Statement by CBA President on the Situation in Afghanistan

  • August 17, 2021

The Canadian Bar Association is deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban take control of the country. The fundamental human rights of all Afghans – particularly women, girls and LGBTQI+ populations – are at risk.

The CBA fears that women judges and human rights lawyers face heightened dangers due to their gender and the nature of their work. Judges may be targeted for past rulings they have made especially as offenders they sentenced are released.

We urge the Canadian government to take immediate action to evacuate vulnerable Afghans, including women leaders, judges and human rights defenders. While we welcome the government’s recent announcement of an expanded resettlement program for up to 20,000 Afghan refugees, swifter action is needed.

The CBA stands with the people of Afghanistan and our Afghan colleagues whose lives are at risk due to their efforts to promote the rule of law and human rights.

Bradley D. Regehr
Canadian Bar Association President