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September 08, 2021

Afghanistan: A Rapid Response to the Recent U.S. Withdrawal and How You Can Help


The U.S. troops are gone from Afghanistan, but the crisis is far from over. Tens of thousands of Afghans have fled their homeland, with little more than the clothes on their backs. Many are now refugees in the U.S. or elsewhere. Thousands more remain in the country, stranded and desperate to escape the rule of the Taliban.

One very high-profile group at risk is the 270 Afghan women judges, who are targeted both because of their gender and their occupation. An ad hoc group of women judges in the U.S. and around the world has been laboring night and day to help their Afghan sisters make their way out of the country. In addition, U.S. veterans and other volunteers continue to work to get Afghans out, through “Task Force Pineapple” and similar initiatives, in what has been dubbed a “Digital Dunkirk” effort.

There is an overwhelming need for assistance for the Afghan refugees in this country, as well as the Afghans still in Afghanistan but anxious to leave. As lawyers, what can we do — both individually and collectively — to support these brave Afghans? This is a briefing on the current situation in Afghanistan and stateside, the ongoing efforts to support Afghans seeking to relocate to the U.S., and the many opportunities for you to help.

This program is the first in a series of webinars focused on Afghanistan and Afghan refugees. Subsequent webinars address specific threatened groups, including journalists, educators, and the LGBTQ community, as well as women lawyers and judges. Beyond educating our members, these programs are designed to give those who wish to help options for doing so, particularly within their respective areas of practice.

Welcome and Introduction


  • Robyn Barnard, Senior Advocacy Counsel, Refugee Protection, Human Rights First
  • Jill Marie Bussey, Director for Public Policy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service 
  • Renee Dopplick, Special Advisor, ABA Representatives and Observers to the United Nations Committee
  • Spojmie Nasiri, Attorney, Law Office of Spojmie Nasiri, PC
  • Hon. Vanessa Ruiz, Senior Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Former President, International Association of Women Judges
  • Zuhra Sadat, Recently Evacuated Afghan Lawyer


  • Rahmah A. Abdulaleem, Executive Director, KARAMAH; Vice Chair, Religious Freedom Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice


How You Can Help

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: Help Our Afghan Allies

International Association of Women Judges: How You Can Support Afghan Women Judges

Tell Your Representative to Co-Sponsor the WELCOMED Act!

Help Afghans Apply for Visas or Humanitarian Parole


AILA - Find Resources for Assisting Afghan Clients

List of Organizations Focused on Resettlement Efforts and Donations

RESOURCE COMPILATION: Protections for Afghans and Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis

Seeking Assistance

Information for Afghan Nationals on Parole Into the United States | U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Afghan Support Project: Legal Resources for Afghans

Resources on the Afghan Evacuation - For Afghans Seeing Assistance AND Volunteer Attorneys

Finding Resettlement Services

OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT - Find Resources and Contacts in Your State


U.S. Department of State Press Briefing – September 9, 2021

White House approves plan to coordinate with outside groups on evacuating US citizens and Afghan allies | CNN,  September 9, 2021

Female Judge Forced To Flee Taliban Warns Women Are Being Followed For Taking Part In Protests  | The Huffington Post, September 9, 2021

Hunted by the men they jailed, Afghanistan's women judges seek escape | Reuters, September 3, 2021

Judges from around the world work to save female Afghan colleagues amid waning hope | Washington Post, August 28, 2021


Joint Sponsors: ABA Center for Human RightsABA Commission on ImmigrationABA International Law SectionABA Judicial Division

Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Public Interest LawABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice,  ABA Division for Public EducationABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers DivisionABA Senior Lawyers Division

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CRSJ provides free webinars and resources for legal professionals and advocates nationwide and relies on generous donor support and volunteer service. Your charitable gift ensures that we continue to address the deepening crises in our collective pursuit of advancing law and justice. Thank you!