As Afghans flee Taliban, Derbyshire County Council comments on resettling refugees
Derbyshire County Council has commented on taking refugees from Afghanistan – after the Taliban seized control of the country.
The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy offers any current or former staff employed by the UK in Afghanistan – and whose lives are judged to be under serious threat – priority relocation to the UK.
Some 5,000 former Afghan staff and their family members are expected to be relocated to the UK by the end of this year under this scheme.
On top of that, the Government has now committed to relocate a further 5,000 Afghan civilians in the next 12 months through the new Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme.
Up to 15,000 more Afghans could be allowed to settle in the UK in the years ahead.
The Derbyshire Times asked the county council if it would be helping.
A spokesperson said: “All local authorities have been asked if they would participate in a national scheme to settle locally employed Afghan nationals and their families.
“We’ve agreed to take part in the scheme if suitable housing can be found.
“At this stage we do not have any further information.”
‘We will not abandon people’
According to the Government, the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will give priority to women, girls and religious minorities – who are most at risk of human rights abuses by the Taliban.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The UK Government will always stand by those in the world in their hour of need when fleeing persecution or oppression.
“I want to ensure that as a nation we do everything possible to provide support to the most vulnerable fleeing Afghanistan so they can start a new life in safety in the UK, away from the tyranny and oppression they now face.
“Our country has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those in need.
“We will not abandon people who have been forced to flee their homes and are now living in terror of what might come next.
“The Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will save lives.”
A Home Office spokesperson said the schemes would ‘not compromise’ national security, adding that people would face ‘strict security checks’.
They added: “The Government will work with stakeholders, including local councils, to ensure that Afghans who will be rebuilding their lives in the UK have the support they need.”