Afghan Resettlement Scheme

17 August 2021

Responding to the news that Britain will launch a new resettlement scheme for Afghans who are most in need of help, especially women and girls, after the Taliban seized control of the country, Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing said:

“We welcome the news that the U.K. government is to set up a resettlement scheme for Afghan refugees similar to the Syrian programme. It’s important that the Prime Minister explains how many people will be assisted in this humanitarian crisis so that there is a level of accountability.

“We should not forget that there are thousands of Afghan asylum seekers already in the U.K. who are unable to build a life because they are still waiting for their asylum claim decided upon. Many have been waiting years for a decision and are unable to seek work or study or start their lives. Instead they are reduced to a state of poverty, destitution and severe mental health problems brought on by the delays. Still others have come into the U.K. by “irregular” routes. 

“We are therefore calling on the Prime Minister Boris Johnstone to recognise the plight of Afghans already here and grant them asylum and not to differentiate between those who arrived by boat, lorry or other “irregular” means. He should surely be able to connect the shocking images we saw on the news in the last few days of Afghans clinging to the wings of planes to those Afghans who are already here. They are seeking asylum yet cannot begin to rebuild their lives, work or pay taxes without the piece of paper that says they have a right to remain. We need common sense to prevail and the rights of refugees to be respected. A helping hand now can reap dividends for the country.”

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