EU deportation of migrants ‘adds to Afghanistan’s instability’, says UN
EU plans to deport Afghan asylum seekers will not only leave tens of thousands of migrants in despair in Afghanistan, but also undermine security in the war-torn country, a top UN human rights expert has warned.
“Sending them back now clearly adds to instability,” Chaloka Beyani, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, said during a recent visit to Afghanistan. “These people cannot be absorbed into Afghan economic and social life. The government clearly says, ‘Look, we don’t have the capacity.’”
This year, 411,327 Afghans have been newly displaced by the conflict, according to UN figures. Another 509,150 Afghans have been ordered to leave Pakistan, bringing the number of “people on the move” inside Afghanistan to almost 2 million, the highest since 2002.
The recent EU deal with Afghanistan would put further pressure on the Afghan economy and labour market, strain resources and, according to analysts, might push young men into the ranks of the insurgents. To settle debts, or merely sustain themselves, some families have resorted to marrying off daughters at a young age, said Beyani.
Even in urban areas that offer the most economic opportunities, life has become so precarious that residents have had to flee – sometimes more than once. Last year, when Afghan and international forces fought to push out the Taliban from the northern city of Kunduz, Aminullah, 58, hunkered down with his family. As airstrikes took place across the city for days on end, his 10-year-old daughter Bashira, who has Down’s syndrome, went into a state of shock. She did not recover after the family fled east to Takhar province, or when they returned to Kunduz two weeks later.