Afghan diaspora

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Not to be confused with Pashtun diaspora.
Afghan Diaspora
Flag of Afghanistan.svg
Languages
Pashto, other Languages of Afghanistan and the languages spoken in the respective country of residence.
Religion
Predominantly Sunni Islam and Shia Islam with small communities of Baha'is, Christians and Jews

Afghan diaspora or Afghan immigrants are citizens of Afghanistan who have emigrated to other countries, or people of Afghan origin who are born outside Afghanistan. Traditionally the borders in between Afghanistan and its southern and eastern neighbouring state have been fluid and vague.[1] Like many nations created by European empires, the borders often do not follow ethnic divisions, and many ethnic groups and tribes native to Afghanistan are found on both sides of Afghanistan's present-day northern and especially southern borders.[2] This meant that historically there was much movement across present day barriers.[2]

But ever since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan refugees have fled into the surrounding states. After the Soviets left, civil war, Taliban conquest, and most recently the Western-led invasion have meant constant warfare in Afghanistan. Millions have fled the violence, then in times of relative peace returned, only to flee again when renewed fighting broke out. About six million Afghan refugees have fled to neighboring Pakistan (mainly NWFP) and Iran, making Afghanistan the largest refugee-producing country in the world, a title it has held for 32 years.[3] 95% of Afghan refugees are located in either Iran or Pakistan.[3] Some NATO countries that were part of the NATO forces took in refugees or Afghans that worked with their respective forces.[4] Ethnic minorities, like Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, often fled to India.[5]

In 2013, more than 2.8 million Afghan refugees were living in Iran with only 0.8 million of them being registered as legal migrants and rest living as illegal refugees in Iran. Similarly 1.5 million officially registered Afghan refugees were reported to be living in Pakistan in addition to approximately one million more illegal refugees.[6][7]

As shown in the table below, the refugees (both legal and illegal) fled Afghanistan in four main waves:[6][8]


Country/Region Soviet war in Afghanistan (1978-89) Civil War (1992–96) Taliban Rule (1996–2001) War in Afghanistan (2001–present) - Present
Pakistan Pakistan 3,100,000 [9] 2,500,000 [6][7][A 1]
Iran Iran 3,100,000 [9] 1,452,513 - 2,400,000 [10][11][A 2]
United Arab Emirates UAE 300,000 [12] [A 3]
Germany Germany 126,334 [13] [A 4]
United States United States 90,000 [14] [A 5]
United Kingdom United Kingdom 56,000 [15] [A 6]
Australia Australia 19,416 [16] [A 7]
Austria Austria 18,226 [17] [A 8]
India India 18,000 [18] [A 9]
Canada Canada 4,215 [19] [A 10] 5,390 [19] [A 11] 10,320 [19] [A 12] 16,240 [19] [A 13]
Sweden Sweden 6,904 [20] [A 14]
Tajikistan Tajikistan 1161 [21] 15,336 [21] 3,427 [21] [A 15]
Qatar Qatar 2,600 [22] [A 16]
Syria Syria 1,750 [23] [A 17]
Turkey Turkey 4,150 [24] [A 18]


Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan in 2004
Afghan refugees, living on the Canal Saint Martin, underneath a bridge 2010

Annotations

  1. ^ 2013
  2. ^ 2013
  3. ^ 2012
  4. ^ 2009 Census
  5. ^ 2011 Census
  6. ^ 2009
  7. ^ 2006 census
  8. ^ 2006 census
  9. ^ 2011 news report
  10. ^ 2006 census
  11. ^ 2006 census
  12. ^ 2006 census
  13. ^ 2006 census
  14. ^ 2007
  15. ^ 2003 news report
  16. ^ 2012 news report
  17. ^ 2013 UNHCR report
  18. ^ 2005 UNHCR report


Bibliography

Notes

Further reading