The human rights situation in Afghanistan remained a serious concern in the first half of 2015. Despite some positive messages and steps from the National Unity Government (NUG) on the themes of women’s rights, freedom of expression and access to government information, overall progress has been slow, and allegations of torture continue to be numerous. The start of the Taliban’s spring offensive has also led to further violence and increases in the number of civilian casualties, with civilians and humanitarian actors often deliberately targeted by the insurgents.

On 15 June the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the first ever EU-Afghan Human Rights dialogue. The British Ambassador participated in the talks which covered women’s rights, children’s rights, death penalty, torture and ill-treatment, access to justice, freedom of expression and human rights defenders. The socially vulnerable and people with disabilities were also discussed. We will follow up on the Afghan government’s commitments, especially on implementation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law.

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