HRW raps Pakistan for 'forced' repatriation of Afghans

Report accuses UN refugee agency of complicity in promoting the exodus


Afp February 13, 2017
Report accuses the UN refugee agency of complicity in promoting the exodus. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL: Pakistan is conducting mass repatriation of Afghan refugees through force, claims Human Rights Watch in a scathing report on Monday, accusing the UN refugee agency of complicity in promoting the exodus.

Hundreds of thousands of Afghans have been returned to their homeland, which is racked by conflict, poverty and unemployment, joining more than half a million others uprooted by war inside the country.

Stay of Afghan refugees extended till year-end

The 76-page report, entitled "Pakistan Coercion, UN Complicity: The Mass Forced Return of Afghan Refugees", called the mass repatriation the world's largest forced return of refugees.

"After decades of hosting Afghan refugees, Pakistan in mid-2016 unleashed the world's largest recent anti-refugee crackdowns to coerce their mass return," said Gerry Simpson, a refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The report was also critical of the UNHCR, saying that by doubling its cash grants to Afghans returning from Pakistan to $400, it was effectively promoting the exodus.

Returning home: More than 350,000 Afghan refugees return, says UN

"The UN refugee agency should end the fiction that the mass forced return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan is, in fact, mass voluntary return," Simpson said.

"If UNHCR feels that giving cash to returning refugees is the best way to help them survive in Afghanistan, it should at the very least make clear it does not consider their return to be voluntary."

There was no immediate reaction to the report from UNHCR or the Pakistani government.

COMMENTS (4)

truthsearcher | 4 years ago | Reply If sending these refugees back in large number is alarming for HRW than just imagine that we have been hosting almost 5 times more the same number for about 40 odd years! What would you say to that? We helped them in their need n may God accept our deed, but now its 40 odd years how long do you expect us to host you in these conditions especially with afghanistan now spewing venom about pakistan on every opportunity it gets. You need to solve your problems for real now and HRW should stop whining about it n maybe USA and others take them in their own country. Anyways i wish the afghan brothers best of luck n hope they start a good life back home.
LoL | 4 years ago | Reply Send these refugees to Gerry Simpson' country. Take to your country Mr. Gerry Simpson...
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