Afghan diaspora

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Not to be confused with Pashtun diaspora.
Afghan Diaspora
Flag of Afghanistan.svg
Languages
Dari, 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,[citation needed] Christians,[citation needed] and Jews[citation needed]

Afghan diaspora or Afghan immigrants are citizens of Afghanistan who have immigrated to other countries, or people of Afghan origin who are born outside Afghanistan. Traditionally the borders 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]

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 after September 11, 2001 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] The mass majority of Afghan refugees (95%) 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 2013-2014, 2.4 million Afghan refugees were living in Iran, with only 0.8 million of them being registered as legal migrants.[6] Similarly 1.5 million officially registered Afghan refugees were reported to be living in Pakistan in addition to approximately one million more illegal refugees.[7][8]

In December 2014, there was a terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar by the Pakistani Taliban, and over 100 school children were killed. A few Afghans were involved. Following the attack, Afghan refugees in Pakistan began to encounter serious harassment and often were told to return to Afghanistan. There was a mass exodus of tens of thousands of refugees, which as of February 2015 was ongoing.[9]

As shown in the table below, the refugees (both legal and illegal) fled Afghanistan in four main waves:[7][10]

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 [11] 2,500,000 [7][8][A 1]
Iran Iran 3,100,000 [11] 950,000 - 2,400,000 [12][13][14][15]
United Arab Emirates UAE 300,000 [16] [A 2]
Germany Germany 126,334 [17] [A 3]
United States United States 90,000 [18] [A 4]
United Kingdom United Kingdom 56,000 [19] [A 5]
Australia Australia 19,416 [20] [A 6]
Austria Austria 18,226 [21] [A 7]
India India 18,000 [22] [A 8]
Canada Canada 4,215 [23] [A 9] 5,390 [23] [A 10] 10,320 [23] [A 11] 16,240 [23] [A 12]
Sweden Sweden 6,904 [24] [A 13]
Tajikistan Tajikistan 1161 [25] 15,336 [25] 3,427 [25] [A 14]
Qatar Qatar 3,500 [26]
Syria Syria 1,750 [27] [A 15]
Turkey Turkey 4,150 [28] [A 16]
Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan in 2004
Afghan refugees, living on the Canal Saint Martin, underneath a bridge 2010

Annotations[edit]

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

Bibliography[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "The Durand line:History, Consequences, and Future" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Carberry 2013
  3. ^ a b BBC News 2013
  4. ^ Stainburn 2013
  5. ^ Bose 2006
  6. ^ Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA World Factbook 2015. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 4 nov. 2014 ISBN 1629149039
  7. ^ a b c Nordland 2013
  8. ^ a b United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2013
  9. ^ Joseph Goldstein (February 23, 2015). "Refugees Are Pushed to Exits in Pakistan". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2015. they all say they have been beaten and slapped and told nobody in Pakistan wants them anymore 
  10. ^ National Geographic Society 2013, p. 1
  11. ^ a b United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 1999
  12. ^ Demographics of Iran
  13. ^ Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA World Factbook 2015. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 4 nov. 2014 ISBN 1629149039
  14. ^ UNHC Iran 2015 figures
  15. ^ "Afghan refugees in Iran". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Shahbandari 2012
  17. ^ Haug & Müssig 2009, p. 76 chart 5
  18. ^ United States Census Bureau 2013
  19. ^ Jones 2010, p. 2
  20. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006
  21. ^ Denmark Bureau of Statistics 2014
  22. ^ Associated Press 2013
  23. ^ a b c d Statistics Canada 2006
  24. ^ Government of Afghanistan 2007
  25. ^ a b c Erlich 2006
  26. ^ bq magazine - Qatar´s population by natioanlity
  27. ^ UNHCR - Syrian Arab Republic
  28. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2005, p. 393

Further reading[edit]