So much about the UK Government’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan – and the fate of Afghans seeking safety here in the UK – is still uncertain. Here’s a quick summary of what we know, and how we’re standing up for refugees in Scotland.

Afghans in Scotland

Under the various relocation and resettlement schemes announced by the UK Government, local authorities will be responsible for providing Afghans arriving in the UK with accommodation and support. We are still waiting for more details about how these schemes will work in practice. Find out more about the schemes in this Factsheet on Afghanistan relocation and resettlement schemes.

We have put together some information for Afghans in Scotland who are affected by the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan. This information is available in English, Dari, and Pashto.

Afghan Support Network

Thanks so much to everyone who has contacted us with kind offers of practical support for Afghan refugees.

To help coordinate these generous offers, we’ve started an Afghan Support Network.  Over the coming months, we’ll work to match your offers with the needs of local authorities that are supporting Afghan refugees.

We’re not able to accept direct donations of clothing, toys or household goods. However, you can use our New Scots Connect map to find groups and organisations near you who may be looking for donations of this kind.

We are not able to process offers of accommodation. If you have a spare room that you would like to offer to a refugee or person seeking asylum, please contact Room For Refugees, who run a wonderful programme.

Standing up for refugee rights

We never stop campaigning for a better, fairer deal for people seeking safety. Right now, we’re calling for the UK Government to:

  • Offer immediate refugee status to all Afghans who are currently in the UK asylum process – and all those who have previously had their claim for asylum refused
  • Support Afghans already living in the UK to bring family members to safety via family reunion
  • Provide clear information about when the Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme announced in August will begin, how it will work and who will be eligible
  • Provide clear information about how other, existing Afghan relocation and resettlement schemes will work in practice
  • Rethink the cruel Nationality and Borders Bill which is currently going through parliament and replace it with an asylum system that is fair and effective

Saying ‘no’ to the Nationality and Borders Bill

It is likely that many Afghans escaping the Taliban will make the long and difficult journey to the UK to seek asylum. For people who fear for their lives, waiting patiently for a place on a resettlement scheme simply is not an option.

But if the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill is passed, thousands of men, women and children who would currently be accepted as refugees, could be turned away.  The Bill will make it illegal for anyone arriving by an “irregular route” to claim asylum. This would mean that people fleeing for their lives could face criminalisation and time in jail, just for travelling to the UK in search of safety.

As part of Together With Refugees, a coalition of more than 300 organisations from across the UK, we’re calling for the Prime Minister to rethink these cruel and unworkable proposals.

Find out more about our work to stop the Borders Bill.

You can find our briefing to members of the Scottish Parliament about what we think needs to be done to support the people of Afghanistan below.

Scottish Refugee Council - Briefing for Debate in Scottish Parliament on Supporting the People of Afghanistan - 2 September 2021
Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb