UN Human Rights Council must work to ensure accountability in Ukraine and Afghanistan

Today, the ICJ, during a general debate, called on the UN Human Righs Council to work to ensure accountability for violations of international law in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President,

The military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in breach of the UN Charter has had catastrophic consequences for human rights. Russian forces have attacked civilians and civilian objects, violating the principle of distinction. Such attacks constitute war crimes, and those responsible for them must be held to account.

Russia must immediately suspend its military operations and refrain from attacks against civilians as required by provisional measures of the International Court of Justice  and the European Court of Human Rights.

All parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to avoid or minimize loss of civilian life, facilitate humanitarian relief, and protect prisoners of war.

In Afghanistan, the rights of Afghan people have seriously deteriorated since the Taliban takeover.

Rule of law has essentially disappeared. The Afghanistan’s judiciary been replaced by brutal and arbitrary punishments justified by religious law claims. No accountability is provided for gross human rights violations and the Talibans have deprived millions of women and girls of their rights to education and to work.

These policies have aggravated punitive sanctions and financial restrictions that have shattered the Afghan economy.

The ICJ calls on this Council to work towards ensuring accountability for human rights violations and access to economic and social rights in Afghanistan.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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