“The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere.”
Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester
The plight of the Afghan people who are now fleeing from their homes is prompting positive and compassionate responses from a wide range of bodies and groupings across the UK. Councils such as Abergavenny, and conurbations such as Greater Manchester and Liverpool are receiving some additional monies via the Home Office to house people. However, as Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester, an organisational signatory to the Status Now Network has observed to us this morning:
“As we have always done, Leicester will welcome those seeking refuge from conflict and oppression. We will be taking the opportunity to participate in the resettlement scheme announced today as a response to the truly awful situation in Afghanistan. We expect that resources will be provided to local councils so that we can provide and co-ordinate the support that will be needed. Leicester will proudly offer sanctuary and a new home to Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere. These people too are welcome in Leicester and deserve better from the government.“
Charities are urging compassion, organising through SNN signatory the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and others are also offering constructive critique and practical steps, such as the SNN signatory Positive Action in Housing.
The necessity and logic of SNN’s call for indefinite leave to remain/settled status includes the immediate offer of a swift pathway to Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status for all those from Afghanistan who are currently in UK: this obviously includes people whose asylum claims have been refused but who are here, whether or not they have been previously removed by Home Office, and those who are waiting for a decision on their asylum claim.
Like many others who have fled from different countries around the world where the history of the actions taken by the British State are heavily implicated in their contemporary distress, their search of physical safety and their readiness for the opportunity to create futures and contribute to society here, many of the Afghan people have already told the UK asylum courts that Afghanistan is not safe for them because of risk from the Taliban, but they have not been believed.
Now is the time to act swiftly and to evolve a lasting solution that is grounded in equity of access to the basic human rights of safety, housing, healthcare and food: #StatusNow4All #healthandsafety4all.
See also: From StatusNow signatory organisation ‘Migrant Voice’ in collaboration with other European and migrant led organiations:
We members of the RISE network, an alliance of migrant- and refugee-led non-governmental organisations representing tens of thousands of people across Europe, urge all world leaders to give protection to Afghans seeking refuge.
In response to the escalating humanitarian crisis, we urge global leaders and the United Nations to ensure that: