Joint Statement – The EU cannot shirk its responsibilities towards Afghans in need of international protection

As humanitarian needs in Afghanistan continue to escalate, we appeal to the EU to place protection at the centre of its response. We are disappointed by the absence of leadership at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 31 August and Interior Ministers’ continued focus on preventing people from arriving in the EU, instead of providing pathways to protection. While the majority of Afghan refugees will seek safety in the region, the EU should be sharing, rather than shirking, the responsibility to offer them protection. Ahead of the Resettlement Forum currently planned for early October, we call on EU states to expand safe pathways for people in need of protection, including through an ambitious and additional resettlement programme for Afghan refugees and a flexible use of other available pathways to safety.