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Afghanistan Crisis – Australian Government Must Act Immediately

Tuesday, August 17 2021

The devastating takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban we are witnessing now carries deep distress and trauma for many of our clients and communities here. We continue to hear from members of the Afghan community of the fear, the distress and the dangers which grip the country now. We’re receiving calls from people across Australia recounting harrowing stories of friends and family feeling trapped, and desperate to find a way out to safety.

Our thoughts are with them at this terrifying and traumatic time.

As you know, Australia has deep and longstanding connections with Afghanistan, whether through family and friends, or working with the Australian Government and NGOs, including as translators, security, NGO workers and media.

Together with partners, we stand in solidarity with the Afghan community and we call upon the Australian Government to urgently provide direct help and international leadership.

They must act immediately to:

  1. Evacuate people at imminent risk, including people who’ve worked with the Australian Government and organisations.
  2. Lift the humanitarian intake and offer additional places to particularly vulnerable Afghans.
  3. Grant permanent protection to Afghans here on temporary visas.
  4. Reassess cases of Afghans refused refugee protection.
  5. Provide family reunion visas for relatives at risk.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to identify what specific roles we can play to assist people and the Afghan community who are contacting us in desperate need of help.

And we will continue, together with partners, to press for immediate action by the Australian Government to respond to the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan.

Sincerely and in solidarity,

David Manne
Refugee Legal
Executive Director & Principal Solicitor

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