On 18 August 2021, the British prime minister Boris Johnson announced his government’s plans to resettle 20,000 at risk Afghans in Britain. The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), the British government claimed, was designed provide “legal and safe routes to the UK for those in need of protection,” with 5,000 Afghans arriving in Britain in the first year.
The British government said that the ACRS would prioritise “those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights and freedom of speech, rule of law (for example, judges, women’s rights activists, academics, journalists); and vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT).”
But according to the BBC, Britain has accepted no Afghans under ACRS since its announcement.
Writing in the Independent newspaper, Caroline Lucas MP, a Green member of the House of Commons, condemned the British government for its failure, saying that “this is a promise not just broken, but shattered into a thousand fragments. While Afghans are being tortured, kidnapped and killed, our government’s egregious failures to make any progress at all are putting yet more lives at risk.”