Afghan resettlement program: Experts await “crucial details” after launch confirmation
“The government also urgently needs to clarify how it intends to support local councils and international organizations to ensure that those fleeing the Taliban quickly receive the life-saving protection and support they desperately need. “
About 15,000 people were evacuated from Kabul to the UK in August, followed by 1,500 more in the months that followed.
Westminster has given the councils funding of £ 20,520 per person over three years to support people arriving in the UK, according to the government, with more than 300 local authorities so far offering to welcome Afghan families.
Refugee Council CEO Enver Solomon welcomed the news but warned that the government’s nationality and borders bill threatened to place those fleeing danger at even greater risk.
“Too many Afghans who are waiting for this program to start have been forced either to stay in a country where they fear for their lives every day or to make the heartbreaking decision to leave and embark on a dangerous journey in an attempt to achieve safety, ”she said. “This program will finally help provide a safe route and support those people who desperately need it and deserve it.” It is important that all participants in the program have the right to be reunited with members of their immediate family.
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“But we remain concerned that under the government’s Nationality and Borders Bill anyone reaching the UK from Afghanistan who does not arrive as part of a resettlement program could be prosecuted and sent to prison for entering the country illegally.
“This bill will slam the door on many Afghans fleeing persecution and oppression. The government must rethink its proposals and ensure that all Afghans can enjoy protection, regardless of how they arrived in the UK.
Experts have also warned that Afghans living in refugee camps since the Taliban took power may have to wait several months before being taken to the UK as there are no programs in place to help people. refugees in neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan.
Afghan Resettlement Minister Victoria Atkins said: “We are committed to supporting all of the people we evacuated from Afghanistan to make a successful new life in the UK. I am very grateful to everyone who has stepped forward to help.
“The Afghan Citizen Resettlement Program provides a safe and legal way for the most vulnerable and at-risk Afghans to come to the UK and rebuild their lives, under the new immigration plan.