One year after Kabul fell to the Taliban, Quakers in Britain have joined calls on the UK Government to fix the broken Afghan resettlement scheme.
Despite promising “one of the most generous resettlement schemes in our country’s history”, the UK government has failed thousands of Afghans, according to an open letter published by the Times on August 15.
The government must help those already here and ensure Afghans can safely reach the UK and their family, as it has rightly done for Ukrainian refugees, Quakers in Britain, General Meeting for Scotland and other signatories urge.
The letter, co-ordinated by Together with Refugees and Safe Passage, says: “Those who were evacuated to the UK have been left feeling abandoned, with thousands of families still living in hotels unable to rebuild their lives.”
The promised safe routes for those left behind are slow and restrictive, it says, so Afghans fearing for their lives take dangerous journeys to reunite with loved ones and find safety here.
The government has a responsibility to all refugees and asylum seekers, no matter where they come from.- Paul Parker
Recording Clerk Paul Parker said: “Quakers believe all people are precious, unique, a child of God. The government has a responsibility to all refugees and asylum seekers, no matter where they come from.
“Sadly the experiences of Afghans trying to come to the UK are the same as many others. We advocate for new, peaceful, safer routes of migration including the introduction of humanitarian visas and improved rules of family reunion.”
The Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network works consistently to challenge the “hostile environment” with which the UK Government greets refugees and asylum seekers.
In a leaflet highlighting the iniquities of the system they comment: “Many of our politicians and our fellow-citizens appear to have no understanding of the commandment to do justice and love mercy. They have hardened their hearts against all who come to our shores looking for help.
“But nothing is inevitable; as we are reminded by George Fox, we must be of good faith and valiant for the Truth in this thick night of darkness.”