Over 390 orgs urge Australian government to protect Afghan civil society

More than 390 civil society organisations from over 60 countries call on the government of Australia and other governments to ease travel requirements and processes for human rights defenders and representatives of civil society fleeing Afghanistan.

We the undersigned, civil society organisations from different regions of the world, write to you in connection with the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, that followed the collapse of President Ashraf Ghani’s government. We are writing because of the urgency required from the international community to support human rights defenders, representatives of civil society, and journalists who are trying to flee Afghanistan to escape the potentially violent actions of the Taliban.  In the coming weeks, there are huge concerns that any progress made in the achievements of human rights over the last 20 years in Afghanistan will be swiftly eroded.  

As you are aware, human rights defenders, particularly those who defend the rights of women, journalists and those associated with civil society groups have been subjected to violent attacks, threats and intimidation by the Taliban.  Over the past several years, CIVICUS and other human rights organisations have documented these attacks and the state of utmost impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. The Afghan Human Rights Defenders’ Committee (AHRDC) recently reported that 17 human rights defenders were killed between September 2020 and May 2021 alone.  Over 200 human rights defenders and media representatives reported receiving serious threats. In light of the present conflict conditions and political instability, these threats have magnified.

The Taliban have a track record of abusing human rights and attacking civilians with impunity.  Women and children have borne the brunt of these attacks and many have been prevented from working and have limited access to education and healthcare.  The statement by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres of 16 August 2021 urging the international community to speak with one voice to uphold human rights in Afghanistan is a step in the right direction. We also note the concerns expressed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights about early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women.

As is expected, many human rights defenders are trying to leave the country and we have received reports that some are being prevented from boarding planes as foreign missions have prioritised evacuating their own nations and staff. Others have gone into hiding and fear for their lives and others are waiting for the inevitable to happen to them.  Women who have campaigned for years for equal rights and equal participation in public spaces including the peace process have faced reprisals. 

We note reports that at least 3000 Afghan refugees will be able to move to Australia in the next ten months and that Afghan visa holders currently in Australia will not be asked to return to Afghanistan while their security is at risk. However, much more needs to be done. The international community has a responsibility under international human rights and humanitarian law to protect the rights of Afghans and one way of doing so is to provide a safe passage to those whose lives are at risk if they stay in Afghanistan. 

Honourable Prime Minister, we urge your government to hold urgent conversations with relevant Ministries in Australia to develop a National Action Plan to guide Australia’s response to the Afghan crisis.  

We request that you prioritise the following actions in the action plan; 

  • Publicly call on the Taliban to respect human rights, including the rights of girls and women and fundamental freedoms in line with international human rights law and standards.
  • Prioritise providing safe passage and travel documents for Afghans at heightened risk of persecution from the Taliban because of their past work or status, along with their immediate family members.
  • Urge Australian embassies and missions across the world to ease the travel requirements for human rights defenders and representatives from civil society from Afghanistan who may be seeking to travel to Australia. 
  • Create an enabling environment in Australia conducive for all Afghans  who flee  recover from the psychosocial pressures they endured in Afghanistan and the anxieties they may experience settling in a new country 
  • Pledge new support for civil society groups inside and outside of Afghanistan that assist with refugee resettlement, and otherwise promote humanitarian and human rights needs. 
  • Support the creation of an independent and gender-sensitive investigative and accountability mechanism at the United Nations Human Rights Council Special Session on Afghanistan scheduled for 24 August 2021 

Signatories:

