The Ahmadi Muslim Refugee Crisis


The issue

Around 6,000 Ahmadi Muslims have fled state-sponsored persecution in Pakistan and are in south east Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia where many have obtained UNHCR refugee status.

Due to their host countries not being signatories to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, their status as refugees does not qualify them to work, receive medical treatment or other basic state-sponsored assistance. Instead they are considered as illegals and overstayers, making them liable to arbitrary arrest and detention.

Consequently, Ahmadi Muslims remain at risk, and live in fear of deportation. A recent case in Malaysia highlights the real risk of refoulement where one Ahmadi Muslim has been deported back to Pakistan where he is now at serious risk of persecution. UNHCR does not have the financial means to support refugees, many of which have been stranded there for 5 – 10 years.

This means that Ahmadi refugees continue to survive with no subsistence and have no alternative financial support available to them. They live in horrific conditions especially within detention centres. There is an urgent and pressing need to resettle these refuges who are acknowledged by UNHCR as vulnerable.


Mandate Refugee

The Mandate resettlement scheme resettles recognises refugees who have a close family member in the UK who is willing to accommodate them. It is a global scheme and there is no annual quota. Beneficiaries of the Mandate scheme must have been recognised as refugees by UNHCR and judged by them to be in need of resettlement. UNHCR has categorised Ahmadi refugees as a group with the greater need for resettlement.

Under the Mandate scheme, the refugee must be a minor child, spouse, parent or grandparent aged over 65 of someone settled in the UK and who is willing to accommodate and support them. Wider family members such as adult siblings will only be considered if there is an exceptional circumstance.

Ahmadi refugees currently have at least 100 siblings who are resident in the UK and are willing to sponsor, accommodate and support refugees within the UK. We therefore call on the British Government to exercise its discretion and to allow those refugees with siblings resident in the country to be granted resettlement under this scheme.

Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme

The British Government has announced plans to resettle at least 5,000 of the world’s most vulnerable refugees under its Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme. UNHCR has identified Ahmadi refugees as vulnerable and in light of the serious risk of refoulment to Pakistan where they face state-sponsored persecution, we urgently call on the Government to include Ahmadi Muslim refugees within its 5000 quota.


© The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK 2021 – This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in these webpages are those of the group.


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