Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled the government’s plans to take in up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans in the long-term as part of a resettlement plan following the takeover of the South Asian country by the Taliban* militant group.
The government will relocate up to 5,000 Afghans in the UK in the first year, according to the scheme, with women, girls, religious and other minorities deemed to be most at risk of human rights abuses given priority, according to Sky News.
Unveiled ahead of Wednesday’s emergency debate in the House of Commons on the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan, the resettlement plan will be maintained beyond its first year, under review, to eventually grant relocation to Britain to a total of 20,000 Afghans.
The scheme is a modification of the seven-year programme applied to Syrian refugees.
Under then-Prime Minister David Cameron Britain responded to the refugee crisis facing Europe by “living up to its moral responsibility” and agreeing to take in 20,000 refugees from camps on the borders of Syria over a period of five years. Cameron had said that the refugees would not immediately be granted full asylum status, but instead a humanitarian status that would allow them to apply for asylum at the end of five years.
The Syrian resettlement scheme was in place from 2014 until its closure earlier this year.
‘Obligation to Do More’
However, critics believe the UK has an obligation to take in more refugees. Former cabinet minister David…