Hundreds of Afghans who are working or have worked to support British Armed Forces will be able to relocate to the UK if they find themselves at risk due to their work, the UK government has announced.
The announcement came days before the next round of peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government is due to start on Jan. 5.
The legislation for a new Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy will be introduced in April 2021 so that current and ex-employees, such as embassy support staff, those in political or counter-terrorism roles, or cultural advisers, can relocate to the UK with their families if necessary for their safety.
“Under the new scheme, anyone facing imminent risk such as intimidation or threat to life will be offered priority relocation regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served,” the UK Defence Ministry and the Home Office said in a joint statement.
“Nobody’s life should be put at risk because they supported the UK government to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan,” UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.
“As the situation in the region evolves, it is only right we do more to protect local citizens who stood shoulder to shoulder with our armed forces,” he added.