No guarantee of rights due to breakdown of the rule of law

Worse than last year

Workers' rights violations

Right to free speech and assembly

Since August 2021 when they took power in Afghanistan, the Taliban have severely restricted the rights to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression. In Herat, Taliban fighters lashed protesters and fired weapons indiscriminately to disperse the crowd, killing two men and wounding at least eight more. The Taliban subsequently banned protests that did not have prior approval from the Justice Ministry in Kabul.

Right to trade union activities

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, and the country plunged immediately into instability and poverty. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the working population lost their jobs. One of the first measures taken by the Taliban regime was to curtail women’s rights, including access to employment and education.

As the Taliban started cracking down on democratic voices and organisations, killing activists and raiding their houses, the leadership of the National Union of Afghanistan Workers and Employees (NUAWE) were forced to go into exile and found refuge in France with the support of the ITUC, the Confédération française démocratique du travail (CFDT) and the French government. Carrying out trade union activities has become extremely dangerous for trade unionists remaining in the country, as they are under constant surveillance and face threats to their lives.

Workers’ rights in law

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