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DRC calls for deportations to Afghanistan to be put on hold

In light of the recent and rapid security deterioration, national drought and the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan, deportations of rejected asylum seekers from Europe should be suspended temporarily.

Posted on 16 Jul 2021

DRC acknowledges and supports the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation's (MoRR) request to the international community to cease deportations to Afghanistan for the time being.

“When looking at the escalating conflict and ongoing drought in Afghanistan right now, we are increasingly worried about the safety of the civilian population in the country and how it will affect the already high levels of humanitarian needs,” says Charlotte Slente, Secretary General of DRC; “In light of this situation it would be a reckless gamble with human lives to forcefully return anyone to Afghanistan.”

As one of the key international humanitarian actors in Afghanistan for more than 30 years, DRC is present on the ground and able to follow the situation and development at first hand.

Charlotte Slente, Secretary General of DRC

In light of this situation, it would be a reckless gamble with human lives to forcefully return anyone to Afghanistan

/  Charlotte Slente, Secretary General of DRC

Currently, the situation is changing by the day and getting increasingly unstable due to widespread insecurity, intensified conflict between state and non-state actors, and general uncertainty as a result of US and NATO troop withdrawals. Already in 2021, more than 540,000 people have been internally displaced, and an estimated 18,4 million people - nearly half of the population - are in need of humanitarian aid.

The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is compounded by a drought now affecting more than 80% of the country including in areas where people are still recovering from the 2018 drought that exhausted resources and caused large scale displacement. Furthermore, COVID-19 spread is rampant as a third wave is sweeping through Afghanistan, where capacity to test, treat and vaccinate people is limited or not existing. 

“DRC urges all countries to suspend all deportations to Afghanistan for the time being,” says Charlotte Slente: “Any return and reintegration to Afghanistan at this time is likely to fail and is rather a risk that will increase vulnerability and expose returnees to further risks of harm, destitution, and precarity.”

See also:

Statement by The Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP), which DRC is a part of.

Joint statement: NGOs call on European countries to cease deportations to Afghanistan.

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