WelCom November 2021
Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) has urged the Government to make a greater commitment to assist those Afghans whose lives are now at risk as a result of the recent Taliban take-over of the country.
‘Australia has responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of Afghans, not only because of our 20-year-long military presence there, but also because of the common humanity we share,’ said CRA President, Br Peter Carroll fms. ‘This responsibility is especially owed to those who have worked alongside Australian soldiers, diplomats and aid workers over the past two decades.’
‘While we recognise the Government has evacuated over 4000 Afghans to date, we join the many individuals and organisations around Australia who are advocating for the Government to commit to a long-term goal of taking in 20,000 Afghan refugees,’ he added.
CRA expressed its deep concern for the human-rights defenders, women and girls, who may be subjected to great suffering through a denial of civil rights, forced marriages and sexual violence under the Taliban regime or other extremist groups.
‘In war-torn regions, often only one person can afford to leave ahead of their family. We know a large community of Hazara men who have previously fled Afghanistan for Australia, have been forced to leave behind their wives and children, who now face grave danger,’ said Anne Walker, CRA National Executive Director.
CRA called on the Government to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Afghanistan in practical ways. This should include a sincere review of Australia’s system for granting family and partner reunion visas under the Refugee and Humanitarian Programme.