Help us to stop forced repatriation to Afghanistan, a country more dangerous now than ever
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Afghanistan is a country struggled by more than 20 years of war and frequent natural disasters, ranked towards the bottom of human development indexes.
More than 250,000 Afghan civilians left the country between 2015/2016, and in 2017 there were about 360,000 internal refugees and more than 8,000 civilians had been killed.
So far in 2018, the country has been torn apart by violent attacks resulted in hundreds of victims, both in Kabul and other provinces.
Most humanitarian organisations have suspended their operations in the country which recorded in 2016 the second highest level worldwide of attempts on international personnel.
- Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF): after the aerial bombing of their hospital in Kunduz;
- World Food Programme (WFP): following the loss of five convoy’s vehicles because of an ambush in the northeast province of Badakshan not affected by conflicts;
- The International Red Cross (ICRC): due to the attack on its personnel in the northern province of Jowzjan;
- Save the Children (STC): present in Afghanistan since 1976, after the recent bombing which reduced to rubble their operating seat in Jalalabad.
Diplomatic representation has been notably reduced in the country, now considered one of the most dangerous in the world.
A newly released BBC report reveals that the government is in control of less than 30% of the country, leaving 15 million Afghan civilians abandoned in areas either controlled by the Taliban or where it operates openly.
Nowhere in the country is safe, due to the volatile and impredictible situation of the conflict, despite this some countries continue to enforce the “voluntary” or forced repatriation of Afghan refugees.
Among these there are European countries such as Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Austria, UK, France, Belgium and Holland.
Repatriation takes place either through the Joint Way Forward, an agreement between Afghanistan and the European Union signed in 2016, or bilateral agreements based on repatriations/development aids exchange.
Amnesty International has asked European countries to stop the deportation of Afghan nationals. “Afghan refugees are being forcibly sent back to their country and their lives are being risked” they wrote in a report in October 2017.
Recent field research by Oxfam, also rejects the idea of safe locations in the country and states that “forced returns remain irresponsible.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) carried out a survey on over 2,500 repatriated families revealing 3/4 of those were unable to return to their homes because of violence and conflict intensification. So, 72% of Afghan returnees are forced to flee again.
For all these reasons WE ASK EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS TO IMMEDIATELY STOP THE FORCED REPATRIATION OF AFGHAN NATIONALS AND TO GRANT ASYLUM TO ALL THOSE ALREADY IN EUROPE.
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