops from Afghanistan (Maizland, 2021).

By August 2021, under the administration of President Joe Biden, the United States had withdrawn all its troops from Afghanistan (Shortridge, 2021). Following this withdrawal, Taliban forces took control of all major cities including Kabul which is the capital. The hasty and poorly planned US withdrawal of troops did not provide vulnerable Afghans who worked with the US and Afghan government with sufficient time to evacuate. This move has brought up the issue of US reliability and moral failure to its allies and friends and also brought up questions on its war strategies.

Fact-Based and Judgment-Based Indicators

The Taliban take over was majorly followed by a huge refugee flow as Afghan residents sought to flee the country. Taliban return to power threatens hard- won gains while at the same time increasing the chances of further conflict and displacements.  First, the Taliban has cut on the formerly founded democracy which the United States and its allies worked to develop such as establishing a constitution and democratic institutions (Hass, 2021). These efforts have however been blown away after the Taliban took control of power again. Afghanistan residents can no longer exercise their basic democratic rights.

Secondly, the Taliban take over is a crisis as repression of women and girls has taken effect. Despite their statement that they will allow for women and girls to get education in segregated rooms while in full Islam attire, Afghanistan women will still face a lot of discrimination and oppression (Maizland, 2021). After the United States invasion of Afghanistan, their rights had been expanded such that they could even hold civil servant positions and even hold seats in parliament. However, the Taliban have announced an interim government that is made up of hard lined leaders. With the advancement of the Taliban, women political future in Afghanistan grows more uncertain.

Thirdly, the US invasion improved Afghanistan’s media environment leading to news and radio stations starting up. A huge contrast with the situation under the Taliban rule where they have banned cinemas and TV and allowing only one Taliban operated radio station to run (Biddle, Boot & Lemmon, 2021). Media organizations, reporters and journalists continue to be targeted, intimidated and even attacked; hence, totally disregarding press freedom. Since their regain of power, the Taliban, have taken actions similar to their brutal rule before the US invasion. For instance, they are alleged to carry out crack downs on protestors, reportedly detaining and beating journalists and reestablishing their Ministry for the promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. This office during their previous rule acted as a behavior check on ways deemed un-Islamic.

Performance and Compliance Indicators

The signing of the accord which resulted to withdrawal of US military troops from Afghanistan was based on the Taliban not aiding or hosting terrorist groups in Afghanistan soil (United Nations Human Rights, 2020). However, preventing the return of terrorists into the country will be more difficult without a solid standing government and the fact that the Taliban still has solid ties with terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Allowing terrorists to operate from Afghanistan will threaten both regional and global security. Furthermore, there is also the added danger that the Taliban might seek to extend their command to Pakistan. This would therefore increase conflict and civilian casualties as a result of this war.

Additionally, the standards of living have deteriorated since the Taliban took power. This is in contrast to Afghanistan’s economy during the US invasion where governments pumped billions of dollars of aids into the country (Hass, 2021). These aids received from foreign countries have mainly been the lifeline of the economy and healthcare sector. Predictably, these governments have issued warnings to the Taliban run government that if it fails to protect Afghanistan’s rights as stipulated by the United States backed constitution, they will immediately stop providing aid. Sadly, this would create a humanitarian crisis leading to thousands of people fleeing their homes joining the already displaced Afghans with no means to survive.

This questions the Taliban government’s ability to provide for social basic amenities and healthcare to the people. According to Maizland (2021) the Taliban mainly earn their revenue through criminal activities, extortion of local businesses, opium poppy plantation, drug trafficking, illicit mining and even kidnapping. The United Nations has hereby warned that Afghanistan is facing collapse due to high poverty rates and the continued sinking of their economy since the Taliban takeover. Furthermore, the country is facing drought and the COVID-19 pandemic which further constrains is already overstretched economy.

Despite the Taliban having sympathizers among the Afghans, following the recent takeover, a lot of people tried to escape Afghanistan. The United Refugee Agency states that a lot more could flee by the end of the year. In addition, a local resistance group called the National Resistance Front has continued opposing the Taliban rule (Maizland, 2021). They are majorly against Taliban’s violent nature of ruling and oppressing citizens at all fronts.


Biddle, S. D., Boot, M., & Lemmon, G. T. (2021). Global Conflict Tracker: the war in     Afghanistan. Retrieved from:

Hass, R. (2021). America’s Withdrawal of Choice. Retrieved from:  

Maizland, L. (2021). The legacy of the U.S. War in Afghanistan in Nine Graphics. Retrieved       from;

Shortridge, A. (2021). The U.S. War in Afghanistan twenty years on: Public opinion then and          now. Retrieved from:            opinion-then-and-now

United Nations Human Rights. (2020). OHCHR in Afghanistan. Retrieved from:




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