The dynamic of youth activism in Afghanistan: A journey between hope and desperation

The past 20 years have seen
some gains in human rights and women’s rights and the emergence of the Afghan youth as a
socioeconomic and political force. The humanitarian situation worsened further in the second
half of the year, due to both the ongoing conflict and the economic crisis that has hugely
affected all Afghan citizens, in particular Afghanistan’s youth. Many young Afghans were
evacuated to other countries, and those who remain in Afghanistan face many challenges,
including no access to education, financial hardship and unemployment. This e-paper is written
based on interviews conducted with young activists*, journalists, human rights defenders and
academics from Afghanistan (all under the age of 35), who have been actively involved in
the process of democratisation and committed to liberal values over the past 20 years in
Afghanistan; it highlights the twenty years of achievements by Afghan youth and explores
their hurdles and challenges under the rule of the Taliban’s
de facto regime.

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