Papers of Farhat Khan

Scope and Content

This collection consists of:
A small number of campaign papers
Newspaper cuttings relating to the Khan family case from local and national newspapers
Posters, flyers, invitations, photographs and illustrations documenting the families campaign
Copies of speeches by members of the Khan family reflecting on their experience, 2017 and 2019

Administrative / Biographical History

Farhat and family are from Peshawar, Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan. Farhat worked in Pakistan for 21 years as a Community Development Worker for a number of agencies and Western Governments. This non-traditional role that Farhat chose to undertake to help others in her community brought friction with her husband's traditional family who were unable to accept her work. The relationship deteriorated into physical, mental and emotional abuse. As the situation with her husband and his family deteriorated Farhat made the decision to risk escape. With support from friends and her British boss she was able to flee from Pakistan to claim asylum in the UK in 2000.

Within a few weeks the family's request for asylum was denied on the grounds that her husband was no longer resident in Pakistan and so it was deemed safe for the family to return. In the traditional culture, male honour is valued above all else and it would be expected that if Farhat returned to Pakistan that her husband or his family would avenge their Honour through violent retribution.
The decision was appealed and while the family awaited the outcome of the appeal Farhat made contributions to community life in Manchester.

While trying to make her family financially independent she supported newly arrived asylum seekers and worked with the Manchester Refugee Support Network and the Cheetham Hill Advice Centre. In 2003 the asylum appeal was refused and Farhat's right to work was revoked meaning that Farhat had to leave her job and lose financial independence.

When this appeal was rejected friends and colleagues set up the Farhat Khan and Family Must Stay anti deportation campaign. As part of this Farhat spoke all over the country, demonstrations were held in Manchester to raise the profile of the case and a petition of over 9,000 signatures was collected and presented to the Home Office.

In 2004 Farhat was invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of her contribution to national life through her work and volunteering. In 2006 she was invited to Downing Street by the Prime Minister in recognition of her voluntary contribution. Both of these invitations brought the case into the national press.

During her own anti deportation campaign Farhat became aware of how isolating and lonely the process was especially for women and helped to establish the group Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) group. The group is now a charity that is run and organised by its members.

In 2007 the Khan family were granted refugee status and Farhat continues her community development work.

See GB3228.83/1/2 and GB3228.83/7/2 for more on Farhat's story.


The collection has been arranged into seven series:

  • GB3228.83/1 - Campaign papers
  • GB3228.83/2 - Newspaper cuttings
  • GB3228.83/3 - Posters, flyers and leaflets relating to the Farhat Khan and Family campaign
  • GB3228.83/4 - Engagement invitations
  • GB3228.83/5 - Photographs and illustrations
  • GB3228.83/6 - Cheetham Hill Advice Centre (CHAC) 40th Anniversary Celebration
  • GB3228.83/7 - Democratizing Displacement - Refugees Study Conference at New College, University of Oxford
    Within the series items are arranged chronologically.

Access Information

24 hours notice is required to view this collection. Material will then be accessible through Manchester Central Library Search Room, Manchester Central Library, St. Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD. To access this c ollection please contact:

Acquisition Information

Transferred directly from donor


Alternative Form Available

Copies of material within this collection can also be found in the Cheetham Hill Advice Centre archive as they were copied and reproduced as part of the 40th Anniversary exhibition

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Two items held digitally (pdfs)

Archivist's Note

Catalogue produced Mar 2019 by JR

Conditions Governing Use

For private research and study purposes only. Access restricted items not available for copying.

Appraisal Information

Duplicates returned to donor


No accruals expected

Related Material

See also Cheetham Hill Advice Centre Archive GB3228.78 - Farhat worked a bilingual advice worker for the Cheetham Hill Advice Centre and they supported her with her anti-deportation campaign.

Personal Names