The Taliban have completed a rapid takeover of Afghanistan after the United States, UK and other Western countries withdrew forces after 20 years.

This has created a dangerous and hostile environment for those living in, or visiting, Afghanistan with many people urgently seeking to leave the country and find safety. 

Many Afghan students have chosen to study at UCL, and we’re deeply concerned for the wellbeing and safety of our students and their families both in the UK and Afghanistan.

We’re in contact with affected student groups to provide support to those impacted by these unfolding events. UCL are working to establish how many students are currently in Afghanistan and provide necessary support. We’ll update you with any further relevant information over the coming days.

The lives and freedoms of women and girls are particularly at risk as the Taliban takes power in Afghanistan. Under Taliban rules, women and girls are banned from studying, working, showing their skin in public, accessing healthcare, being involved in politics or speaking publicly. Sexual violence and forced marriage to Taliban fighters is common. We’re asking everyone to sign this petition which calls on the UK government, as G7 Chair and key NATO partner, to urgently work with all parties and international allies to protect the safety of those most at risk. 

Speaking to ITV News, Equity Officer, Arifa said:

The most vulnerable people are women and children who are now displaced - they don't know what the future is going to bring them.

The main thing the government in the UK can do is make sure other countries don't abandon Afghanistan. We need help in Afghanistan for women and children. They should urge the next government in Afghanistan to consider women's rights,"

Afghan Society said:

“Our entire committee at UCL Afghan Society extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to the Afghan community as a whole, and especially to our fellow Afghan students at UCL, during this horrific time. We want to invite those that would like to have a support network to join UCL Afghan Society via the Students' Union UCL website and send us a message on our Instagram @uclafghansoc to be added to our members WhatsApp group-chat. It’s important that we look out for each other when we fall on hard times and our committee are ready to help to in any way that we can!”

If you’ve been affected by this incident: