As human rights advocates around the world mark the International Day of the Girl, the Global Refugee Youth Network (GRYN) is especially mindful of the current situation for girls, and other marginalized people, across Afghanistan at this moment.
GRYN leadership has been monitoring the events happening in Afghanistan. We join the international community in calling those in power to protect the rights and lives of the Afghans and all other civilians in the country. We are joining the voices of the international community in ensuring that the people of Afghanistan who are seeking refuge are granted safe and dignified movement.
We are grateful to the host governments that have made it possible for refugees from Afghanistan to settle in their countries. We hope attention is given to both the mental and physical well-being of the refugees on arrival. We call upon those who have not yet made statements or opened their doors to do the same.
We also reiterate the need to avoid and counter any misinformation about or intolerance and discrimination toward refugees, and we call on all states to respect the dignity and rights of refugees as enshrined in international law.
We also call on all humanitarian, civil society, national, and international actors working within Afghanistan and the Taliban regime to protect lives and rights, and provide services and support to the internally displaced persons within the country.
As a youth-led and youth-focused organization, we call on the international community to:
Continue opening doors for the refugees from Afghanistan and allow them to settle and start to rebuild their lives in their new homes.
Ensure that the mental and physical health of fleeing Afghan youth, children, women, and girls is given attention and priority in the emergency response.
Ensure the speedy processing of documentation related to asylum, refugee status, and residence so that displaced Afghans can access key services.
Enable children who are fleeing to continue their education without disruption. The refugee children should be integrated into local schools to ensure they continue their schooling.
Protect the rights of children. Unaccompanied minors and children at the border areas should be protected and accorded safe and orderly movement across borders. Where possible, ensure reunification of families with their children as soon as possible after they are identified.
Provide youth-friendly spaces and meaningfully engage youth in the emergency response within their own communities.
Work for and maintain durable peace in Afghanistan, where the dignity and rights of all human beings are respected and promoted. Paying attention to the root causes of the conflict in Afghanistan and ensuring peace in the country can be a long-term durable solution for many refugees from the country.
The Global Refugee Youth Network (GRYN) is an independent youth-led organization housed and supported by the Women's Refugee Commission. GRYN leverages the learning and experience of refugee youth leaders to fuel young refugees to empower themselves, respond to their communities’ needs, and advocate for the change they feel is important.
Joanna Kuebler (she/her)
Senior Director of External Communications
Women's Refugee Commission
Research. Rethink. Resolve.