  1. #TrustYourStruggleMovement
  2. ABAC
  3. Abraham's Children Foundation
  4. ACAT TOGO
  5. Accountability Lab
  6. ACDIEF
  7. ACP-DYSS
  8. ACT FOR CHANGE OU AGIR POUR LE CHANGEMENT 
  9. Action des Volontaires pour la Solidarité et le Développement AVSD
  10. Action for Community Transformation Initiative South Sudan
  11. Action for Humanity & Social Progress
  12. Action for Socio-political and Economic Change
  13. Actions Collectives pour le Développement Social, ACODES
  14. Actions for Development and Empowerment
  15. Actions pour la Lutte Contre les Injustices Sociales (ALCIS)
  16. Adult Learning Forum 
  17. Advance Centre for peace and credibility international and One Life Count Empowerment Foundation
  18. AFEDI
  19. AFeJE Bénin ONG
  20. Africa Rise Foundation 
  21. African Center for Solidarity and Mutual Aid between the Community (CASEC|ACSAC)
  22. African Development and Peace Initiative (ADPI)
  23. AFRICAN FOUNDATION FOR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (AFED)
  24. African Leaders Hub
  25. African Network of Youth Policy Experts
  26. African Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building Academy AYECBA 
  27. Afrihealth Optonet Association
  28. Agrupación Fe
  29. AJAD (Association des Jeunes Africains pour le Développement Durable)
  30. Alliance for Development and Population Services-ADEPS
  31. Alliance for Gender Justice and Human Rights
  32. ALUCHOTO
  33. Alvin tech 
  34. Amahoro Human Respect 
  35. Amani community based organization
  36. América Diversa Inc
  37. Amicale des Jeunes Chrétiens pour le Développement, AJECDE
  38. Amnesty International
  39. Angels in the Field
  40. Anuesp
  41. APPUI SOLIDAIRE POUR LE RENFORCEMENT DE L AIDE AU DEVELOPPEMENT
  42. Arcfrancis Foundation
  43. AROHI
  44. ARPE
  45. Asaasiam Vision International
  46. Asian Academy for Peace, Research and Development
  47. Asociación Civil, Colectivo para la Participación de la Infancia y Juventud 
  48. Asociacion Desplazada Nuevo Renacer
  49. Asociación Unión de Talleres 11 de Septiembre 
  50. Association des Amis de la Nature 
  51. Association des Jeunes pour le Développement et la Protection des Droits de l'Homme
  52. Association for Advancement of Human Rights 
  53. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development 
  54. Association for Reproductive and Family Health Burundi 
  55. Association Nigérienne pour la Démocratie et la gouvernance inclusive
  56. Association pour les victimes du monde
  57. Badhon ManobUnnayan Sangstha
  58. Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)     
  59. Banlieues Du Monde Mauritanie 
  60. Bareedo Platform Somalia 
  61. Beautiful Hearts NGO
  62. Benimbuto
  63. BIHDP
  64. Biso peuple
  65. BOACSE TANZANIA
  66. Breaking Out Mental Health
  67. Brothers keeper NGO
  68. Burundi Child Rights Coalition (BCRC)
  69. CA Comrades Association Namibia
  70. CAHURAST, Nepal
  71. Campaña Defender la Libertad: Asunto de Todas
  72. Capellanes Conacce
  73. Care for Social Welfare International 
  74. CareMe E-clinic
  75. Center for civil society development PROTECTA
  76. Center for Communities Education and Youth Development
  77. Center for Public Health Laws Social Economic Rights and Advocacy
  78. Center for Social Integrity 
  79. Centre d’Actions pour le Développement 
  80. Centre de support aux personnes handicapées
  81. Centre for environment, media and development communication
  82. Centre for Good Governance and Social Justice
  83. Centre for Inclusion and Empowerment
  84. Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ)
  85. Centre for Social Mobilization and Sustainable Development(CENSODEV)
  86. Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa
  87. Centre Oecuménique pour la Promotion du Monde Rural
  88. Centro Cultural Equidad y Género
  89. Centro de Análisis Político
  90. Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarrollo Local
  91. Cercle de Réflexion sur le Développement Humain et les Changements Climatiques CERDHUCC
  92. CFF-Ghana 
  93. CHALLENGES International
  94. Chambre Transversale des Jeunes Entrepreneurs du Burundi
  95. CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING FOR PEACE(CYPLP)
