Advertisement
Opinion

Afghan refugees have the right to a warm welcome

The CEO of the Refugee Council wants the government to reconsider its policy on family separation for people fleeing conflict.

We remain deeply worried by the sheer numbers [12,000+] of Afghans who remain languishing in hotels for long periods, accommodation by no means appropriate for prolonged stays. This situation represents a failure of the government’s promise to provide a warm welcome to Afghans and to help them integrate here. We remain deeply concerned by all elements of the government’s draconian policies enshrined in the Nationality and Borders Act, and the harm they will do to people in desperate need of safety. 

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

Criminalising those who have no choice but to make their own way to the UK is both cruel and heartless. It sees this government dramatically turning its back on the commitment made over seven decades ago when the UK was one of the founding signatories of the Refugee Convention – that men, women and children fleeing oppression and war should always be granted a fair hearing on UK soil regardless of how they have reached our shores. 

We need a fair and humane asylum system, which means well thought-out, long-term solutions that – crucially – address why people are forced from their homes and provide them with safe routes to the UK. 

Family separation is one of the cruellest aspects of any conflict. We saw this clearly when Kabul fell and families were torn apart in the mayhem of fleeing the war zone. Consequently, many Afghans who have reached safety here are desperately worried about close family members still in the region who currently have no rights to come to the UK under family reunion rules. 

Support The Big Issue

Give your local vendor a hand up and buy the magazine

Each of our vendors buy their copies of the mag for £1.50 each, selling them for £3 and keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor.

Our calls to the government are clear. We urge them to immediately create a safe route to ensure that family members who are trapped in Afghanistan facing persecution every day, or who have crossed the border in fear, are able to reunite and find safety in the arms of their loved ones already here in the UK.

Enver Solomon is CEO of the Refugee Council

Advertisement
Advertisement

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.

To support our work buy a copy! If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Bowie thrived on chaos, but this government's mess is something else
Opinion

Bowie thrived on chaos, but this government's mess is something else

Will Keir Starmer lead Labour back into government? The view from the party conference in Liverpool
Labour Party Conference

Will Keir Starmer lead Labour back into government? The view from the party conference in Liverpool

As an era closes, what now for the future of Britain?
Opinion

As an era closes, what now for the future of Britain?

Where are the superheroes among the super-rich?
Paul McNamee

Where are the superheroes among the super-rich?

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.