CAMPAIGNING FOR THE RIGHTS OF AFGHAN FORMER INTERPRETERS WHO HAVE SERVED WITH THE BRITISH ARMED FORCES
Our vision is for a comprehensive, fair and lasting solution that encompasses:
providing sanctuary for former interpreters under threat
welcoming former interpreters and their families to the UK
recognising their service and supporting their integration into British society
British military involvement in Afghanistan relied on the support of approximately 7000 Locally Employed Civilians (LECs) who worked as interpreters, guards and in other capacities to support the mission.
LECs associated with international military forces, especially interpreters, are seen as a priority target by the Taliban, as recognised in the Home Office Country Policy and Information Note ‘Afghanistan: Anti-government elements (2020)’, the European Asylum Suport Office and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Afghan LECs who have worked for the UK and face threats based on their employment history, but do not meet the criteria of the Ex-Gratia Scheme, are still in Afghanistan or stuck in refugee camps, such as on Lesbos.
As the House of Commons Defence Select Committee concluded in a report: “Given our Government's own stark assessment of the perilous Afghan security situation, the idea that no interpreters or other former LECs have faced threats and intimidation warranting their relocation to the UK is totally implausible” (2018).