iLocal News Archives

Open to take action against safe migration!

It’s now one year since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, reminding us of the urgent need for safe migration routes for all. 
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Thousands have fled Afghanistan to escape an impending future under a notoriously draconian and violent armed group, bent on operating outside of judicial processes and killing those who defy their rule. 

But instead of finding safety, those who have sought safety in the U.K. instead face the reality of navigating hostile immigration policies that characterize them as potential immigration offenders, failing to recognize those who may have been trafficked, and withholding their right to work and support themselves. 

This leaves people vulnerable to trafficking and accepting illegal and often exploitative work to survive.[1] 

With people being treated like this in the U.K., where the government even named its approach to Afghan asylum seekers “Operation Warm Welcome”,[2] the need for safe migration policies around the world is clear. 

Sign the petition calling for safe migration for all!
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UN experts including the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons submitted an urgent statement in 2021 calling on UN member states to intervene in the escalating conflict to protect the rights of civilians, and:
keep their borders open to receive asylum seekers from Afghanistan while ensuring adequate protection and humanitarian assistance of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons.”[3]
Yet Afghans continue to struggle to even seek, let alone secure asylum in the U.K. Many are forced to make dangerous crossings in small boats due to a lack of safe means to apply for help, such as a visa scheme or application process outside the country.  

Almost a quarter[4] of all people crossing to the U.K. in dangerous small boats at the beginning of this year were Afghans, and over 10,000 have been brought to the U.K. under government resettlement schemes.[5]   

The U.K. government’s inhumane plan to send asylum seekers arriving to the U.K. via small boats to Rwanda has not had the deterrence effect touted by politicians – nor has there been any evidence to suggest that this will prevent trafficking as they claimed. In fact, asylum seekers reaching the U.K. irregularly, by sea, has actually increased.[6] 

People continue to make the perilous journey to the U.K. because a lack of safe and legal migration routes means they have no other option. Sign the petition TODAY! 

As a result of unethical immigration policies, it’s now easier than ever for traffickers to exploit people made vulnerable through the systematic denial of their rights. 

For those trafficked across borders, a recent report[7] on the U.K. asylum system and exploitation outlined how an over-reliance on self-reporting, and inadequate identification and safeguarding from immigration authorities means trafficking victims are going unnoticed. 

Once in their destination country, immigration policies that prevent asylum seekers from working also play into traffickers’ hands by pushing people into destitution and creating desperation that leads people to accept exploitative work to survive. 

Those who experience exploitation are in turn dissuaded from seeking help from authorities through fear of simply being treated as an immigration offender and faced with detention or deportation. 

Add your voice to the campaign calling for safe migration as an anti-trafficking strategy! 

Migration is an anti-trafficking issue. Hostile immigration policies create a point of vulnerability that traffickers can then exploit, knowing that people migrating through dangerous routes without the required legal documentation are unlikely to report exploitation to the authorities given their insecure immigration status. 

The reasons why people move are endless, but the hostile nature of borders and immigration policies fails to acknowledge the humanity of migrants and undermines the rights afforded to all of us through virtue of being human. 

In the vacuum of these rights, modern slavery and human trafficking are allowed to flourish. We can’t let that happen. Demand safe migration for all! 

In solidarity, 

Miriam and the team supporting the Freedom United community

 Miriam Karmali
Advocacy, Freedom United








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