Back in 2007 BAFF made a significant contribution to the pressure on behalf of Iraqi local staff who were in danger due to their work for UK authorities. One of the founding BAFF members was a leader of that national campaign. Other members serving in Iraq at the time held informal straw polls which showed support amongst the troops, and we contributed to the debate on social media and in broadcast interviews.
The UK decided to implement a scheme for Afghan local staff along the same lines as the Iraq local staff scheme which we and others had successfully campaigned for. The scheme allowed some staff to come to UK with temporary leave to remain, and others received financial assistance to relocate within the region.
BAFF has not commented so far, but there have been a number of media stories recently suggesting that only one Afghan former interpreter has been successful under the current scheme. The Times (subscription access) has carried a number of reports. This from the Daily Mail:
- Just ONE Afghan interpreter who helped British forces has been allowed to move to the UK despite hundreds of requests from staff who have been threatened by Taliban
Should BAFF be prepared to comment on this issue?
Not as a full-blown campaign; we have enough on our plate.
There is now a forum poll on this question.
This article was originally published to logged-in members only. The outcome was that BAFF has continued to engage with this issue so far as resources permit.