An open letter on support for women human rights defenders and LGBTQ rights defenders in Afghanistan was organized earlier this month by the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada. It was signed by more than 180 organizations and individuals, including WFMC.The letter was addressed to the leaders of the major federal political parties, as well as to Jacqueline O’Neill, Canada’s Women, Peace and Security Ambassador and the deputy ministers of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
The letter calls on the the Canadian government to:
1) Put immediate measures in place to deliver on the Canadian promises of support for Afghan women rights advocates, women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ rights defenders and others.
2) Work with allies to ensure humanitarian access, respect for human rights, and security inside Afghanistan and in refugee communities in neighbouring countries.
3) In addition to the much needed humanitarian aid, provide flexible financial resources as well as political support to women’s advocacy and human rights organizations in the region, working with women activists, women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ rights defenders and their organizations.
There was also a recent opinion piece by Corey Levine, “What Canada should do to help Afghanistan now“, that provides concrete suggestions as to how Canada can salvage what is possible from the past 20 years of engagement in Afghanistan now that the Taliban have taken power. Levine is a long-time international human rights advocate with experience in conflict zones, including Afghanistan.