At a meeting with the Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, the UK immigration minister has committed to continued cooperation.
At talks at the Home Office in London, Damian Green thanked Dr Jamaher Anwary for his country’s continued cooperation with helping the return of Afghan nationals.
The UK minister said joint action had already impacted on illegal migration.
Mr Green said: ‘I am confident that the UK and Afghan Governments can continue to cooperate on a number of key issues, including combating illegal migration and enforcing returns.’
He said that their cooperation had already ‘significantly reduced the numbers migrating illegally to UK from Afghanistan’.
He added: ‘We will continue to work very closely with the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to ensure that returns are carefully planned and managed, and ensure reintegration assistance continues to be available for returnees.’
The talks came at the start of a four-day visit to London by a delegation led by Dr Anwary, aimed at strengthening relations between the UK and Afghan Governments.
During their stay, the delegation will visit UK Border Agency asylum case working offices, enforcement teams, the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Tribunals Service and an immigration removal centre.
The busy programme will give an overview of every stage of the asylum process from application through to removal.
Combating illegal migration
As well as stressing the importance of an effective returns policy, Mr Green pledged to work with the Afghan Government to tackle the root causes of illegal migration, by targeting traffickers and supporting the development of the country as a whole.
He added: ‘We have a common interest with the Afghan Government in ensuring that young people receive the training and skills they need to support economic growth, which will help remove the attraction of illegal migration.’
The reintegration assistance already provided by the UK to Afghans returning home includes temporary accommodation, transport, skills training, job placement and help setting up businesses.
There is also a vocational training and job placement service provided by the German organisation AGEF, on behalf of the UK Government.
This service is made available to members of the local community, as well as returnees.