Afghan refugees

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Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan in 2004
Afghan refugees living under a bridge on Paris' Canal Saint Martin, 2010

Afghan refugees are Afghanistan nationals who fled their country as a consequence of the long-going Afghan conflict, lasting since 1978. Ever since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, refugees have fled into the surrounding states. After the Soviets left, civil war, the emergence of the Taliban, 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 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) and Iran, making Afghanistan the largest refugee-producing country in the world, a title it has held for 32 years.[1] Afghans are currently the second largest refugee group after Syrian refugees. [2] The mass majority of Afghan refugees (95%) are located in either Iran or Pakistan.[1] Some NATO countries that were part of the NATO forces took in refugees or Afghans that worked with their respective forces.[3] Ethnic minorities, like Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, often fled to India.[4]

In 2013-2014, 2.4 million Afghan refugees were living in Iran, with only 0.8 million of them being registered as migrants who entered legally.[5] Similarly 1.5 million officially registered Afghan refugees were reported to be living in Pakistan in addition to approximately two million more unregistered refugees.[6][7]

On December 16, 2014, there was a terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar by the Pakistani Taliban group Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), [8] the leaders of which are claimed to be based in Afghanistan [9] in areas outside of Kabul control.[10] The attack killed at least 145 people, most of them school children.[11] Following the attack, there have been reports of Afghan refugees in Pakistan encountering serious harassment and often being told to return to Afghanistan.[12] There has been an ongoing exodus of tens of thousands of refugees as of February 2015.[13] According to estimates by the UN World Food Program, by the end of 2016 there will have been about 400,000 undocumented and 200,000 documented Afghan refugees repatriated from Pakistan. [14]

Statistics[edit]

As shown in the table below, the refugees fled Afghanistan in four main waves:[6][15]

Country/Region Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-89) Civil War (1992–96) Taliban Rule (1996–2001) War in Afghanistan (2001–present) - Present
Pakistan Pakistan 3,100,000 [16] 2,500,000 [6][7][A 1]
Iran Iran 3,100,000 [16] 950,000 - 2,400,000 [5][17][18][19]
United Arab Emirates UAE 300,000 [20] [A 2]
Germany Germany 126,334 [21] [A 3]
United States United States 90,000 [22] [A 4]
United Kingdom United Kingdom 56,000 [23] [A 5]
Netherlands the Netherlands 44,000 [24]
Austria Austria 20,349 [25]
Australia Australia 19,416 [26] [A 6]
Denmark Denmark 15,854 [27] [A 7]
India India 18,000 [28] [A 8]
Canada Canada 4,215 [29] [A 9] 5,390 [29] [A 10] 10,320 [29] [A 11] 16,240 [29] [A 12]
Sweden Sweden 6,904 [30] [A 13]
Tajikistan Tajikistan 1161 [31] 15,336 [31] 3,427 [31] [A 14]
Qatar Qatar 3,500 [32]
Syria Syria 1,750 [33] [A 15]
Turkey Turkey 4,150 [34] [A 16]

See also[edit]

References[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
  1. ^ a b BBC News 2013
  2. ^ "Return of Afghan Refugees to Afghanistan Surges as Country Copes to Rebuild". www.imf.org. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  3. ^ Stainburn 2013
  4. ^ Bose 2006
  5. ^ a b Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA World Factbook 2015. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 4 nov. 2014 ISBN 1629149039
  6. ^ a b c Nordland 2013
  7. ^ a b United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2013
  8. ^ CNN, By Sophia Saifi and Greg Botelho. "Taliban school attack: 145 killed in Pakistan siege - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  9. ^ Masood, Salman (2015-02-12). "In a Shift, Pakistan Pats Afghanistan on the Back". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  10. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Pakistan blames Afghanistan for the attack on Peshawar air force base | News | DW.COM | 18.09.2015". DW.COM. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  11. ^ CNN, By Sophia Saifi and Greg Botelho. "Taliban school attack: 145 killed in Pakistan siege - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  12. ^ "Pakistan: Stop Forced Returns of Afghans". Human Rights Watch. February 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ 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 
  14. ^ Green, Matthew (2016-10-04). "Afghan exodus from Pakistan could be 'catastrophic' without urgent aid". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  15. ^ National Geographic Society 2013, p. 1
  16. ^ a b United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 1999
  17. ^ Demographics of Iran
  18. ^ UNHC Iran 2015 figures
  19. ^ "Afghan refugees in Iran". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Shahbandari 2012
  21. ^ Haug & Müssig 2009, p. 76 chart 5
  22. ^ United States Census Bureau 2013
  23. ^ Jones 2010, p. 2
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006
  27. ^ Denmark Bureau of Statistics 2014
  28. ^ Associated Press 2013
  29. ^ a b c d Statistics Canada 2006
  30. ^ Government of Afghanistan 2007
  31. ^ a b c Erlich 2006
  32. ^ bq magazine - Qatar´s population by nationality
  33. ^ UNHCR - Syrian Arab Republic
  34. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 2005, p. 393