We the RISE network, Refugees' Ideas & Solutions for Europe, as an alliance of migrant and refugee led non - governmental organisations and associations, representing tens of thousands of people across Europe, urge all world leaders to give protection to Afghans seeking refuge.
In response to the escalating humanitarian crisis, we urge global leaders and the United Nations to ensure that:
· Everyone whose life and rights are at risk in Afghanistan should be granted refugee protection and safe, legal routes to access protection
· The international community should support Afghans fleeing to neighbouring countries and offer them humanitarian assistance
· Every Afghan asylum seeker must be given immediate protection wherever they are in the world
· Resettlement schemes must be scaled up and accelerated
· Family reunification must be accelerated and expanded to cover a wider circle of family members
· All removals and deportations to Afghanistan must be permanently suspended
· The international community should listen to the voices of Afghan refugees and work with them to develop strategies and responses to the unfolding humanitarian situation
We specifically urge Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for people seeking refuge. However, 90% of Afghan refugees are already in neighbouring countries. Countries further afield must play their part.
Furthermore, we urge European governments and the European Union to ensure that all Afghans currently in Europe must immediately be given international protection.
We are deeply concerned about the dangerous rhetoric from some European leaders about closing their borders to "protect" Europe and continuing to deport Afghans to other territories.
Therefore, we call on European politicians to show leadership and keep their borders open to Afghans.
European countries should step up and help address the humanitarian situation for Afghans, rather than political leaders presenting it as an “immigration crisis” for Europe.
We call on European media to avoid scaremongering or inflating the numbers of those arriving in Europe when 90% are in countries neighbouring Afghanistan.
Greek Forum of Refugees, Greece Afghan Community M&R, Greece Migrant Voice, UK
French Refugee Council, France MOSAICO, Italy
Syrian Swedish Association, Sweden
European-Global Civil Society Organisation, Spain African Solidarity Centre, Ireland
Female Fellows, Germany Svea Konsultia, Sweden
Afghan Community and Welfare Centre, UK
European Network of People of African Descent (ENPAD) UK
For more information about the work of the Rise network and to speak to any of the members contact: Yonous Muhammadi on: email@example.com For UK enquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org