Students want more action on Afghan abuses

·1-min read

The comparative experience of Olivia Bortolussi attending a Sydney all girls school, and Afghan women barred from education, was not lost on the year 11 student.

Olivia is one of 700 school children across the country who have written to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke calling on him to raise the number of Afghan refugees that can come to Australia.

"Attending a school of 1000 girls, what really concerns me is seeing other girls denied their basic human rights of safety and education under Taliban rule in Afghanistan," she said.

"It is both appalling and heartbreaking."

The open letter echoes the call from Australian humanitarian organisations to bring an additional 20,000 Afghan refugees to Australia after the Taliban took over the country four months ago.

The government says a minimum of 3000 humanitarian visas are set aside for Afghan refugees following the takeover.

"As fellow students, we believe that we must raise our voices against the targeted violence and discrimination directed at women and girls and support universal education for all Afghan citizens," the letter reads.

The students also raised concerns about the Taliban removing violence against women laws and banning women from sport and music.

"Women and girls are now powerless and vulnerable to abuses such as child marriage and domestic violence with no recourse.

"Why are we currently standing as onlookers while children from Afghanistan are denied their rights?"

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