Catholic Religious Australia has urged the Commonwealth Government to make a greater commitment to assist Afghans whose lives are now at risk as a result of the recent Taliban take-over of the country.
CRA president Br Peter Carroll FMS said, “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. 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 that the Government has evacuated over 4,000 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.
“We’re pleased that the Prime Minister responded to our letter assuring us that the 3,000 commitment is a floor, not a ceiling, and that the Government will increase the size of its intake as needed.” 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.
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 Program, which is currently undergoing a Senate inquiry, to which CRA has made a submission.