Asia Pacific

Pakistan Urged to Cut Out Deporting Afghans, Avoid Big Human Rights Mess

Pakistan’s plan to deport “undocumented” foreign nationals will disproportionately affect more than 1.4 million Afghans in the country, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Friday, expressing alarm. 

OHCHR is urging the authorities to halt deportations, which are set to begin on 1 November, Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told journalists in Geneva.

Currently, more than two million undocumented Afghans are living in Pakistan, at least 600,000 of whom arrived after the Taliban returned to power in August 2021.

‘Grave risk’ of violations

“We believe many of those facing deportation will be at grave risk of human rights violations if returned to Afghanistan, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, cruel and other inhuman treatment,” she said.

At particular risk are “civil society activists, journalists, human rights defenders, former government officials and security force members, and of course women and girls as a whole,” she added, recalling “abhorrent policies” banning them from secondary and university education, working in many sectors and other aspects of daily and public life.

Ms. Shamdasani noted that the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have already documented a sharp increase in returns to Afghanistan since the deadline was announced on 3 October.

By 15 October, 59,780 Afghans had left Pakistan, according to a recent flash report by the two agencies. The majority, 78 per cent, cited fear of arrest as the reason for leaving.

‘Suspend forcible returns’

“As the 1 November deadline approaches, we urge the Pakistan authorities to suspend forcible returns of Afghan nationals before it is too late to avoid a human rights catastrophe,” said Ms. Shamdasani.

OHCHR also called on the Government to continue providing protection to those in need and ensure that any future returns are safe, dignified, voluntary and in line with international law.

Immense needs back home

Ms. Shamdasani noted that as winter approaches, any mass deportations are bound to deepen the dire humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, which continues to grapple with the devastating impact of the series of earthquakes that struck Herat province this month.

At least 1,400 people were killed and 1,800 injured, she added, citing official figures.

She also noted that Afghanistan has a population of 43 million people, most of whom, nearly 30 million, currently need relief assistance, according to the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA.  More than three million are internally displaced.

“We remind the de facto authorities of the international human rights obligations that continue to bind Afghanistan as a state and their obligations to protect, promote and fulfil human rights,” she said. 

Source

12 Comments

  1. It is crucial for Pakistan to reconsider its decision to deport Afghans, as there is a grave risk of human rights violations if these individuals are sent back to Afghanistan. The authorities must prioritize the safety and well-being of these vulnerable groups, including civil society activists, journalists, and women. International organizations like OHCHR, UNHCR, and IOM play a vital role in addressing this humanitarian crisis.

  2. As an advocate for human rights, I strongly oppose Pakistan’s decision to deport undocumented Afghans. The vulnerable individuals, including civil society activists, journalists, and women, face grave risks if sent back to Afghanistan. Authorities must prioritize protecting human rights and halt these deportations immediately.

  3. It is crucial for Pakistan to reconsider its decision to deport Afghans. Many of them face serious risks if forced to return, including human rights violations. It is important to protect vulnerable groups such as civil society activists, journalists, and women.

  4. It is crucial that Pakistan refrains from deporting Afghans back to their country. The UN’s warning highlights the grave risks awaiting these individuals, including potential human rights violations like torture and arbitrary detention. The authorities must prioritize the safety and well-being of these vulnerable populations.

  5. It is crucial that Pakistan reconsider its decision to deport Afghans, especially considering the grave risks they may face upon their return to Afghanistan. Human rights violations are a real concern, particularly for vulnerable groups like civil society activists, journalists, and women.

  6. It is imperative for Pakistan to consider the immense humanitarian implications before proceeding with the deportation of Afghan nationals. The risk of exposing vulnerable individuals to human rights violations is too high to ignore.

  7. As a humanitarian worker, I strongly believe that Pakistan should reconsider its decision to deport Afghan refugees, as it poses a serious threat to their safety and human rights. The vulnerable groups, including women, children, and activists, are at high risk of facing severe violations if forced to return to Afghanistan. We must prioritize protecting their well-being and uphold human rights standards.

  8. As a human rights advocate, I strongly oppose Pakistan’s decision to deport Afghans, especially in light of the grave risks they face if returned to Afghanistan. The authorities should prioritize protecting vulnerable groups such as civil society activists, journalists, and women and girls. Deportations must be halted to prevent further human rights violations.

  9. It is deeply concerning that Pakistan plans to deport Afghans back to a country where they face grave human rights violations. Authorities must halt these deportations to prevent putting vulnerable individuals at risk of abuse and persecution.

  10. It is appalling to hear about Pakistan’s plan to deport undocumented Afghans, putting over 1.4 million people at risk of severe human rights violations. Halting these deportations is crucial to preventing further harm to vulnerable individuals, especially women, girls, and activists.

  11. As an advocate for human rights, I strongly oppose Pakistan’s plan to deport undocumented Afghans. It poses a grave risk of violations, especially targeting vulnerable groups such as civil society activists, journalists, and women. Authorities need to halt these deportations immediately to prevent further harm.

  12. It’s truly concerning to see the potential harm that these deportations could inflict on the Afghan community in Pakistan. The authorities must reconsider their approach and ensure the safety and well-being of those at risk of human rights violations.

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