Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Migration

This thematic category covers migration flows in and out of, and within Afghanistan, that is: Afghan migration to Europe; the situation for refugees in, and returnees from Pakistan and Iran and; internally displaced persons.

Afghan and Pakistani migrants make their way to the Serbian-Hungarian border on foot in July 2016, in protest against the worsening conditions in Belgrade and in the hope of being let through. (Photo Source: Info Park)

Afghan Exodus: In transit through Serbia

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

The unprecedented flow of people through the Western Balkans in late 2015 and early 2016, and the opening of a humanitarian corridor, provided a brief and unique opportunity for people from war-torn countries to reach the European Union. When the corridor closed in March 2016 many people, including many Afghans, found themselves stranded and, again, […]

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The Balkan Corridor: migrants are getting ready to be transported by bus from Presovo, near the Macedonian border in Serbia, to Croatia. December 2015. Photo by Info Park.

Afghan Exodus: The opening and closing of the Balkan corridor

Martine van Bijlert Jelena Bjelica

In late 2015 and early 2016, the Western Balkans witnessed an unprecedented flow of people through its borders on their way to Europe. For several months a ‘humanitarian corridor’ provided certain nationalities, including Afghans, with transportation to the outer fringes of the European Union. However, Afghans trying to reach Europe now once again find themselves […]

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The road that Maruf and his friends took to start off their odyssey from the shahrak to Vienna. From Herat, it runs all the way to Kabul and destinations such as Nimruz in-between and symbolizes the coming and going of people and goods in the emerging transnational community between the shahrak and Europe. (Source S Reza Kazemi)

Afghan Exodus: Maruf’s tale of an emerging transnational community between Herat and Europe

S Reza Kazemi

Between 2014 and mid-2016, thousands of people left Herat – a major urban centre in western Afghanistan – for various European countries. Since August 2014, Said Reza Kazemi (*) has been tracking Maruf and 24 of his friends and acquaintances, who have made the trip. The case of this young Afghan and his network shows […]

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Afghan refugees in Germany are concerned about their asylum application status; here a group of new arrivals is led to the registration centre in Munich in December 2015 (Source Tolonews).

Deciding to Leave Afghanistan (3): What happens after arrival in Europe

Martine van Bijlert

AAN has done a series of twelve in-depth interviews with families of Afghans who recently travelled to Europe. The conversations provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of both the decision making processes and the journey, the complex interplay between economic and security considerations and the mixed feelings families often have once their loved ones […]

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Deciding To Leave Afghanistan (2): The routes and the risks

Jelena Bjelica

AAN has done a series of twelve in-depth interviews with families of Afghans who recently travelled to Europe. The conversations provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of both the decision making processes and the journey, the complex interplay between economic and security considerations and the mixed feelings families often have once their loved ones […]

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Deciding To Leave Afghanistan (1): Motives for migration

Lenny Linke

AAN has done a series of twelve in-depth interviews with families of Afghans who recently travelled to Europe. The conversations provided a fascinating insight into the practicalities of both the decision making processes and the journey, the complex interplay between economic and security considerations and the mixed feelings families often have once their loved ones […]

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Nangarhar, 2008: Waiting in line for drinking water: people returning from Jalozai and Naser Bagh camps in Pakistan have found it difficult to find clean water in some of the places they have settled. (Photo Credit: Pajhwok)

Afghanistan’s Returning Refugees: Why are so many still landless?

Jelena Bjelica

More than 5.8 million Afghans, about 20 per cent of Afghanistan’s population, are refugees who have returned home since the fall of the Taleban according to UNHCR figures. Many found their houses destroyed or occupied, or discovered that a new set of laws had scrapped their tenancy rights. The government plan for distributing land to […]

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Screenshot of a Svenska Dagbladet newspaper article picture: "Refugees from Afghanistan coming ashore on Lesbos in Greece..." (Photo Credit: YANNIS BEHRAKIS / Reuters)

An Afghan Exodus (2): Unaccompanied minors in Sweden

Ann Wilkens

The increased refugee influx into Europe is testing cooperation within the European Union, has led to attempts to close borders and is affecting domestic politics. AAN advisory board member Ann Wilkens looks at the Swedish example. Sweden has seen more asylum seekers per head of population than any other European country and liberal asylum policies […]

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At Europe's edge: exhausted refugees in a Serbian field. Photo: Refugee Aid Serbia.

An “Afghan Exodus” (1): Facts, figures, trends

Thomas Ruttig

The on-going “exodus” of Afghans – now the second largest group entering the EU – has contributed to the increasing refugee numbers across Europe. This, in turn, has led to heated debates and an increased political polarisation between pro- and anti-refugee movements and parties. As governments and citizens struggle to handle the influx of refugees, […]

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The Refugee Dilemma: Afghans in Pakistan between expulsion and failing aid schemes

Christine Roehrs

Nearly 52,000 Afghans living in Pakistan have, within the past ten weeks, packed their belongings and crossed the border back into Afghanistan – more than twice as many as in the whole 12 months of 2014. This started after an attack of Pakistani Taleban on a public army school in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on […]

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On the Run without Aid: The much delayed policy on Afghanistan’s internally displaced

Christine Roehrs

Much has been reported on the plight of Afghanistan’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), their miserable life in informal settlements, and their lack of access to income, education and health care. Actions, however, have been scarce, both nationally and internationally. They have been often humanitarian in nature only and mostly short term. This is also because the […]

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Safar ba London: Afghan youths on the move

Assunta Nicolini

In the last decade, Afghanistan has produced the largest number of asylum seekers in Europe. Many of them are unaccompanied minors. For her doctoral studies, AAN guest author Assunta Nicolini carried out an in-depth study among Afghans migrating to the UK, summarizing some of her findings for this dispatch. She looks at why families decide […]

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