Sunday, December 30, 2018

Returnees in Afghanistan - what does GoIRA say?

Dr Alema and First Lady at the Geneva conference, 2018

The conference People on the Move, a meeting between the Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations, took place in Geneva on 27-28 November 2018. In this video, about 0.30 min, you can hear Dr Alema, the Deputy Minister of refugees and repatriations, commence her speech with these words:

"This title sounds positive. But our audience should understand that when people move from Afghanistan it is not a Sunday afternoon walk through the park. From my point of view, we better have chosen the title "people on forced move". 

Is it true progress in terms of our shared values when we send back people in flip-flops to spend wintertime in the mountains of Afghanistan?

Is it true progress when minors are returned to Afghanistan while the rest of their families stay in abroad?

Is it true progress when young migrants are misused and sent to war in Iraq and Syria?"

You can read the text on the website of the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations.

At the same meeting, H.E. Dr. Jamaher Anwary, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation made a speech:

"Around 60 percent of all returned refugees continue to live below the standard of their fellow countrymen. They are struggling to find work; to provide housing for their families; to get medical care when needed; to enroll their children in school; and to find water that is safe to drink. ...

But while we continue supporting the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees, we also need to get it right supporting those that have already returned. There are many reasons why repatriation and reintegration in Afghanistan has slowed down - conflicts in some parts of the country, food insecurity, scarcity of land and shelter, limited access to education and healthcare and above all, the need to be able to earn a proper living."

The statistics of 2018 is a little bit difficult to understand:
5,6 millions Afghans are refugees.
2,2 millions are refugees in Pakistan.
A little more than 2 millions are refugees in Iran.
7 millions refugees have returned from 2001 to April, 2018.
1,3 millions are internal displaced persons (IDP:s).
250,000 are displaced returnees.
3,265 are returnees from Europe and Arabic up to April, 2018.

Earlier statements

Statement by Minister of Refugees and Repatriation of the Islamic Republic ofAfghanistan at the 68th secession of EXCOM, 2017
"As you know, Afghanistan and Europe have reached a conclusion on migration management, which has resulted in the proper process of returning migrants by aligning and implementing the "Joint Way Forward Agreement" between Afghanistan and the EU. While Afghanistan remains committed, let me thank the government and the people of Germany for having stopped the process of forced deportation of Afghans by appreciating the situation in Afghanistan. Thanks also to other European host countries, and I hope that they will also correspond to the ground realities for Afghan refugees in Afghanistan."

Statement to the 68th Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programm, 2017 
"This was clear to me when visiting Afghanistan earlier this year. The disillusionment today among Afghans, the high unemployment, and the fragile political and security context after almost four decades of conflict present formidable obstacles to success."

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