The horrendous situation facing the people of Afghanistan is foremost in all our minds. These events are a reminder of how quickly people can find themselves seeking safety away from their homes.

Currently, beyond the Afghan Interpreters Scheme there are no so called ‘legal routes’ for people fleeing Afghanistan to reach the UK.

We believe the UK must now do three things:

  1. Immediately establish an extended resettlement programme to allow people to seek safety in the UK.
  2. Change the family reunion rules so a broader range of family members can join those from Afghanistan who have settled in Britain.
  3. Suspend attempts to return people (who have been refused asylum) to Afghanistan

When Westminster is recalled tomorrow the government must consider not just our obligations to UK citizens, but the obligation to take wide and rapid action in a rapidly unfolding humanitarian crisis, including emergency resettlement, support to neighbouring countries and regularising the status of Afghanis already in the UK.

The UK Government must also extend and expedite family reunion. There are many UK citizens and people with refugee status who are desperately worried about family members in Afghanistan. Allowing families in these circumstances to be reunited in safety is the only humane and fair thing to do. We also hope the UK Government will expedite asylum decisions for those people from Afghanistan who are currently in the asylum system, so that nobody is stuck in limbo in these horrendous circumstances.

We hope this dreadful situation will lead the UK Government to reassess its plans and put in place a fair, humane and effective asylum system.

What we’re doing

We’re working with our partners to campaign for the UK Government to commit to a rapid resettlement programme. You can keep up to date with our activity on social media.

What you can do

You can email your MP through our Give Safety to Afghan Refugees campaign.

If you’d like to support our work, you can also make a donation to Scottish Refugee Council.

We work alongside a fantastic network of local organisations and community groups across Scotland that are run by, and for, refugees and people seeking asylum. Take a look at our New Scots Connect map to find information and contact details for the ones nearest you.

 

Visit our page on Afghanistan for more information and advice.

Claire Thomson
Author: Claire Thomson