Irish lawyers asked to help find accommodation for Afghanistan’s women judges and lawyers
Irish lawyers have been asked for help finding suitable accommodation for women judges and lawyers fleeing Afghanistan following the rise of the Taliban.
A coalition of the Association of Judges of Ireland (AJI), The Bar of Ireland, the Law Society of Ireland, the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) and Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI) has been formed to assist their Afghan colleagues.
The coalition, which has support from the Irish government and agencies such as the Red Cross, has constructed a pathway for colleagues to provide assistance in the area of housing, funding and collegiate support.
A request has been issued across the Irish legal sector for offers of appropriate accommodation for a period of 12 months to cater for up to 11 families who are currently fleeing Afghanistan. Legal professionals are invited to register availability of own-door housing for families, many of which include children.
A separate justice community support fund is also accepting pledges in order to assist in housing, schooling and the wider integration process.
AJI president Mr Justice David Barniville said: “I am asking all judges and members of the legal community in Ireland to respond to this call for support for our Afghan judicial colleagues.”
Maura McNally SC, chair of the Bar Council, said: “Those affected are our colleagues, whose increased risk is premised on their gender. Their fundamental human rights need protection and that is reason enough to engage with this vital and necessary initiative. In the words of Edmund Burke; ‘Nobody made a greater mistake that he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”
Law Society president James Cahill said: “The legal community in Ireland is taking a collective stand in solidarity with our colleagues from Afghanistan. Despite the enormous challenges faced in recent months, I am confident that a warm welcome awaits these judges and their families. I encourage colleagues to respond to this urgent and important call to action.”
Judge Elizabeth Dunne, chair of the Irish chapter of the International Association of Women Judges, said: “The plight of women judges in Afghanistan is one that requires all of us to do what we can to help those affected as much as possible. Therefore, we call on our colleagues who can be of assistance to respond to our request for help as soon as possible.”