Announcement of Visa Restrictions in Response to the Repression of Women and Girls in Afghanistan
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
Today I am announcing a visa restriction policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to restrict the issuance of visas for current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence. This includes discontinuing and/or restricting access to secondary or higher education for girls and women; preventing women’s full participation in the workforce and their ability to choose their careers; restricting women’s movement, expression, or privacy; as well as engaging in violence and harassment including unjust arrest and detention of women, girls, or their family members for noncompliance with discriminatory policies. Immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.
Despite public assurances that it would respect the human rights of all Afghans, the Taliban has issued and enforced a series of policies or edicts that effectively bar women and girls in Afghanistan from full participation in public life, including access to secondary education and work in most industries. As a grim example, for more than a year, Afghanistan remains the only country in the world where girls are systemically barred from attending school beyond the sixth grade, with no return date in sight.
We call on other governments to join us in taking similar actions and to continue to underscore a collective message that only a government in Afghanistan that represents all its people and protects and promotes the human rights of every individual could be considered legitimate.
The United States strongly supports the Afghan people and remains committed to doing all we can to protect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls.