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Afghanistan: Ethnic Groups

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL2772, tabled on 16 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the searches conducted by the Taliban on 15 September within predominantly Tajik and Hazard districts of Afghanistan on the safety of members of those communities.

Answered on

30 September 2021

I underscored the UK’s commitment to protecting the human rights of all Afghan people when I addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 24 August. This commitment extends to all ethnic and religious groups, including individuals from the Hazara community. On 10 September, the UK, joined a multicountry statement with the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to reaffirm our concern for all religious minorities in Afghanistan, including from the Hazara community, and called for adherence to human rights obligations. The UK Government co-signed this statement alongside the US, Australia, Albania, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, and Slovenia.

I note a recent Amnesty report highlighted alleged human rights abuses directed against the Hazara in Ghazni province in July. We will continue to press the Taliban to uphold human rights, including those of minority and vulnerable groups such as the Hazaras, and to protect the gains made over the last twenty years. We have said we will judge them on actions, not words. To help us to do this more effectively, we have established an internal human rights tracking mechanism to track Taliban behaviour to inform our engagement. Additionally, we regularly engage with the UN, which has a mandate to monitor and report on human rights in Afghanistan, as well as human rights organisations who are playing an important role in highlighting abuses and violations on the ground.