The situation in Afghanistan is very fast-moving, but it’s clear that thousands of people are on the move, and there is already talk of a refugee ‘crisis’.
The solution will be complex and involve many of Afghanistan’s neighbours, but as the government is already talking about refugee resettlement, with the Borders and Nationality Bill on the horizon, it’s an opportunity for us to be clear about what refugee protection really looks like.
Local voices are incredibly influential in swaying government policy especially if the same message is coming from all parts of the country.
Here is a suggested template letter from Imix you could send to your local council leader, MP and local newspaper. You are more likely to get media coverage if you can get the letter signed by several organisations, especially if you involve veterans’ groups, local councillors themselves, religious leaders or other leaders within the community, including senior managers in locally awarded organisations ( schools. libraries, universities etc.) If you are writing to your councillors, please also link them to the City of Sanctuary UK Local Authority Network statement and ask them to add their support.
Ripon City of Sanctuary have also shared this Template letter with us for supporters to adapt and send to their MP.
Please note – the government would like to call its current evacuation of British nationals and Afghan interpreters direct from Kabul a resettlement scheme, but this is quite distinct from the UNHCR’s definition of a resettlement scheme. You can find more information about the government’s existing resettlement scheme and how few people have been helped through it here.