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Helen Frowe (Stockholm University): Assisting the Assisters: The Comparative Claims of Afghan Refugees

19 October 2022, 4:30 pm6:00 pm

Abstract: Many people believe that Western states withdrawing from Afghanistan owe especially stringent duties of rescue to Afghans who provided ‘frontline’ assistance to their armed forces – for example, by working alongside troops as translators or interpreters. These putative duties are typically defended by pointing to the gratitudinal or promissory duties that Western states owe to these assisters. In this paper, I reject the view that Afghan assisters are owed especially stringent duties of rescue compared to other Afghans, such as judges, teachers, and journalists, who face similar threats of harm at the hands of the Taliban. Western states’ duties to Afghans are best explained by their duties not to cause harm. These duties do not vindicate the claim that assisters, in particular, are owed especially stringent duties of rescue.

Helen Frowe is Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University and Director, Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace.

Please note that this is an in-person event. If you can’t attend but would like to follow the talk remotely, please contact Somayeh Tohidi.


19 October 2022
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
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LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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