Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

On World Refugee Day

June 20th is celebrated as the World Refugee Day around the world. The Day was adopted in December 2000, when United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed resolution 55/76, wherein it was emphasized that the rights of the refugees must be protected. This year the day is being celebrated with great commitment as the number of refugees worldwide has increased to a large extent and many of them are not even sure of their futures. Last year, UN Refugee Agency launched its #WithRefugees petition that was delivered to UN headquarters in New York. The petition asked the governments to: 1. Ensure every refugee child gets an education; 2. Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live; and 3. Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community. These objectives should be echoed further on this refugee day and the days after it.
It is important to note that a considerable number of refugees belongs to Afghanistan. Migration has always been an issue for Afghanistan. Different eras of instability have forced millions of people to leave their homeland and move to the neighboring countries and other countries, mostly Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. After the downfall of Taliban and installation of a so-called democratic government, there were some opportunities that the situation could improve and the conditions in the country could get better and people would ultimately return to their country. Regrettably, with an intensification in insecurity people do not appear to be very much confident about the future and many people who have already migrated waver to come back and many of those who are in the country are planning to leave for better future.
Those who decide to migrate are caught in different sorts of problems; nevertheless, they are ready to take the risks and leave their homes. The have to undergo different problems on the way to their destinations as most of the times they have to follow illegal means. They have to face human smugglers, cross borders illegally, face different weather conditions and travel across mountains, rivers and even sea. There have been different incidents when the migrants have lost their lives on these routes. On many occasions, Afghan migrants lost their lives in the waters of Greece on their route to Europe or in Indonesian and Australian waters.
This clearly depicts that people do not take decisions to migrate because of economic conditions, alone; rather, they do so mostly because of the security conditions. Lately, the migrants include many individuals from media and different offices, who having observed the situation in the country closely and then they have opted to flee. Therefore, it is no more the issue of ignorance or tough economic conditions as the decisions are taken by well-educated individuals who are educated and even have jobs.
Unfortunately, the ones who reach other countries after myriads of problems are not guaranteed secure future. As the issue of refugees has become very serious, many countries are not sure about allowing refugees in their countries. Particularly, European countries, after facing a flux of refugees are planning to deport many Afghan refugees. Germany that initially welcomed refugees is now not even sure of what to do with many of Afghan refugees in their country. Same is the case with other European countries.
The Afghan government on the other hand seems worried about the deportation of the Afghan refugees. The Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation had said earlier that Afghanistan would not accept the deported asylum seekers as it would not be in a situation to compensate for their living. Moreover, the policies and procedures regarding the cases of different refugee in European countries have also changed to a great extent. There are many Afghan refugees in European countries who have been waiting for the final decision about their cases and in the meanwhile are not in a condition to move freely, earn livelihood and travel to different places and or meet their family members.
Even in the neighboring countries, Afghan refugees have not always been welcomed with warm hugs; every now and then they have been the victims of discrimination and ill-treatment. Most of the Afghan refugees in the neighboring countries, especially in Iran and Pakistan have suffered the consequences of fluctuations in the way they are treated. Definitely, it has been generous of both the countries to compensate the Afghan refugees, who because of wars and instability left their dear homeland, but on certain occasions they have also displayed the attitude that have violated the rights of the refugees to a great extent. Definitely, these countries have their own problems; they are developing countries and they have their own economic issues to face; however, they have been supported by international community and United Nations to assist the refugees and guarantee their rights under international law.
Both the European and neighboring countries at this crucial juncture must make sure that they design a clear strategy regarding the fate of Afghan refugees. Definitely, there are political and diplomatic concerns for all the governments of the world to consider, but the issue of refugees is more important than such concerns, as it involves the precious human lives and the lives of human beings stand more sacred than any other concern.