In the coalition agreement, the Federal Government set down its plans for a federal admission programme for Afghanistan, the launch of which was just announced on 17 October.
Over the past few months, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community and the Federal Foreign Office have worked closely with civil society players to prepare the details of the programme. And the NGOs’ expertise on Afghanistan will also play a significant role in the admission process that is now to begin. As so-called authorised agencies, they propose to the Federal Government suitable persons for admission. This ensures that the programme reaches those people who are most at risk of persecution by the Taliban. Where possible, the selected persons also receive assistance from the Federal Government in leaving Afghanistan.
Women are suffering particularly under Taliban rule. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated on 23 June 2022 during a speech taking stock of the first six months of the Action Plan for Afghanistan:
Our particular focus is on supporting women and girls, for no one is suffering more than they are in the current situation. The Taliban have placed iron rules like bars around their lives – and women and girls now live in prison-like circumstances locked up in their own homes. It pains me deeply to have to witness how girls continue to be denied access to higher education and can hardly move around freely without being accompanied by male relatives. For this reason, the federal admission programme will focus particularly on women and girls.
The launch of the federal admission programme that has now been announced demonstrates a particular commitment to this promise. This is reflected not least in the adaptation of the term “nuclear family” to the reality of life in Afghanistan. In future, it will encompass not only spouses and unmarried children who are still minors but also persons who have a special relationship of dependence with the main person. This could include single daughters of a family who have just reached adulthood and who would otherwise, without the broader definition of the nuclear family, be at risk of having to stay in Afghanistan on their own and thus being forced into marriage. Same-sex partnerships can now also be taken into account.
Prior to this, the German Government had already signalled to more than 37,000 especially vulnerable Afghans and their eligible family members that they would be admitted to Germany through the resettlement programme for former local employees, in the context of the evacuations following the fall of Kabul and through the interim programme.
For more information on the federal admission programme, please click here.