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EU Calls For Visa Programme For Afghan Women Seeking Protection: ‘We Deplore The Violent Takeover’

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Members of European Parliament have called for a special visa programme for Afghan women fleeing their home country and seeking protection.

As the European Parliament ‘deplores’ the violent takeover of Afghanistan, it is calling for more humanitarian aid and a coordinated response to protect those most vulnerable.

With plenty of reports of executions, child soldiers being recruited and peaceful protests being shut down, the EU acknowledged that human rights are being restricted – especially those of women and girls.

As 536 MEPs voted in favour, while 96 were against the plan and 50 abstained, the parliament now calls on the EU and its member states to work together to facilitate the evacuation of EU citizens and Afghans at risk through the use of safe corridors.

As Afghan refugees will mostly seek protection in neighbouring countries, the EU should support those countries and help create humanitarian corridors to provide food aid, water, sanitation, and medication.

But this cannot replace a European asylum and migration policy, which should focus on resettling the most vulnerable and should include a special visa programme for Afghan women seeking protection from the Taliban regime.

Parliament also underlines that there must be no returns to Afghanistan under any circumstances.

The EU will engage with the Taliban’s government operationally for logistical and humanitarian matters, but it will not officially recognise the Taliban rulers.

MEPs also stress that the EU needs to significantly reinforce its capacity to act autonomously and to strengthen its defence cooperation by building a genuine European Defence Union.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Belle dives deep into seas and stories. She’s passionate about mental health, environmental sustainability and social justice. When she’s not out and about with her dog, she’s more than happy to hear from you on Instagram @belledejong or at [email protected]

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