Deaths of Channel migrants: Critics claim the government is ‘dawdling’ over an Afghan resettlement scheme.


Deaths of Channel migrants: Critics claim the government is ‘dawdling’ over an Afghan resettlement scheme.

The Home Office has not released any additional information since the announcement, according to sources, with eligibility and specifications still unknown.

Ministers are being grilled over why they are “still dawdling” on the Afghan refugee program months after promising to open it.

Following the deaths of at least 27 people attempting to cross the Channel from France, the government has been pressed to explain why it has not ensured that refugees have greater access to safe routes to the UK.

Afghan nationals were believed to be among those killed in the crossing, and aid organizations said it was “indefensible” that asylum seekers were forced to resort to desperate measures.

According to sources, the Home Office has kept mum about the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACFS) since it was announced in August, shortly after Kabul fell.

Officials, according to my understanding, have not provided them with any basic information, and the scheme’s eligibility and specifications are still unknown.

It comes as reports surface that Afghan soldiers were among the refugees and migrants rescued off the Kent coast of Dungeness.

The asylum seekers included babies and small children, as well as an Afghan soldier who had worked with British forces in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times.

The fact that the program had not materialized several months later, according to Labour’s shadow Home Secretary, was “staggering.”

“It’s incredible that several months have passed and Ministers still don’t have a clear picture of the Afghanistan Resettlement Scheme.

“Yet again, we have seen empty and broken promises from this Home Secretary,” Nick Thomas-Symonds said, referring to the government’s commitment to help 20,000 Afghans.

“It is critical that the Government announces how the Scheme will operate and opens it up as soon as possible.”

The UK has a moral obligation to assist Afghans; the government cannot continue to wait and pretend that the situation is not urgent.”

The government described the scheme as “complex” and said it was being designed “at a rapid pace.”

In the meantime, campaigners argue, ministers could use the general UK Resettlement Scheme, which will be launched in February 2021, to assist Afghans in reaching safety.

“It’s indefensible that Ministers are still dawdling,” Louise Calvey, head of services and safeguarding at Refugee Action, said.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy.

Deaths of migrants in the Channel: Critics claim the government is ‘dawdling’ on an Afghan resettlement plan.

Channel migrant deaths: Government is ‘dawdling’ over Afghanistan resettlement scheme, critics say

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