Mansfield takes in dozens of Afghan refugees

Dozens of Afghan refugees were living in Mansfield at the end of March, new figures show.
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The Government launched two schemes to relocate Afghan citizens in 2021 and 2022, in response to the Taliban retaking control of the country.

These schemes have a particular focus on helping those who worked with the UK during the war in Afghanistan and vulnerable groups.

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The Home Office has now released figures on where Afghan refugees are staying in the UK, showing 33 living in Mansfield at the end of March.

For the first time, the Home Office has released figures on where Afghan refugees are staying in the UK.For the first time, the Home Office has released figures on where Afghan refugees are staying in the UK.
For the first time, the Home Office has released figures on where Afghan refugees are staying in the UK.

The figures also show 82 Ukrainians living in the area through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which allows UK citizens to sponsor and temporarily house refugees fleeing the conflict with Russia.

In total, the UK has taken in 175,000 refugees through the sponsorship scheme and the Ukraine Family Scheme, which grants Ukrainians the opportunity to live with family in the UK.

The Afghan schemes, which aim to resettle refugees permanently, have seen just more than 21,000 arrivals.

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The Refugee Council charity said routes for Afghans trying to settle in the UK are “restrictive” and “complex”.

Enver Solomon, council chief executive officer, said: “Many people are left in a desperate situation, forcing them to embark on dangerous journeys in search of protection.

“That’s why we see so many Afghan refugees risking their lives crossing the Channel, while practically no Ukrainians have had to resort to a dangerous crossing, thanks to the success of the Ukrainian schemes.

“The Government must scale up its efforts and offer protection to Afghans vulnerable to persecution by the Taliban, as well as people fleeing war and persecution in other parts of the world."

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Office for National Statistics data shows about 606,000 more people are estimated to have moved to the UK than left in the year to December.

There were 75,492 asylum applications in the UK in the year to March, the highest for any 12-month period since the year to March 2003.

Home Office data shows 37 people were receiving asylum support in Mansfield at this point.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK has a proud history of providing protection for those who need it.

“We remain committed to reducing overall net migration, while stopping the boats and delivering control of our borders, prioritising tackling abuse and preventing dangerous and illegal crossings.