As the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates drastically, JRS Australia stands in solidarity with members of Australia’s Afghan diaspora, including thousands of refugees, people seeking asylum, and their families, who are experiencing significant pain and uncertainty.

JRS Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s ongoing efforts to evacuate locally engaged employees and assist humanitarian visa holders currently in Afghanistan. JRS Australia acknowledges reports that the Government is considering prioritising refugees from Afghanistan in the 2021-2022 annual humanitarian intake and supports calls for a scaled-up allocation of places.

JRS Australia also acknowledges positive developments with regards to a moratorium on returns of visa holders to Afghanistan, and indicative support for Afghan refugees on temporary visa holders in Australia, but await concrete details.

JRS Australia strongly believes that the Australian Government should take additional measures to ensure the safety and reduce the anguish of people from Afghanistan in need of urgent protection. Could you please join us by writing to your MP to call on the Australian Government to take the following immediate actions in this regard:

  1. Introduce a substantive intake of refugees and forcibly displaced people from Afghanistan, in addition to Australia’s annual humanitarian program, noting Canada’s recent commitment to take 20,000 refugees.
  2. Grant permanent protection to refugees from Afghanistan who are currently in Australia on temporary visas.
  3. Provide people seeking asylum from Afghanistan who are currently in Australia with fair and consistent pathways to seek permanent protection, including by permitting people whose claims have been rejected to submit new applications for protection.
  4. Enable priority access to family reunion to refugees from Afghanistan in Australia.

Please share this with others. We also recommend that you read a SMH article, As the Taliban seize control, here’s what Australia can do to help our people, co-written by JRS employee, Zaki Haidari. His reflections and more information are available on the JRS Australia website.

Thank you for your continued support of people seeking asylum and refugees.

Image Credit: WikiImages from Pixabay