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Press Release: Advocacy Groups Call on NATO Member States to Protect Afghan Civilians During Withdrawal of Forces

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

June 1, 2021

PRESS CONTACT

Henrike Dessaules
hdessaules@refugeerights.org
516.838.1269

ADVOCACY GROUPS CALL ON NATO MEMBER STATES TO PROTECT AFGHAN CIVILIANS DURING WITHDRAWAL OF FORCES

(New York, NY) – Today, IRAP and 16 partner organizations from seven countries published a letter calling on governments to act urgently to protect Afghan locally employed civilians (LECs) of NATO member states. With the imminent completion of the withdrawal of NATO and U.S. forces, IRAP and its partners call on NATO member states to provide immediate protection to Afghan staff and their families who are facing threats due to their affiliation with member states.

The signatory organizations are human rights advocates, advocates for Afghan interpreters, and trade associations for translators and interpreters. They work in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and internationally. 

“The security situation in Afghanistan requires a coordinated, international response, from the United States and other NATO member states,” said Betsy Fisher, IRAP’s Director of Strategy. “IRAP is proud to stand with an international coalition calling for an urgent solution to protect Afghan civilians who are facing ever-increasing threats and attacks.”

In the letter, IRAP and its partners note that threats against Afghan employees are increasing in light of the ongoing withdrawal. The organizations demand that NATO member states must apply flexible criteria for relocation schemes in light of the threats that LECs face, increase processing of relocation requests, and evacuate LECs when required by the security situation and volume of requests.

To read the letter, click here.

To view the press release, click here.

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