  96. Children and Youth for Peace Agency - Sierra Leone (CYPA-SL)
  97. Chinland Development Network CDN Myanmar, and Pyinkhonegyi Phunsang Pawlkom -3P
  98. Civic Engagement Initiatives Trust
  99. CIVICUS
  100. Centre International de Formation des de l'homme pour le Développement  de Kisangani, Province de la Tshopo
  101. Climate Tracker 
  102. CO-OPERATIVE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE
  103. Coalition des organisations pour la promotion des droits des travailleurs de sexe et transgenre
  104. Coalition of youth organizations SEGA
  105. Colectivo Jóvenes Por El Cambio
  106. Colectivo Seres, A.C.
  107. Commission internationale des droits de l'homme au Tchad
  108. Commission on Human Rights
  109. Community Development Foundation
  110. Community for Peace Foundation(COPEF)
  111. Community Health Education Sports Initiative Zambia
  112. Community Support Center / CSC-Asbl
  113. Comunidad de Organizaciones Solidarias
  114. Connecticut Institute for Social Entrepreneurship
  115. Connecting Gender for Development 
  116. Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations
  117. Construisons Ensemble le monde
  118. consultando soluciones
  119. ControlaTuGobierno A.C.
  120. Convention Nationale pour le Dialogue et le Règlement Pacifique des conflits au Tchad _CONDIRECT 
  121. COSAD BENIN
  122. Crisis Resolving Centre (CRC) 
  123. DAKILA
  124. Determined Society Organization
  125. Development and Service Centre (DESC)
  126. Differentabilities
  127. Digital Rights Activist 
  128. Earthforce Fight Squad NGO
  129. East Eagle Foundation
  130. Ecology Africa Foundation
  131. Edtech for Africa 
  132. EJO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
  133. ELOSAN VISION
  134. Entaxis - Action for inclusion and Education
  135. Equality Rights Africa Organization
  136. Espérance Mères et Enfants en RDC "EME-RDC"
  137. Ethiopian Initiative for Human Rights 
  138. Euphrates Institute-Liberia
  139. Euro-Mediterranean Resources Network
  140. Fair Africa
  141. FAMA
  142. Family Visions Child Trust
  143. FEDERACION PROVINCIAL DE ORGANIZACIONES CAMPESINAS DE ZAMORA CHINCHIPE
  144. Fédération des ONG de la région du Goh
  145. Feminist Centre 
  146. Fight Against Aids Guinee West Africa
  147. FINESTE
  148. Forums Territorial de la Jeunesse Martiniquaise 
  149. Fraternity Foundation For Human Rights 
  150. FSM Alliance of NGOs (FANGO) 
  151. Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual
  152. Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo
  153. Fundación Ecuatoriana Equidad
  154. Fundación T.E.A. Trabajo, Educación, Ambiente
  155. Fundación Váyalo
  156. Fundimma
  157. Future leaders Society
  158. Gender Accountability for Peace and Security 
  159. Gender Equality Club
  160. Ghana Youth Environmental Movement
  161. Gibson Chisale
  162. Gidan Dutse Multipurpose Concept 
  163. Give Hope Uganda
  164. Global Participe
  165. Global Socio-economic and Financial Evolution Network (GSFEN)
  166. Global Young Greens
  167. Golden Change for Concerned Youth Forum
  168. Grassroot Development Support and Rural Enlightenment Initiative
  169. Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association-GURRA
  170. H.E.R.O.
  171. Haakro Welfare Association
  172. HAKI Africa
  173. Halley Movement Coalition
  174. Hamdam Foundation
  175. Hear Their Voice International (HTVI)
  176. Hidden and Emerging Treasures Initiative
  177. Hondureños Contra el SIDA
  178. Hope for Vulnerable Children Association
  179. Hope Porters Foundation 
  180. Hope Worldwide-Pakistan 
  181. Hub Ciencia Emprende
  182. Human Rights
  183. HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement 
  184. I BAMBINI DELL 'AFRICA ONLUS
  185. IAW
  186. ICCA asbl(Icirore C'Amahoro asbl)
  187. ICYE Nigeria
  188. IDA Rwanda
  189. Ikage
  190. Imbali Western Cape and Adult Learning Forum
  191. Inclusive Bangladesh
  192. Independent humanitarian worker
  193. India Youth For Society
  194. Infinite hope for vulnerable Africa
  195. Initiatives des Femmes en Situations Difficiles pour le Développement Durable et Intégré, IFESIDDI
  196. Innpactia
  197. Inspirers
