Help for Heroes and the Refugee Council have shared their concerns regarding the Government’s failure to reunite Afghan refugees, who served our nation, with their families.
In an open letter to Government, published in the Daily Mail, the unfulfilled promises made to Afghans, including our troops’ translators and other locally employed civilians, are highlighted.
Many families remain separated, despite the Government’s pledge to ensure their resettlement and reunification in the UK two years ago, when at-risk persons were flown from Afghanistan amid fear of repercussions from the Taliban.
The letter to the Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, calls for answers on what will be done for those Afghans who served our country yet remain separated from, and gravely concerned for, their immediate family members.
In the joint letter, our CEO James Needham, alongside Enver Solomon from the Refugee Council, calls on the Government to honour its commitment to Afghan citizens who risked their lives to support our Armed Forces.
“The Government made a covenant with Afghan citizens, who had served our nation’s interests by working with our Armed Forces and diplomatic services, that they would be resettled with their family members in the UK.
“The right to bring close or dependent family members was one of the central tenets of our promise; recognising the risk that the Taliban would hunt down and carry out retributive actions against those associated with the UK’s presence in the country.
“Ultimately, these are the brave men and women who served our country at a time of war. They served alongside our troops and diplomats, risking their lives in many cases to ensure our mission in Afghanistan could continue. The least we should do as a nation, in return for their service, is to protect their loved ones.”
Figures from the start of June suggest there are approximately 260 Afghan applicants and 1,210 family members being supported in Pakistan and waiting relocation to the UK. A further 10 Afghans and 30 family members are being supported in other third countries.
Through our own Project Solidarity, we have supported over 200 Afghan civilians and their families to resettle in the UK. Safe relocation from Afghanistan is merely the first step in their journeys.