Fighting between the Taliban and government forces in Afghanistan continues to have a devastating impact on civilians, particularly children. Thousands of civilians were killed and injured in 2017 in insurgent suicide and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, while indiscriminate aerial and mortar attacks by government forces added to the civilian toll. Both the Taliban and government forces have increasingly used schools for military purposes. The number of internally displaced people reached at least 1.7 million in 2017. Political infighting has slowed government reforms, and there has been little measurable improvement in women’s rights, accountability for torture, or curbing attacks on the media.
- Human Rights Watch
The civilian population suffered widespread human rights abuses as a result of the continuing conflict. Conflict-related violence led to deaths, injuries and displacement. Civilian casualties continued to be high; the majority were killed or injured by armed insurgent groups, but a significant minority by pro-government forces. The number of people internally displaced by conflict rose to more than 2 million; about 2.6 million Afghan refugees lived outside the country. Gender-based violence against women and girls persisted by state and non-state actors. An increase in public punishments of women by armed groups applying Shari’a law was reported. Human rights defenders received threats from both state and non-state actors; journalists faced violence and censorship. Death sentences continued to be imposed; five people were executed in November. Members of the Hazara minority group and Shi’a continued to face harassment and increased attacks, mainly by armed insurgent groups.
- Amnesty International