  198. Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea
  199. Institute of Youth, women welfare
  200. Instituto de asilencia para adictos a.c.
  201. Instituto de Educación Cibernética Automotriz Robótica y Electrónica 
  202. Integrated Agricultural Association (I.A.A)
  203. Intelligent initiative for Peace & Security Consciousness  
  204. INTER-ACTIONS ONG
  205. Intercedes youth empowerment
  206. International Association for Migrant Support
  207. International Association for Political Science Students
  208. International Development Opportunity Initiative
  209. International Human Rights Council 
  210. International Society for Peace and Safety 
  211. Intersection Association for Rights and Freedoms
  212. Jade Propuestas Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo, A.C.
  213. Jesmak health & Safety Center
  214. Jesus Vazquez Garcia
  215. JEUNES LEADER DU MALI
  216. Jeunesse Assistance
  217. Justice Call
  218. Justice Initiative for the Disadvantaged and Oppressed Persons
  219. JusticeMakers Bangladesh 
  220. Kadiwaku Foundation
  221. Kanika Khurana
  222. kathak academy(KA)UNCSO(ECOSOC)
  223. Kenneth and Jacob's House
  224. Kijana Hai Foundation 
  225. KITUMAINI ASBL
  226. Knit Together Initiative 
  227. Koneta 
  228. Kwapda'as Road Safety Demand Foundation
  229. Lamu coastal indigenous people's rights for development (LCIPRD)
  230. Leaders for Leaders Champion 
  231. Leadership Development Association Bangladesh
  232. Liberia Sexual Gender Base Violence Movement LSGBV 
  233. Ligue Burundaise des droits de l'homme Iteka
  234. Local Communities Development Initiative 
  235. LOCAL SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES ORGANISATION (LOSCO)
  236. Locate i
  237. Love Alliance Foundation for Orphans, Disabled and Abandoned Persons in Nigeria 
  238. Lupus Initiative Uganda 
  239. Lutheran world federation
  240. Mahatma phule samaj seva mandal 
  241. Manica Youth Assembly 
  242. Masombo The Life/NGO
  243. Mémorial des victimes des conflits armés en République Démocratique du Congo
  244. Men 4 Equality
  245. MENA Research and Conferences
  246. Mercy Sisters 
  247. Merowa junior school Kampala
  248. Mike’s New Generation Vision
  249. MILES CHILE
  250. Mouvement Citoyen Ras-Le-Bol
  251. Mouvement INAMAHORO, Femmes & Filles pour la Paix & la Securite
  252. Movilizatorio
  253. Movimiento Juvenil Indígena de la Moskitia - Mark Rivas (MOJIMM) 
  254. MPS GABON
  255. MUDDH - MOVIMIENTO UNIDO POR LA DEFENSA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS
  256. Municipal youth network-Nepal
  257. MUP'S COMMUNICATION
  258. Ñañaykuna
  259. National  Women Sudanese Association
  260. National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO)
  261. National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
  262. NEW ERA MOVEMENT
  263. NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN)
  264. Nigeria Youth SDGs Network
  265. Nigerian Global Affairs Council
  266. Noem Elderly Iutreach Uganda
  267. North Rift Human Rights Network
  268. North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS)
  269. Northern Initiative for Community Empowerment
  270. Nouveaux Droits de l'homme Congo Brazzaville
  271. Observatoire National pour la Démocratie et l’Environnement ONADE
  272. Oil Refinery Residents Association
  273. Onelife Initiative for Human Development
  274. ONG ADOKA
  275. ONG CRI DES JEUNES ET FEMMES VULNERABLES, CJFV.
  276. ONG Good Neighbors
  277. ONG ICON Niger 
  278. ONG ITODJU
  279. ONG María Acoge
  280. Organisation Internationale des volontaires des Nations Unies 
  281. Organisation pour la protection des droits de l'homme 
  282. Organizando Trans Diversidades (Asociación OTD Chile)
  283. Organization of the Justice Campaign
  284. OTRANS-RN 
  285. Otro Tiempo México AC
  286. Pahel Pakistan 
  287. Pan - African Peacemakers Alliance (PAPA)
  288. PARIVARTHANA
  289. PAWA - Pacific Australian Womens Association
  290. Peace Education and Practice Network (PEPNET)
  291. People's health movement
  292. People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
  293. Peoples Federation for National Peace and Development (PEFENAP)
  294. PJUD-BENIN ONG
