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PACE condemns systematic violence against women and girls in Afghanistan, urges refugee support and calls for dialogue with all political stakeholders in Afghanistan

Birgir THÓRARINSSON (Iceland, EPP/CD)

The Assembly strongly condemned “the systemic violence” against women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban. The parliamentarians urged member States to respect UNHCR's Guidance Note and especially not to return Afghans to Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, where over 95% of Afghan refugees are hosted and where rising deportations are a growing concern.

PACE adopted a resolution based on a report by Birgir Thórarinsson (Iceland, EPP/CD), emphasising that “deportations to Afghanistan are not acceptable under the current circumstances and that forced removals should be immediately halted.”

The parliamentarians stressed the need to address obstacles faced by asylum-seekers, including Afghans, “to access fair, effective, and individualised procedures in Europe”. They called for an end to pushbacks, greater access to independent monitoring bodies, and equitable treatment of asylum-seekers regardless of safe third country clauses.

The Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to “the principles of burden and responsibility-sharing” and encouraged member States to support the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR) program. They also called for more significant funding and support for UNHCR programs and “specific assistance and humanitarian resettlement programmes for women and girls victims or at risk of violence.”

Lastly, PACE proposed streamlining visa processing in European embassies in Iran and Pakistan, focusing on Afghan women, girls, and individuals on wanted lists. They argued in favour of a dialogue with all political stakeholders