As one of the countries to join the US-led intervention in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban 20 years ago, the Australian Government must take steps to urgently address the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Afghanistan. We urge the Morrison Government to support and protect the Afghan people who have faced years of war and suffering, and are now facing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Women, ethnic minorities including the persecuted Hazara community, the LGBTIQ+ community, and other groups including trade unionists, human rights activists, journalists, workers at western embassies and NGOs, and Afghans who worked with Australian forces are in extreme danger. The Morrison Government has a moral responsibility to do everything in its power to support the Afghan people and offer protection to Afghans at risk of persecution by the Taliban. 

The ACTU calls on the Australian Government to immediately:

  • Evacuate the Afghan workers who worked with Australian forces and offer them permanent protection in Australia;
  • Grant permanent protection to all Afghan refugees in Australia;
  • Lift the ban on family reunion impacting Afghans with permanent residency with family in Afghanistan;
  • Increase the humanitarian intake, over and above Australia’s current refugee intake, and prioritise the most vulnerable Afghans at risk of persecution by the Taliban;
  • Lift the ban on resettlement of UNHCR refugees from Indonesia, which has been in place since 2014, allowing those Afghan refugees stranded in Indonesia to be permanently settled in Australia.

The Australian Union movement stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, and urges the Australian Government to do everything in its power to ensure their safety.