Activist Resources: Act for Afghanistan

Provide safe passage

It is devastating to witness the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. But the Australian government can, and must, act urgently to provide safe passage to people fleeing the Taliban.

Individually we can take action, collectively we can pressure our government to act. 

We know that there are people right around the country who are ready to welcome people from Afghanistan in need into their communities. Your support in the coming days and weeks on this matter will support all Afghan Australians dealing with the horrors of this catastrophe.

– Refugee Advisory Group 

Thanks to everyone who has already signed our online petition. Please share this action with your friends and family so they too can take action and challenge the injustices facing the people of Afghanistan. 

To ensure that the Australian government listens we must take these demands to their phones and to their doors! 

Our Refugee Advisory Group wrote to Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, urging him to take tangible and meaningful steps to help people of Afghanistan who are now facing an imminent humanitarian crisis.

Will you amplify their calls? 

Amnesty International Australia, the Refugee Advisory Group, and Afghan diaspora communities are calling for the Australian government to urgently expand the humanitarian program, to provide safe passage.

The Australian government should:

  • Expand the humanitarian intake to include people fleeing the Taliban,
    • The government did this in 2015 when they offered 12,000 additional places in the humanitarian program for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This offer should match commitments made by the Canadian and UK Governments of 20,000 additional places. 
  • Grant permanent protection visas to all people from Afghanistan in Australia on temporary protection visas, 
    • More than 4,200 Afghan nationals are living in Australia on temporary protection visas. The government has said that none of these people will be returned to Afghanistan “at this stage.” The Government must give these people the assurance that they will not be returned to danger, and grant them permanent protection visas.
  • Reform the community sponsorship program so that people across Australia can welcome people seeking safety into their community. 
    • Australia’s community sponsorship program should allow Australians to sponsor a refugee to resettle safely in Australia, but the current program is slow and expensive. Reforming the program could allow willing communities in Australia to sponsor families and individuals, providing safe passage to people fleeing the Taliban.

What can you do? 

We can’t stress enough how important it is that politicians hear from people from all walks of life and en masse. A large group of people contacting their local MP will have more impact than any single expert. That is the power our collective voices can bring and the impact you can achieve regardless of how much you know about an issue.

Every day people in the community taking the time to communicate to their MP is powerful. Together we can provide men, women, and children with freedom, justice, and equality. 

Call my Local MP – We suggest you start with your local MP. If you are an individual all it takes is a 5-minute call. 

Meet my Local MP – We have 120 Amnesty action groups covering the majority of electorates around the country. For Amnesty action groups having an ongoing relationship with your local MP is critical. 

As an Amnesty action group, you have the power of representing all the Amnesty supporters in your community which may make your MP more willing to meet with you. If you would like to know how many Amnesty supporters are in your electorate please contact communityorganising@amnesty.org.au 

  1. Head to call your MP now
  2. When the phone is answered, state your name, the suburb you live in to demonstrate that you’re a local constituent and introduce yourself as a member of the local Amnesty group representing x Amnesty supporters in your electorate. 
  3. Explain why you are calling: “I am calling to ask for a meeting with Ms Polly Tician on the following topics..”
  4. They may be unable to confirm a meeting over the phone – so be sure to send a follow up email after the phone call to confirm a date and time. If you don’t hear back in the next 7 days, call again. 
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Amanda Atlee is the Organising Lead at Amnesty International Australia