Friday, September 29, 2023

Afghan Refugees Still Lack Safe Pathways in the EU: Report

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati
Representative Image

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has published a report entitled “Two years on-Afghanistan still lack pathways to safety in the EU” that details the shortcomings in the protection provided to Afghan refugees since 2021.

Since the regime change in Afghanistan in 2021, the need for protection and humanitarian assistance has increased. Million people have been compelled to flee their homes, often using dangerous routes. 

According to the IRC report, Afghans comprise the third-largest refugee group worldwide. Afghan refugees’ resettlement needs in the region have sharply risen, almost tripling yearly, from 96,000 in 2022 to over 273,000 in 2023.

Since August 2021, European Union member states have made public commitments to assist Afghans at risk access pathways to Europe to increase humanitarian admissions, family reunification, and other protection means. 

However, only a small number of these plans have materialized. Several challenges, including narrow eligibility criteria, strict evidentiary requirements, and low processing capacity, limit EU efforts’ scale, pace, and progress to bring Afghans to safety.

Meanwhile, Afghan refugees fled to neighbouring countries, including Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan. These neighbouring countries struggle with political, economic, and environmental issues, affecting refugees, including Afghans.

The report revealed that Afghan refugees in Turkey had restricted access to healthcare, education, legal assistance and welfare and enforced their repatriation. At the same time, some neighbouring countries have stepped up security at their borders to prevent Afghans from entering. 

Apart from the lack of safe pathways reaching to EU, asylum seekers and refugees often face the threat of pushbacks or forcible returns once they reach European countries. 

Refugees from Afghanistan are particularly likely to report these violent acts, obstacles to fair and thorough asylum procedures, and lengthy stays in inhumane detention-like facilities after arrival. These containment measures have terrible consequences: In the year leading up to March 2023, 92% of Afghans assisted by the IRC’s mental health teams in Greece displayed signs of anxiety, and 86% of them displayed signs of depression.

The report stress that the EU institutions and states should urgently reaffirm their commitment to protecting Afghans at risk and draw the lessons from this response.

- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

- Advertisement -

The World News