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Dear Prime Minister, help Afghan families reunite

Today, Safe Passage and over 100 Afghan activists and organisations, including Islamic Relief UK, have written to the Prime Minister asking the Government to help Afghans evacuated to the UK bring family to join them in safety.

The letter in full:

17 January 2023

 Dear Prime Minister,

Nearly eighteen months since Operation Pitting, we are deeply concerned that families torn apart during the evacuation remain separated.

We are asking you, Prime Minister, to honour the commitments made to Afghan families. Will you today recommit to reunite families separated during the evacuations as the Government promised? Living in uncertainty, Afghan refugees are desperate to know that you have not forgotten their loved ones and will deliver on the promises made as Kabul fell.

Brothers and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives were separated in the chaos of trying to get on a flight in August 2021. At the time, your Government rightly recognised that families belong together and promised that those airlifted to safety would be resettled with their loved ones. However, nearly a year and a half on families are being kept apart because no process has been put in place for their reunification under the Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme.

It is hard for those in the UK to carry on and move forward whilst desperately missing their relatives left behind – their lives are not complete without their loved ones. Evacuees are trying to rebuild their lives in the UK but can only think of family they long to see in safety – including women, girls, those from vulnerable religious and ethnic minority communities. Many are struggling to concentrate in school, start work despite being highly skilled or settle into life here after sleepless nights worrying about family in hiding and at extreme risk. The separation is causing colossal strain on the mental health of families.

Separated families cannot wait a day longer. They need a quick and effective route to family reunion so that they can hug and hold each other again. The Ukraine Family Scheme shows that the Government can help families reunite at pace. Today, just as the Government rightly responded to save Ukrainian lives, we ask that you act with the same urgency to bring Afghan families to safety.

Families and the charities supporting them are anxious to find a solution. Will you meet with representatives of these families and charities, who can share their experiences and work with you to develop a way forward?

Yours sincerely,


Abdullah Farroukh

Abdulrahman Bdiwi, Young Leaders at Safe Passage

Afsana Hamidy

Alice Giuliato, Head of Services, RAMFEL

Alison Pickup, Director, Asylum Aid

Amber Bauer, CEO, forRefugees

Amir, Photographer

Andrea Cleaver, CEO, Welsh Refugee Council

Anna Jones, Co-Founder & CEO, RefuAid

Aryan Sanghrajka, Founder and Managing Director, Forced to Flee


Bahar, Chair of Bahar Women`s association

Bashir Fatehi

Becky Hart, Supervising Lawyer, Afghan Pro Bono Initiative

Ben Gilchrist, Chief Executive, Caritas Shrewsbury

Beth Gardiner-Smith, Safe Passage International

Brian Mitchell, Immigration Legal Adviser, Notre Dame Refugee Centre

Caitlin Boswell, Policy and Advocacy Manager, JCWI

Caroline Coombs, CEO, Reunite Families UK

Carolyn Housman, CEO of Children and Families Across Borders, Children and Families Across Borders

Catharine Walston, Trustee, Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign

Claire Thomas, Deputy Director, Minority Rights Group

Clare Moseley, CEO, Care4Calais

Cllr Peymana Assad, Councillor for Roxeth, London Borough of Harrow

David Brown, Chair, Birmingham City of Sanctuary Committee

Debbie Royle, Deputy Director, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum

Denise McDowell, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU)

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi MBE, Director, Afghanistan & Central Asian Association

Efi Stathopoulou, Programmes Manager, Refugee Legal Support

Eleanor Brown, CEO, CARAS

Elizabeth Palmer, CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales)

Elizabeth Winter, Executive Director, British and Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group (BAAG)

Emily Crowley , Chief Executive, Student Action for Refugees

Emma Stevenson , Deputy CEO, Choose Love

Enver Solomon, CEO, Refugee Council

Esmatullah Khyber, PhD student

Fahim Zazai, Managing Director, Afghan Community and Welfare Centre

Fahima Zaheen, CEO, Afghan Association Paiwand

Fiona Vale, Service Manager, BEGIN (Basic Educational Guidance in Nottinghamshire)

Frank Kamau, Business Development Manager, Mojatu Foundation

Geoffrey Curl, Refugee Support Volunteer

Hashmatullah Mujaddedi, Member, Afghan Association Paiwand

Heshmat Assadi, Founder /Chief, Eagle Eyes NGO Association

Hezel Ndlovu, Family Reunion Caseworker, PAFRAS- Positive Action For Refugees  And  Asylum Seekers

Homira May Rezai, Chairwoman, Hazara Committee

James Bajgar

James Joseph, Azadi Charity Executive Assistant/ Hazara APPG Secretariat

Jenni Regan, CEO, IMIX

Jo Cobley, CEO, Young Roots

Joel Mordi

Jonathan Griffin, Chief Executive, Immigration Law Practitioners Association

Jonny Willis, CEO, Refugee Youth Service

Joseph Seaton, At Risk Teachers

Julie Bishop, Director, Law Centres Network

Juliette Bone, Client Participation Worker, Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum

Kat Lorenz, Director, Asylum Support Appeals Project

Katie Rogers

Laure-Helene Piron, UK Afghanistan Diplomacy and Development Alliance

Lavin, Student, Safe Passage

Leah Gayer, Co-director, Compass Collective

Lilian Geijsen, European Director, Ben & Jerry’s

Liz Windsor-Welsh, Chief Executive, Action Together

M Mujaddedi, Afghan Association Paiwand

Marcela Navarrete, Partner, Wilson Solicitors LLP

Mark Goldring, Director, Asylum Welcome

Mark Seymour, Refugee Project Manager, The Gap Wales

Mel Steel, Director, Voices in Exile

Melina Safari, Director

Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director, René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights

Mr Anthony Boateng, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Methodist Church of Britain

Nahid Farid

Naomi Jackson, Development Lead, Social Workers Without Borders

Nazek Ramadan, Executive Director, Migrant Voice

Nick Harborne, CEO, Refugee Support Group

Paul Hook, Director, Asylum Matters

Rafi Hottak, Translator, Azadi Charity

Reset Communities and Refugees

Rev Fiona Bennett, General Assembly Moderator, United Reformed Church

Revd Graham Thompson, President of the Methodist Conference, Methodist Church of Britain

Revd. Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Rohullah Samoon, Volunteer, Afghan Association Paiwand

Roqia, Afghan Association Paiwand

Ros Holland, Chief Executive, Boaz Trust

Rose Njoroge, Casework Co-ordinator, Slough Refugee Support

Sabir Zazai, CEO, Scottish Refugee Council

Sahar Rahimi

Saheem, Interpreter


Sarah Fenby-Dixon, Afghanistan Consultant, Global Witness

Sarah Magill, Managing Director, Azadi Charity

Sian Summers-Rees, Chief Officer, City of Sanctuary UK

Sophie Reid, MSYP, SYP Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament

Steve Newman, Chair, FODI (Sunderland)

Steven Martin, Director, Channel Rescue

Syed Wafeeullah, Self employed, Afghan Association Paiwand

Tamana Safi

Tim Naor Hilton, CEO, Refugee Action

Tufail Hussain, UK Director, Islamic Relief

Tyler Fox, Director, Springboard Youth Academy

Vicki Felgate and Kayte Cable, Co-Founders, Big Leaf Foundation


William Nicholas Gomes, Director, The William Gomes Podcast

Zahra Shaheer, Volunteer and fellowship with Refugee Council and LCC Refugee Journalism Project

Zee Azizi, Student, Georgia State University

Zehra Zaidi, Action for Afghanistan

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