Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

External publications

“We Knew They Had No Future in Kabul”: Why and How Afghan Families Decide to Leave

AAN Team < 1 min

The increasing number of refugees and migrants arriving across Europe has led to heated debates and an increased political polarisation between pro and anti-refugee movements and parties. Afghans are now the second largest group entering the European Union. A recent study by AAN and FES explores the reasons behind Afghanistan’s increased migration, by focusing on the discussions and decisions at the household level.

Kabul graffiti. Photo: Thomas Ruttig.Kabul graffiti. Photo: Thomas Ruttig.

According to recent figures 178,230 Afghans sought asylum in the 28 states of the EU in 2015. A leaked draft EU document said that altogether 223,000 Afghan “illegal migrants” had entered the EU in 2015. Several countries have tightened their laws and tried to close their borders, while others are considering doing so.

There are clear information and knowledge gaps on the reasons behind the current, increased levels of Afghan migration. For this reason, this brief study aimed to explore the decision-making processes at the family level of a small number of migrants.

The study consisted of 12 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with selected Afghan households from which one or more members left for Europe in 2015. This short study which is a result of a joint project between the AAN and the Kabul office of the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), is a summary of the main findings.

The findings of this study will be further explored in an upcoming short series of AAN dispatches.


Date of publication: 27 April 2016

Download the full paper here:

“We Knew That They Had No Future in Kabul”



Afghan families asylum countries of origin decision-making EU FES Germany migrants Refugees