The dramatic events of the last few days in Afghanistan are etched on everyone's mind. The evacuation of Europeans and their Afghan collaborators is currently a top priority and a moral imperative for all countries that have been involved in the effort in Afghanistan from afar or close by.
But also for other Afghans who are fleeing or already have fled their country, EU member states must develop a more welcoming policy.
These days, the comparison with the fall of Saigon in 1975 is often made. After that lost war, Western countries took in thousands of Vietnamese boat refugees. It was the least we could do.
Something similar is now urgently needed for the Afghan refugees. Sant'Egidio proposes the following concrete actions.
irstly, legal and safe routes must be created. We propose that European countries urgently open "humanitarian corridors" for those Afghans in need of international protection.
Together with its partners in several EU states, Sant'Egidio is ready to make its contribution in terms of reception, private sponsorship, and assistance with integration.
This follows the model of the humanitarian corridors for Syrian and Eritrean refugees that have been realised in recent years with Italy, France, and Belgium in cooperation with various, mainly faith-based, organisations.
They are a model of cooperation between governments, international organisations, and civil society for the safe and controlled reception of vulnerable people. (READ MORE)
[ Jan De Volder ]