The heartbreaking catastrophe in Afghanistan has moved many people to offer help to the refugee sector for the first time.
Much has been written about the need for donations, money and volunteers to help small charities. We recommend that you contact your local authority and City of Sanctuary group to ask them what they need and to be signposted to other voluntary groups/ charities in your town/ city who will be involved in relocation and resettlement work. See below if you are in Scotland.
City of Sanctuary groups and other charities also need help to to continue supporting the 3,000+ people from Afghanistan already here but still stuck in the asylum process. Until now, many people have been removed back to Afghanistan because they could not provide sufficient evidence that they were threatened by the Taliban. Young boys who escaped Afghanistan to avoid being conscripted into the Taliban are removed back to Kabul when they reach 18 years. We need to be calling on MPs to release people from detention and provide leave to remain to people from Afghanistan as clearly they cannot be sent back to such turmoil.
Other groups of people desperately seeking sanctuary from war, conflict and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea and other countries also need help. Please don’t forget their struggles too.
We recommend the following articles:.
How you can help refugees in Afghanistan – 7 ideas for action from Imix – our partners including writing to your MP Afghanistan Imix letter
Things to think about if you want to support – An excellent article by Bridget Chapman on the things to think about if you want to offer support to recent arrivals and the organisations that work with them.
Information and Advice for people asking about safe routes out of Afghanistan
. . . with links to support people if they ask you how they can find safe routes out of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the window for flying out of Kabul has now gone but this has links to constantly updated google documents.
Please also educate yourself about the facts on asylum and refugees. Many people want to help because they are moved by tragic events and then face criticism from family and friends which is difficult to respond to, without being armed by the facts. Here is a helpful guide to Myth Busting with the latest facts and figures from Ripon City of Sanctuary. You can also explore our resources on the website including FAQs, Facts and Figures and Refugee Situations.
And remember the current plight of the Afghan people shows the reality that there are no safe or legal routes to seek sanctuary in the UK for all people at risk. This is why we oppose the Nationality and Borders Bill which will criminalise those who have struggled to get here to find sanctuary, including those at risk who manage to escape Afghanistan and find their own way here. We invite you to join us and the Together With Refugees campaign to stop this bill going through. See our resources here.
Support Network for Afghans arriving in Scotland
As part of the Scottish Refugee Council‘s response to the recent events in Afghanistan and the announcement of the two resettlement schemes by the UK government, the Communities Team at SRC is inviting refugee-led and refugee-assisting community groups and organisations in Scotland to be part of a co-ordinated support network for the new arrivals. Have a look at this Google Form (GDPR compliant) where anyone with any capacity can register their offer of support. Communities team colleagues are planning to collate the information and create a database of a coordinated support network for new arrivals.