Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile – Surviving violence, creating hope, rebuilding lives


Baobab Briefings

Statement on Afghanistan and the Nationality and Borders Bill

All in the Baobab community have grave concerns about the current Nationality and Borders (Anti-Refugee) Bill to be discussed this autumn in Parliament, and the current situation in Afghanistan.

We have many concerns about the new Nationality and Borders Bill and the impact on unaccompanied asylumseeking children and young people. The governments distinction between ‘good’ refugees and ‘bad’ refugees fails to uphold the commitment that claiming asylum is a human right regardless of whether someone fleeing persecution enters via ‘planned’ or ‘irregular’ routes to the UK.

We at the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile are deeply concerned about the consequences of the current political situation in Afghanistan and the widespread human rights violations escalating daily. The current situation is such that there will be many people needing and wanting to leave and very few of those will enter the UK by regular routes. The majority will not.

At the Baobab Centre the largest group of children and young people we support are from Afghanistan. All have experienced violence in Afghanistan and or in neighbouring countries such as Iran and Pakistan, where their families were in exile. Many of them have experienced murder of one parent by the Taliban and many have had attempts by the Taliban to forcibly recruit them. Those in Iran and Pakistan have experienced violent xenophobia. All left their families and their home countries for fear they would be killed.

And it isn’t just Afghanistan, of course. As a young Baobab survivor from Ethiopia writes,

We know from our extensive experience supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people, that the majority have travelled to the UK via irregular routes arranged by agents. We are very aware that when parents feel like they cannot protect their children they encourage them to leave the country because they are at risk of forced recruitment or being caught up in violent conflicts and being killed…