Joint Statement: One year after the country’s takeover by the Taliban – How did Europe welcome Afghans in need of protection?

12 September 2022|ECRE

Related: Brussels, JRS Europe

We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the treatment of Afghan asylum seekers and refugees in Europe. One year after the Taliban takeover, the country is in a state of lawlessness without a constitution. The overall security, economic and human rights situation is deteriorating, and people’s suffering is increasing.

How did Europe respond since August 2021?

  • Asylum in Europe: One year since the Taliban takeover of the country, and even though the majority of Afghan refugees are being hosted in the neighbouring countries, the efforts of European governments to provide protection in Europe have been too little and have come too late.
  • Safe and regular pathways for protection in Europe: Shortly after Afghanistan’s collapse, the EU and its MS promised to continue evacuating their local staff and Afghans at risk; however, since then, too little effort has been made to evacuate them to Europe.

Together with over 50 civil society organisations, JRS Europe recommends to the EU Member States to:

  • Ensure swift and fair access to asylum to Afghans in the EU: examination of new asylum cases and re-examination of previously decided cases should be resumed in light of the most current available reports on the situation in the country.
  • Acknowledge that durable returns to Afghanistan are currently unfeasible.
  • Do not leave Afghan asylum seekers in legal limbo or irregularity and grant subsidiary protection to those people who are not eligible for the refugee status
  • Make efforts to address and significantly reduce the backlog of cases concerning Afghan asylum seekers.
  • Expand and streamline humanitarian admissions for Afghans at risk and their extended family members.
  • Speed up the family reunification procedure of Afghan refugees by increasing the capacities of the consulates in Iran and in Pakistan.
  • Pledge ambitious resettlement places for Afghans from neighbouring countries, including Central Asian countries. In line with UNHCR’s recommendations, EU Member States should collectively commit to resettle 8,500 Afghan refugees in 2023.

Read the full statement here