  295. Plateforme des Femmes pour la Paix en Casamance 
  296. Plateforme nationale des organisations de la société civile pour la lutte contre le VIH et Tuberculose 
  297. POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (PDI)
  298. Programme d'Appui à la Lutte contre la Pauvreté pour l'Emergence et la Restauration d'un développement durable
  299. Progressive Single Mothers Network
  300. Red de Desaparecidos en Tamaulipas 
  301. REDECIM
  302. Redemption Research for Health and Educational Development Society(RRHEDS)
  303. Redlad
  304. REFUGEES PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR PEACE-RPP 
  305. Regional Network of Children and Young People Trust 
  306. Réseau des Organisations de la Société Civile pour l'Observation et le Suivi des Élections en Guinée (ROSE) 
  307. Réseau Nigérien Anti-Corruption
  308. RIHRDO (Rural Infrastructure and Human Resource Development Organization )
  309. Rising Winners Youth Empowerment Initiative (RWYEI)
  310. RNDDH
  311. Rotary Club of Alabang Madrigal Business Park
  312. RUKIGA FORUM FOR DEVELOPMENT (RUFODE)
  313. Rural Development Foundation
  314. Ryht Group 
  315. Safe employee and volunteer
  316. Sahiba Foundation
  317. SAPI Child international
  318. Save the Climat
  319. Savie asbl NGO LGBTIQ PGEL Congo DRC
  320. Sehzoor Life Organization 
  321. Service Workers In Group Foundation Uganda 
  322. Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care
  323. She & Peer
  324. Shibganj Integrated Development Society
  325. Sierra Leone School Green Clubs (SLSGC)
  326. Sierra Leone Unites
  327. Siyakholwa Support Care Centre 
  328. Social Action For Empowerment and Relief 
  329. Social democracy movement 
  330. Social Voice Networking Forum - Pakistan
  331. Société Civile Engagée 
  332. Somali Action for Transformation (Somact)
  333. SOPEVUDECO ASBL
  334. SORETO
  335. SOS Jeunesse et Enfance en Détresse " SOS JED
  336. Sout To Support Women's Rights 
  337. South African National Civic Organisation
  338. South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPADO)
  339. Southwest Genesis Consultancy
  340. Swabalambee Foundation
  341. TARGET 4.7 Education for Global Citizenship & Sustainability 
  342. Tariro Foundation of Zimbabwe Trust
  343. The Environment Ameliorators
  344. The Institute of Caribbean Studies/SMART Futures Movement 
  345. The Young Republic
  346. Timely performance care center
  347. Today for tomorrow foundation
  348. Tomorrow for human rights 
  349. Toto Centre Initiative 
  350. Tournonslapage 
  351. Tremendas Panamá 
  352. Uganda Diversity Network
  353. UGONMA FOUNDATION
  354. Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative
  355. Umbrella for Journalists in Kasese (UJK)
  356. UN SDGs Programme
  357. Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social - UNITAS 
  358. United nations Youth Association-Ghana
  359. United World Against Diabetes 
  360. Universal Union For Consumer Protection and Civil Abuse "UNUCOPCA" NGO
  361. University of Western Cape
  362. VEILLE CITOYENNE TOGO 
  363. Venezuela Diversa AC
  364. VIE +
  365. Vivace Youth  Centre 
  366. Volunteer Activists
  367. Warembo Forum
  368. Welfare Taskforce for Malaysian Students Abroad
  369. WELFARE TOGO
  370. West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)
  371. Western Youth Empire 
  372. Women and Children Empowerment Network-South Africa
  373. Women in Action-WINA
  374. WOMEN WITHOUT POVERTY (WOWIPO) 
  375. World Mission Agency
  376. World Youth Union S/L
  377. YACAP INTERNATIONAL
  378. YES We Can
  379. yesaid society (Kenya)
  380. Young African change makers
  381. YOUNG AFRICAN FIGHTERS ORGANIZATION 
  382. Young Men Association
  383. Youth Advocacy Network
  384. Youth Advocates for Change
  385. Youth Against Drug Abuse YADA International 
  386. Youth Arm Org
  387. Youth Association of Sierra Leone
  388. Youth Development Initiative Trust 
  389. Youth Enrichment for Success
  390. Youth for the Mission
  391. Youth Forum for Social Justice
  392. Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana
  393. Youth innovation centre 
  394. Youth Leadership Parliament, Nigeria
  395. Youth Network for Positive Change

