Afghans evacuated to the UK after Kabul fiasco face homelessness
About 8,000 Afghan refugees in the UK, who were allowed into the country in 2021 during Operation Warn Welcome, face homelessness as the government seeks to walk away from its legal obligations toward refugees, breaching international human rights obligations.
In a secret crisis meeting in Downing Street, UK, the government was warned that about 8,000 Afghan refugees who were evacuated during the US troops' exit from Kabul face homelessness this summer.
Council officials warned that during Operation Warn Welcome, Afghan Refugees who were evacuated from Kabul in August and allowed into the country in 2021 will be evicted from hotels due to government deadlines but still have no alternative residence.
The Guardian reported that the emergency meeting was convened last Thursday, just hours before the prime minister secretly repealed a contentious provision of last year's asylum law, which established a two-tiered refugee system.
The UK government is set to listen to the parliamentary committee on Sunday, discussing the migration bill and The Guardian claims that the committee will voice its concern that the legislation will breach several international human rights obligations.
Earlier, a report by the joint committee on human rights called on the UK to commit to its legal obligations toward refugees.
The government argued that acute housing shortage and high costs stood in the way of finding alternative residences for the refugees, especially given the beginning of the summer season, refugee canal crossings are also expected to increase.
However, The Observer, following an announcement that the government managed to acquire giant barrages to house about 1,000 refugees, discovered that UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government had spent a large number of tax-payers for a small value.
For example, the outlet revealed that the UK Home Office spent £1.5 million through Serco, a contractor, to renovate a “substandard” former military base into an asylum-seeker reception center. However, this renovated location was never used.
The Guardian also reported that after failing to convert RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, MPs, and council members accused ministers of wasting taxpayer money, claiming the amount revealed to The Observer and Liberty Investigates, after a freedom of information battle, may only have been a small portion of the actual sum spent.
The UK Home Office argued that “the government is committed to ending the expensive use of hotels for asylum seekers which is why we continue to source new alternative sites and vessels, which are cheaper and more manageable for communities."
It then claimed that “the asylum system currently costs more than £3bn a year so taxpayers rightly expect the government to find alternative solutions," adding that “We are also taking immediate action to clear the asylum backlog by doubling the number of asylum caseworkers to 2,500 and streamlining interviews and paperwork.”
In turn, Joanna Cherry, the Committee chair, responded to Home Secretary Suella Braverman's statement that the migration bill was compatible with international law and clearly stated: "We disagree."
Cherry explained that "having carried out scrutiny of the bill it is overwhelmingly clear that it breaches a number of the UK’s international human rights obligations."
It is worth noting that in May, Afghan refugee families, who the Home Office forced to uproot their lives in London and relocate 200 miles away earlier this year, have been issued with eviction notices in the name of Suella Braverman.
Significantly, the United States and its various Western allies, including the United Kingdom, are behind many war crimes in Afghanistan, which they committed as part of their 20-year-long occupation.