As an organisation, we are deeply concerned and affected by the events unfolding in Afghanistan. We are extremely worried for the safety of the family and friends in Afghanistan of our community settled in the UK, and especially for women and girls, governmental workers and those people that have supported foreign efforts over the last 20 years.
Thousands of Afghans will now be seeking safe haven in the UK and we urge the government to do all it can to act responsibly and generously in settling these people. We welcome the news that the Government will accept 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan over the next 5 years, however this does not go far enough. The Government must take fast and immediate action in order to save the lives of vulnerable people, and if that means accepting more than 5,000 Afghan’s this year, that is what must be done.
We ask that the Government immediately abandon its inadmissibility rules and its decision to delegitimise and criminalise refugee journeys that are not undertaken through regulated resettlement routes. Refugees reaching our shores must have claims assessed based solely on need and never on method of flight.
At the association, we have been a centre-point for the Afghan community for the last 20 years, and assisted services providers in planning and delivering services and projects to the Afghan community. We are here now to help and support providers to settle incoming refugees and ask that anyone needing help contact us.
Our community is a compassionate and welcoming place and we believe that by working together we can ensure a response to this crisis that we can look back on and be proud of.
Afghan Association of London