Right now in Afghanistan, people are suffering.
You can help force the Morrison Government to act.
At the end of August 2021, U.S.-led forces, including Australia, withdrew from Afghanistan, and so the Taliban managed to seize most of the country. Many of our fellow union members still have family in Afghanistan. Some have fled and are hiding in the mountains, freezing and without food. Others are now languishing in refugee camps.
The Human Rights Watch reports that:
Taliban forces have carried out reprisals, including summary executions of some former officials and security force personnel. The Taliban have conducted raids on the homes of journalists, activists, and human rights defenders. Security forces have used excessive force to break up protests in several cities. Taliban authorities have also increasingly restricted the rights of women and girls, as they did in areas they previously controlled. Authorities have fired all women from leadership posts in the civil service, announced restrictions allowing only boys to attend schools from grade 6 and above, and banned coeducation.
The Liberal Morrison Government seems to have dusted their hands of the matter. But Australia has a moral obligation to help the people of Afghanistan.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN
Australia can and must take these specific steps right now:
1. Immediately increase the refugee intake from Afghanistan to 20,000
2. Grant permanent protection to refugees from Afghanistan already in Australia on temporary visas
3. Expedite the resettlement of people who assisted Australian and allied forces for 20 years
5. Lift the ban on resettlement of refugees to Australia through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Indonesia
6. Provide urgent humanitarian aid for the more than 250,000 internally displaced people of Afghanistan
Also, the Australian Government must maintain diplomatic efforts to monitor human rights and apply pressure where it can to:
– Protect the rights of women in Afghanistan
– Protect the rights of ethnic and religious minorities from persecution
– Oppose the Taliban’s indiscriminate military engagements and targeted assassination campaigns
– Oppose the Taliban forcefully and illegally marrying women – as young as 12 – to their fighters, and gender-based violence and discrimination
– Oppose the Taliban’s extrajudicial killings of citizens in groups
MP MEETING GUIDE
Authorised by Tim Kennedy, National Secretary, United Workers Union, 833 Bourke St, Docklands VIC, 3008