CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HOME AFFAIRS – AFGHAN SCHOLARS AT RISK (2) [46919] - 09 September 2021

HOME AFFAIRS – AFGHAN SCHOLARS AT RISK (2) [46919] - 09 September 2021

Dr Julian Lewis:  To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether places on the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme will be prioritised according to the degree of risk faced by applicants; for what reason at-risk applicants accepted for inclusion in the scheme will not all be brought to the UK during its first year; and by what means at-risk applicants for the scheme who are still in Afghanistan will be expected to keep themselves safe while awaiting the second and third years of the scheme.  [46919]

[Due for Answer on 15 September]

ANSWER

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Victoria Atkins): On Monday 13 September the Government published a policy statement which set out further details on the policy and operation of the ACRS, and the package of integration support that will be offered to those arriving through the scheme.

This policy statement confirms that the following groups of people will be prioritised through the ACRS:

  • those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and rule of law; and

  • vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT+).

To help identify those most at risk, the Government is working closely with the UN’s Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to identify and resettle refugees who have fled Afghanistan based on their protection and humanitarian needs. The Government is also working with international partners and NGOs in the region to implement a referral process for people inside Afghanistan, where safe passage can be arranged, and for those that have recently fled to other countries in the region.

Further details on eligibility and selection can be found on gov.uk.