 

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Naseer Kamal · 1 months ago
    Hello to All,
    now,there should be a joint committee, that make a follow up of above mentioned statement with Austrillina governament provide and implement such oppourtunites, to Afghans, around the world.
    Kinds,
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Agnes Murphy · 1 months ago
    I support the letter above and sign my name to its proposals and recommendations.
    Agnes T. Murphy

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carole McDonald · 1 months ago
    Australia has spent twenty years in Afghanistan for no good reason and have now left them without structures to organise their country. We didn’t ask the Afghan people wanted when we invaded, but imposed on them what we thought was good for them. Only it wasn’t. There are many Afghans in Australia who aren’t able to return home, but we haven’t given them certainty for their future by giving them citizenship. Please rectify this situation immediately.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James Amah Sena Agbo · 1 months ago
    Cessez la guerre en Afghanistan pour eviter la e guerre mondiale
  • This commment is unpublished.
    McBernard Otal · 2 months ago
    We call upon the leaders to respect Citizen's Rights including for Youth , Women and Children
  • This commment is unpublished.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert · 2 months ago
    Governments should be for the people, leaders must serve, Religion should be for self.
    We call on the leaders of the Taliban to put the rights of the people above their self righteousness for the prosperity of their nation, and for peace and stability.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    ALFRED AKAMA · 2 months ago
    devils always wreck power ruthlessly infringing rights and justice of the poor and powerless in society.let's endeavour as a unity of purpose to fight this devil.together we can brothers and sisters for our fellow afghans in tears and fear for their lifes(RIGHTS DEFENDERS).
    ALFRED AKAMA
    YESAID SOCIETY
    EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bernard LUTETE DI LU · 2 months ago
    In Solidarity we support this strong inittiative of CIVICUS World Alliance, and are Standing in solidarity with civil society in Afghanistan!!!
    From Bernard Lutete / Save the Climat
  • This commment is unpublished.
    FRED NATALA · 2 months ago
    In solidarity we come together under one umbrella to voice out human rights violations against HRDs, vulnerable Women and Girls for the World to act upon global calls for their rescue and protection without any delay.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dr. E.M.B.Daniel · 2 months ago
    Everyone has equal rights in this world to live peacefully. We all are Children of Adam, which means that we are all one family members. Live and Let Live.
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