5,000 refugees are expected to arrive in the UK following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. A further 15,000 are promised to reach British soil over the following few years. Where will they live? Will they get any support? Or will they be abandoned in a new country like their predecessors?
According to all parties in the Government, the UK must protect and provide asylum for the women and children who helped the United Nations topple the Taliban over a decade ago.
The massive shift within the country allowed women’s rights to take shape, and although there are hopes that the Taliban will allow these rights to remain in force, it is unexpected. Previous Taliban rule - based on Sharia Law - has encouraged women to stay at home, be quiet, and do as they are told. Women who speak out of turn or act out of order are publicly disciplined, including the use of honour killings.
There are already reports of searches by the Taliban for the Afghans who worked with the United Nations, treacherous journeys to find safety, and door-to-door interrogations.
For their safety, there is about to be an influx of asylum seekers within the UK. These people will come here, after running away. They will have no belongings, their family dead or left behind, and a language barrier for accessing the best advice.
It is not a shock for local authorities that the homelessness levels within the UK are at a crisis point. Neither is it a surprise that asylum seekers make up 1 in 4 of those accessing homeless shelters.
According to a previous blog; written for the clothing collective, asylum seekers face disadvantages in terms of homelessness and get very little support. They are provided with a small number of vouchers to live on and housing that is far from adequate. This disadvantage is while they are awaiting the decision. Once the decision has been made, the Government stops all support, and the new UK citizen is forced to find accommodation, a job, or access benefits within 28 days.
As the Government has agreed that women and children are at risk of persecution by remaining in Afghanistan, they are likely to approve applications to stay in the country by these groups quickly.
Will the homelessness statistics double? Triple? Or will the Government make allowances for the new influx of homeless refugees?
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