EU blasted over ‘hypocrisy’ as bloc accused of neglecting Afghan refugees

EU blasted over ‘hypocrisy’ as bloc accused of neglecting Afghan refugees
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 31/05/2023

- 18:32

Just 271 Afghans were resettled in the EU in 2022, according to new data

The EU has been blasted for its “hypocrisy” as it faces scrutiny over its handling of hundreds of Afghan migrants.

Just 271 Afghans were resettled in the EU in 2022, 0.1 per cent of the 270,000 marked as in need of permanent protection, according to new data.

The bloc’s leaders have been accused of “staggering neglect” by leading charity the International Rescue Committee.

The shocking stats are a stark contrast to the UK, with British Government data updated last week showing indefinite leave to remain being granted to just under 13,000 Afghans under two resettlement and relocation programmes.

Speaking on GB News, ex-Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney has hit out at the EU’s “hypocrisy”, saying the bloc would be quick to slam Britain were the shoe on the other foot.

He told Patrick Christys: “Don't forget we are the closed minded, closed borders Little Englanders who drew up the drawbridge to the world when we Brexited.

“And open borders, so beloved of the European Union, were absolutely central to their bloc's dream.

“Yet here we are, the reality hits home. It is they who drew up the drawbridge, they who are locking people out, fleeing war zones while at the same time saying to us that we should openly accept as many economic migrants as we can possibly house.

Afghanistan latest: UK and Taliban in talks to secure 'safe passage' out for Britons and Afghan alliesTaliban forces patrol at a runway a day after U.S troops withdrawal from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYgbnews

“This is absolutely totemic and emblematic of what they do out there. Nothing.”

A damning report by the International Rescue Committee claims not a single person has arrived under a scheme created in Germany in 2021 which aimed to resettle up to 1,000 Afghans a month.

Some countries are yet to take any Afghans at all since Kabul fell to the Taliban, according to its report.

Many remain “trapped in remote and prison-like conditions” on Greek islands with inclusion into local communities “prevented”.

The report claims 90 per cent of Afghans supported by the IRC’s mental health teams in Lesbos and Athens experienced symptoms of anxiety.

David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, said: “This report highlights staggering neglect of Afghans by the member states of the European Union, which puts them at risk at every step of their journeys in search of protection.

“While some states’s well-intentioned plans to bring Afghans to safety have hit repeated delays and obstacles, other countries have failed to make any pledges at all, or to guarantee adequate protection and inclusion for the tiny proportion of Afghan refugees who manage to reach Europe.”

The IRC has called on member states of the bloc to “scale up protection pathways” and resettle 42,500 Afghan refugees in the next five years “at a minimum”.

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