European Youth call for strong European support for Afghan People
The European Youth Forum is shocked by the recent events in Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover which are leading to a deteriorating humanitarian crisis and an increase in human rights violations. The current crisis is worsening an already fragile situation for the Afghan population, and particularly for girls, women and minority groups. Young people constitute 63% of the Afghan population.
The United Nations Security Council resolutions on Youth, Peace and Security recognise the role of youth in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, and calls on the active inclusion of young people when negotiating and implementing peace building processes, as its marginalisation is detrimental to building sustainable peace in all societies.
According to the Youth Progress Index, basic needs are not guaranteed in Afghanistan, which are a minimum for young people’s development. Personal freedom and choice (7/100), personal safety (14/100) and the access to basic knowledge (23/100) are among the components that scored the lowest for Afghanistan in 2020, which are at risk of declining given the current crisis and the installation of Taliban regime.
Therefore, the European Youth Forum urges European States, the European institutions and the international community to join forces to:
- Establish the means and necessary funding to guarantee the right of asylum and International Protection, in a fast and dignified manner, to all the people who are fleeing the situation of violence and human rights violations in Afghanistan, opening safe channels for refugees to reach the European countries. This is particularly crucial in the case of young Afghan activists, NGO employees and other groups facing particular politically motivated persecution.
- Build avenues for peacebuilding through non-violent means by creating an environment conducive to meaningful, inclusive, constructive and peaceful dialogue, in which young people play an important role, in compliance with the UNSCR2250. In particular, engaging young people meaningfully in the work of the Peacebuilding Commissions.
- Strengthen cooperation with and support to Afghan civil society organisations to remain safe, amplify their voices and provide the most vulnerable groups with the necessary humanitarian, psycho-emotional and social support, in particular to young people, women, LGBTQI+ people and children.
- Urge all parties to take the necessary measures to protect civil society, including young people, and with special emphasis on women, guaranteeing the protection of human rights and compliance with international law.
- Prioritize actions which protect freedom of thought, conscience and religion, education, equality and freedom of expression. These are basic Human Rights that must be ensured for all Afghans.