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Canada: Open letter on support for women human rights defenders and LGBTQ rights defenders in Afghanistan

Friday 20 August 2021, by siawi3

Source: https://wpsn-canada.org/open-letter-on-support-for-women-human-rights-defenders-and-lgbtq-rights-defenders-in-afghanistan/

Open letter on support for women human rights defenders and LGBTQ rights defenders in Afghanistan

Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada

August 19, 2021

To:

Justin Trudeau, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada
Erin O’Toole, Leader, Conservative Party of Canada
Jagmeet Singh, Leader, New Democratic Party
Yves-François Blanchet, Leader, Bloc Québécois
Annamie Paul, Leader, Green Party of Canada
Jacqueline O’Neill, Canada’s Women, Peace and Security Ambassador
Marta Morgan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Catrina Tapley, Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

As the situation deteriorates in Afghanistan and there is much uncertainty, we call on the Canadian government to take action. Despite being in the middle of an election campaign, there is much that the Government of Canada can and must do.

We have strong policy commitments in our Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan and the Feminist International Assistance Policy to the rights of women, girls, and non-binary people. A Feminist Foreign Policy necessitates leadership, resources, and action.

Over the last twenty years, the Government of Canada has repeatedly stated its support to the women and girls of Afghanistan. We have funded their activities, encouraged their leadership, and pledged to stand behind and alongside them. Now we must live up to these promises.

We call on the Government of Canada 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. This includes concrete evacuation efforts for those who want to leave (including secure exit, support for asylum initiatives in neighbouring countries, timely information, etc.) and support for those who chose to stay (humanitarian aid, access to media, access to diplomatic channels, resourcing, etc.).

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.

Through the coming next days and months, the priorities and voices of Afghan women themselves and all those in danger must be centred. We urge Canadian authorities to open and strengthen channels with Afghan women’s organizations and organizations led by LGBTIQ people to ensure their voices are heard.

From members of the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada and other concerned organizations and individuals

Organizations

AccessibilityforAll

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

AGIR: Action LGBTQ+ avec les immigrantEs et réfugiéEs

Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention

Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)

AWEED

Cameroon Women Peace Movement

Canada for Africa Group

Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)

Canadian Feed The Children

Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

Cooperation Canada

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Egale Canada

Equality Fund

Equitas

Federation of Medical Women of Canada

FemDev Consulting

Fondation Émergence

Grandmothers Advocacy Network

Halifax Pride Society

Herstasis Health

Hope for Her Global Canada

Inter Pares

International Women’s Rights Project

Journalists for Human Rights

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

MCC Toronto

McLeod Group

Mercy Corps

Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto

Morgane Oger Foundation

Nobel Women’s Initiative

Organization for Social and Economic Development

Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Québec

Parliamentary Centre | le Centre parlementaire

Pathways for Women’s Empowerment and Development (PaWED)

Peace Track Initiative

Plan International Canada

Polonia Inclusive

Pride at Work Canada/Fierté au travail Canada

Queer Arabs Halifax

Queer Here Collective

QuewrTech

Rainbow Faith and Freedom

Rainbow Refugee

Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia

Rainbow Refugee Society (Vancouver)

Save the Children Canada

Sisters Trust Canada

Sudanese Women Studies Institute

The African Centre for Refugees in Ontario-Canada

The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)

Universalia Management Group

Women’s Shelters Canada / Hébergement femmes Canada

World Federalist Movement – Canada

WUSC

YWCA Canada

Individuals (Organizations listed for identification purposes only)

Aleks Dughman-Manzur (Rainbow Refugee)

Alexandra Cooper (Parliamentary Centre)

Alexis Stergakis (Queer Here Collective)

Alia Lister

Ana de Oliveira (Cooperation Canada)

Anastasia Gaisenok

Andrea L. Siew (WREN)

Anjum Sultana

Anne-Marie Dawson

Barb McBride

Bénédicte Santoire (University of Ottawa)

