To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she is having with the Government of Qatar on (a) evacuation of Christians and (b) bringing Christians to the UK under the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme.
24 September 2021
Minister for Human Rights Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon addressed the UN Human Rights Council on 24 August to underscore the UK's commitment to protecting the human rights of all Afghan people. The UK also led work on the recent UN Security Council resolution, demonstrating our commitment to holding the Taliban to account on human rights. We are working urgently with neighbouring countries to ensure that at-risk Afghans who are eligible to come to the UK can secure for safe passage, including through the former Foreign Secretary's visit to Qatar between 1 and 3 September. Our Embassy to Afghanistan has temporarily relocated to Qatar to lead our diplomatic, security and humanitarian engagement and a Rapid Deployment Team has been deployed to help those in transit. The UK is formally launching a resettlement programme, the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme, providing a safe and legal route for up to 20,000 Afghans in the region over the coming years, with 5,000 in the first year. This scheme will include Afghans who face a particular risk from the Taliban, for example because of their role in standing up for democracy and human rights or because of their gender, sexuality or religion.