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Afghanistan is continuing to experience a humanitarian catastrophe, with the UK being one of the key architects of the 20-year conflict that has led to this crisis. Therefore, the UK has a specific responsibility to the Afghan people. 

The people of Afghanistan are enduring extreme poverty, deprivation and oppression, as a result of the withdrawal of US and western forces, and the control of the Taliban. 

There are deep concerns about the impact of Taliban rule on access to education and human rights generally. Afghan women and girls are at particular risk of persecution, abuse and violence along with LGBT+ people, certain ethnic minority groups, trade unionists and pro-democracy campaigners, and those who have assisted British operations within the country. Protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls to access education is a global priority and should be a central focus for the UK's foreign policy and aid spending. 

The UK government’s Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is failing to prioritise the most vulnerable, with reports indicating that some of the first people resettled were those already living in the UK.  

The STUC has called on the Scottish and UK Governments to work with international partners to open up safe, legal routes for refugees from Afghanistan to come to Scotland and the UK and to ensure that the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme functions effectively and prioritises those in most need rather than the easiest to reach.