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Members Statement: Solidarity with the people of Afghanistan

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
18 August 2022

The people of Afghanistan need support from the global community and Australia must do its part. 

 

Members Statement given on Tuesday 16 August 2022:

It has been one year since the fall of Kabul. When the world watched in horror as the Taliban was allowed to assume power in Afghanistan, shattering years of peace-building and sacrifice by the Afghan community. 

The Hazara people and other religious minorities continue to be persecuted by the Taliban with their rights and freedoms are under severe attack. According to many observers and genocide scholars, the Hazara people, in particular, are facing genocide.

This has led some to describe what’s happening as ‘gender apartheid'. Afghan girls can no longer go to school and Afghan women can no longer hold positions of authority in Afghan society.

 The people of Afghanistan need support from the global community and Australia must do its part. This begins with a commitment to increase our humanitarian intake to at least 20,000 people from Afghanistan who are at risk of persecution from the Taliban.  

We must offer immediate permanent protection for those seeking asylum and refuge from Afghanistan already here. And we must also ensure family reunification pathways for humanitarian arrivals or risk condemning them and their loved ones to a lifetime of separation.   

Last night, vigils were held across the country to remember the plight of the people of Afghanistan and the need for the global community to act. At these moments, we remember the incredible resilience of the people from Afghanistan who have had to endure some of the worst acts of war, persecution and displacement of any people in history. 

Yet, their strength, intelligence and determination remain unrivalled.

Today we remember the people of Afghanistan. We vow never to forget and we vow to act. 

Watch the speech I gave in Parliament on YouTube. 

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Samantha Ratnam
Leader of the Victorian Greens
18 August 2022
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