Beth Woroniuk

Bill Fairbairn

Carol Steinberg

Cheryl Joseph

Christine Ouellette (WPSN-Canada member)

Claire Stiles

Claire Wahlen

Conrad Koczorowski (Independent Consultant (former Afghanistan Program Manager))

Cristina Linden

Daniel Nordstrom

David Sims

Diana Rivington

Dr. Beverly Johnson

Dr. Karen Breeck (Federation of Medical Women of Canada)

Dr. Kristopher Wells (Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth)

Elisabetta Micaro

Elizabeth McAllister

Ellen Woodsworth (Women Transforming Cities International Society)

Ellen Wright

Eric Lister

Erika Gates-Gasse

Erin Baines (UBC)

Erin Campeau

Erjon Tela

Eva Sims

Evan Cinq-Mars

Fazlullah rezagian

Frederic Hareau

Gabriel Galantino (Chaire de recherche sur la diversité sexuelle et la pluralité des genres)

Georgina Bencsik

Heather Battles

Heather Johnston

Heather Tasker (PhD Candidate, York University)

Henry Sapiano

Hninn Ko Oo (Freelance Journalist)

Hortense Devalière

Iffat Rahman

Janaki Veerakumar

Janis Alton

Jeff Alleway

Jenna Sapiano (Monash Gender, Peace and Security Centre)

Jess Houssian (Equality Fund)

Jessica Cadesky

Jo Rodrigues

Justine Wolsak

Karine Jean-François

Karolina Hanula (Polonia Inclusive)

Kate Mossman

Katie Corker

Katrina Rojas (Universalia)

Kenza Bennani (Universalia)

Kevin Moorhead

Kim Beaulieu (University of Montreal)

Kimberley Unterganschnigg

Kristi Pinderi

Kristine St-Pierre (The WPS Group)

Lindsay Monk

Lindsay Mossman

Luna KC

Madison Hitchcock (University of Ottawa)

Magdalena Kogut

Maliha Hamidi (Carleton University)

Margaret Ford

Maria Magdalena Mbanga-Mazvimavi (Hope for Her Global)

Marissa Fortune (Young Diplomats of Canada)

Marta Dabros

Mary Bridger (Gender Equality Advocate and Consultant)

Mathura N Karunanithy

Maya Eichler (Mount Saint Vincent University)

Meaghan Shevell (Universalia, Gender Equality & Inclusion Practice)

Meenu Sikand (Race and Disability Canada)

Megan Thompson

Melanie Lindayen (Equality Fund)

Merydth Holte-McKenzie

Michael Blair

Michelle MacInnes-Rae

Monique Cuillerier

Muzna DUREID (The White Helmets)

Nahid Azad. (Federation of Medical Women of Canada)

Naima Imam Chowdhury

Nancy Ingram (Foot in the Door Consulting)

Natasha Kornak

Nazik Kabalo (Sudanese women rights advocate)

Neena Sachdeva

Niroshana Chaminda

Nuala Nazarko

Nushrat Rahman

Pam Rogers

Pax Santos (QT Literary Magazine )

Rachel Logel Carmichael

Rebecca Wolsak

Rhea Mossman Sims (Klinic)

Sandra Biskupski

Sandra Davies

Sarah Kambites

Sarah Reeleder

Shannon Lewis-Simpson

Sharalyn Jordan (Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University)

Shikha McGowan

Simidele Orimolade (Crossroads International)

Sofia Descalzi

Stephanie Nichols

Stephanie Perrin

Stephen Brown (University of Ottawa)

Sunitha Bisan

Susan Hartley

Sybille Manneschmidt

Sylvia Richardson

Tatiana Buba (Equality Fund)

Thora Broughton

Urooj Mian (Sustainable Human Empowerment (SHE) Associatesinc.com)

Victoria Tait (Carleton University)

Vidya Nair

William Sawkiw

William Spence

Zuhra Aman