The International Situation of Afghan Asylum-Seekers
The pullout of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the subsequent collapse of the Afghan government has generated a wave of Afghan people fleeing incoming Taliban rule. With the Taliban committed to governing according to fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic law, concerns are particularly heightened for women, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQ+ people, journalists, and those who supported the fight against the Taliban. Abroad, governments have debated whether and to what degree to accept asylum-seekers, with many seeking to either offshore asylum processing or contain refugees to the immediate region of southwest and Central Asia. For refugees who do make it out, the intensification of anti-immigrant sentiment across the world’s regions in recent years—including the increasing political power of far-right nativist movements—has created new threats for asylum-seekers in their destination countries.
While politicians and analysts around the world bicker over responsibility and blame, Afghans scramble to exit before the full weight of the new Taliban regime comes down. Here is a collection of reporting on the conditions in Afghanistan for those needing refuge, which countries are offering haven, and reactions from the Afghan diaspora.
Continue reading Global Event: The Afghanistan Exodus
Colombia’s Constitutional Court opens door to marriage equality in 6-3 ruling
- The Court voted against a proposal to establish marriage as between “one man and one woman” and declared that public employees could not refuse to perform same-sex weddings.
- Colombian couples won their first partnership rights in 2007 and, in 2015, adoption without full marriage rights, which the Court had ordered the legislature to enact by 2013 in a 2011 ruling.
- Colombia will join Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and parts of Mexico in permitting marriage for same-sex couples in Latin America.
“Colombia’s highest court paves way for marriage equality in surprise ruling” (The Guardian)
“El matrimonio igualitario gana espacio en América Latina” (teleSUR, in Spanish)
“Una década de lucha de los LGBT por la igualdad” (El Espectador, in Spanish)
(Image Credit: John Vizcaino/Reuters, via The Guardian)
Colombian high court legalizes adoption for same-sex couples
- Colombia’s constitutional court ruled 6-2 in favor of opening adoption up to same-sex couples, drawing on both constitutional and international law as justification.
- The Court struck down the prohibition against adoption by same-sex couples by affirming the rights of children to a family, arguing that parental gender and sexual diversity has no negative impact on a child.
- The country joins regional neighbors Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay in allowing same-sex couples to adopt.
“Corte Constitucional da vía libre a adopción gay en Colombia” (El Tiempo, in Spanish)
“Colombia joins growing group of countries that allow adoption by same sex couples” (Fusion)
“Colombia Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Adoption” (teleSUR English)
(Image Credit: El Tiempo)
Indigenous Colombian communities condemn arrest of leader Feliciano Valencia as blow to autonomy
- In a blow to Indigenous criminal justice autonomy, Valencia was arrested for the alleged 2008 kidnapping of a Colombian soldier, which community members say involved the soldier’s detention and sentencing to 20 lashes for espionage in Indigenous territory.
- Delegates from multiple of Colombia’s 84 registered Indigenous communities arrived at the Indigenous Intercultural University of Popayan to organize the Symbolic March for the Freedom of Feliciano Valencia.
- Valencia had faced the same charges in 2010 but released after the defense argued that Indigenous communities’ right to administer justice in their own territories, guaranteed in the Colombian Constitution, was administered collectively and not just by Valencia.
“They want to delegitimize (a right) that is inscribed in the Constitution and that should prevail over ordinary legal norms.”
Read the full story at teleSUR English.
(Image Credit: via teleSUR)
Conflict has displaced 6 million Colombians, second-highest number in the world
- Colombia’s half-decade of conflict has created ongoing waves of displacement, including 137,000 in 2014, according to the U.N.
- Beyond the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), new guerilla groups and gangs have sprung up, deterring peace and security.
- The top recipients of refugees in the Americas are the U.S., Venezuela, and Ecuador.
“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement, as well as the response required, is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before. … It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace.”
(Image Credit: AP, via the Miami Herald)
Colombia adds itself to the list of countries eliminating medical examination requirements for legal gender identity recognition
- The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior effected the change last Friday, removing the physical and psychiatric
- Individuals now only need to submit their civil registry form, a copy of their ID card, and a sworn declaration to a notary public to register their identity, after which point the notary will have five days to complete the registration.
- Subsequent changes to gender identity can only be made after a decade and can only be made twice in one’s lifetime.
“Judges used to order bodily inspections to determine if people had physically changed their sex, or demanded a psychiatric exam to know if the applicant had gender dysphoria. … Both exams were profoundly invasive of privacy rights and were rooted in unacceptable prejudice. The construction of sexual and gender identity is an issue that doesn’t depend on biology.”
More on this story at Americas Quarterly.
Colombia passes new hate crime law building in tougher punishments for gender-based violence against women.
- The bill–passed with 104-3 in favor–targets violence of a physical, psychological, or sexual nature.
- Those convicted could now face up to 50 years in jail.
- The bill was named for Rosa Elvira Cely, a woman whose brutal attack, rape, and murder in a Bogota park spurred mass protests in 2012.
Presidential adviser for women’s equality Martha Ordonez said that in Colombia a woman was the victim of a violent act on average every 13 minutes, and that every four days one was killed by her partner.
More on this story at BBC.
(Image Credit: Getty Images, via BBC)
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