Sunday, November 18, 2018

Afghanistan's refugee minister: Stop the deportations!

Only very few return to Afghanistan voluntarily. Unaccompanied children prefer to live on the streets in Sweden to those in Afghanistan. 

Translation from Swedish: Afghanska flyktingministern: Stoppa utvisningarna! Nov 18, 2018

On Monday, November 19, 2018, 48 persons are going to be deported by force from Stockholm (Märsta custody) to Afghanistan. Within the group, there are youngsters wrongly written up to 18+, Christians, atheists, hbtq-persons, fathers of babies, physically ill persons, mentally ill persons. Protest demonstrations are planned outside the custody during the day and evening.

Afghanistan's refugee minister Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi was interviewed by FARR, the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups. He maintained that internal flight, that is settle down in another place than the domicile, is not an alternative for "returnees" - least for vulnerable groups. The security in Kabul is too low. As aid transports don't reach the province Ghazni the deportees cannot be sent there. Afghanistan cannot offer the forced deportees (by whom many have never been to the country before) the support for re-integration that is demanded according to the return agreement between Sweden and Afghanistan from autumn 2016.

UN organisations, Save the children and the research community agree that the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated the last years, accelerating the last months. This is verified by the Taliban's unsuspected attacks ahead the elections as well as the weeks in areas dominated by the ethnic group Hazara. Professor William Maley points out specially that also quite new information is too old. Afghanistan today is dangerous everywhere and to everyone - it is not possible to protect oneself to the violence.

The Migration board made its last legal position in August 2017. It was based on data from 2016. As late as a few weeks ago a represent for the security department of the Migration board said that the situation hardly had changed during the last four years. There is no information that the Migration board has started the work to produce an updated legal position.

Since the temporary law (July 20, 2016; retroactive from November 25, 2015) removed "other protection needs" and humanitarian reasons, the Migration board has sharpened its assessments. Very few asylum applications are accepted. They are not "enough" believing Christians, atheists or hbtq - the are not "believable". Children are rejected as the Migration board on loose grounds consider they have "arranged reception" - in spite of that it is the Migration board that should prove that they have. It is the same with single women. The Migration board is of the opinion that the law does not include the possibility to make exceptions for children with resignation syndrome, demented and other sick persons. They don't oppose splitting families.

Between 4000 and 5000 youngsters, unaccompanied children when they arrived in Sweden, are not included in the new law on studies in upper secondary school. Most of the considers that living on the street in Sweden or France is preferred to living on the street in Afghanistan. They cannot see any possibility to establish themselves, as they usually are lacking network in the country.

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Links to articles in English with more detailed information about the security situation in Afghanistan can be found on these sites: 
Nytt från Afghanistan  (News from Afghanistan)
Youtube: How safe is Afghanistan?  The lectures from the conference How safe is Afghanistan? October 4, 2018
Media has the right to reproduce this text, parts or whole, with source indication: The Swedish network Stop deportations of young Afghans!