Human Rights Watch calls on the EU to grant asylum to Afghan women

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on EU member states to offer asylum to Afghan women fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan, after Denmark and Sweden announced they would grant asylum based on gender. 

Following the deteriorating conditions for Afghan women under the Taliban regime, the Denmark Refugee Appeals Board announced gender-based asylum grants for all Afghan women and girls. 

HRW said that the decision follows the European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA) conclusion in January, which found that women and girls under the rule of the Taliban are generally eligible for asylum. 

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The body has asked other EU member states to “consider the EUAA guidelines when evaluating asylum applications, to both offer vital protection to women and girls and comply with international refugee legal standards.” 

HRW has called Denmark and Sweden “models” for offering protection to women who face extensive restrictions, including a ban on education and work, and who are arrested, tortured, or beaten for protesting against the Taliban