At the end of the year 2020, due to persecution, conflicts, violence, human rights violations and other events that seriously disturbed public order, UNHCR accounted for a total of 82.4 million people forcibly displaced from their country of origin around the world. Between them, 26.4 million are refugees (more than half under the age of 18) and 4.2 million asylum seekers, people who ask international protection because they fear being persecuted in their countries of origin for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinions or belonging to a certain social group, gender or sexual orientation.
68% of these refugees come from just five countries: Syria, with some 6.7 million people forcibly displaced (27%); Venezuela, with 4 million (16%); Afghanistan, with 2.6 million (11%); South Sudan, with 2.2 million (9%); and Myanmar, with 1.1 million refugees (5% of the total). And the numbers within these countries keep increasing.
In the last days Afghanistan, has become the focus of all eyes. Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghan soil and the seizure of Acceptance by the taliban, panic overwhelms the Asian country. It is feared that religious fundamentalists will reintroduce the ‘reign of terror‘, as they did between 1996 and 2001, and multiple human rights violations begin to be committed again, especially those of women and girls.
The number of Afghans seeking asylum and international protection has risen sharply in just one week. However, this is not a new trend. In recent years, the number of people from Afghanistan considered refugees or asylum seekers has only increased, approaching the record reached in 2010, at which time UNHCR accounted for a total of 3,054,699 Afghan refugees around the world and 37,101 asylum seekers. On 2019 This figure was somewhat lower, but it was the highest reached since 2015. In total, 2,727,556 Afghan refugees and 255,244 asylum seekers.
The organization of United Nations recorded that year a total of 5,120,756 migrants from Afghanistan. In other words, more than half of the displaced Afghans around the world in 2019 were refugees or asylum seekers. Since 1990, such high figures have not been reached and it is expected that, with the new Taliban regime, these will not stop increasing.
And where are these Afghans going?
Afghans in the world
According to the latest records, the territory that receives the most Afghans is Iran. In 2019, this country had among its population 2,310,292 people from Afghanistan. Iran was followed Pakistan, with 1,589,146 Afghans, Saudi Arabia, with 469,324, Germany, with 208,732, and USA, with 80,026.
Spain in 2019 it had only such 474 Afghan citizens on its territory.
In 2020, UNHCR facilitated the return of 2,436 migrants, mainly from Afghanistan. This figure is significantly lower than that of 2019, when the international body managed to return 8,647 people to their homes around the world.
Despite efforts to support reintegration in priority areas of the country, the lack of opportunities of livelihoods and access to basic services, particularly land, housing, education and health services in Afghanistan greatly slows down the process.
What Afghans emigrate?
The women and girls Afghans are the most affected by the new Taliban regime. If Islamic fundamentalists reimpose their law, the ‘Sharia‘, taken to the extreme, they become second-class citizens, with hardly any rights and freedoms and always subject to the will of man. That is why the number of women who ask international protection It has increased in recent days and it is expected to continue to do so until the evacuation operation being carried out by the international community in the country ends.
It should be noted that, since May, the 80% of displaced people forcibly in the world were women and children.
According to data from the United Nations, Afghan men tend to emigrate to other countries more often than women. In 2019 they were counted around the world 2,728,689 Afghan men and 2,392,067 women.
In terms of asylum seekers and refugees from Afghanistan, in 2019 men were also in the majority. The adults under 60 they sought more international protection. However, the number of minors, especially in the age group between 5 and 11 years, also reveals significant figures.
Evacuation after the Taliban conquest
Since last Sunday, August 15, the taliban took over the capital of Afghanistan, more than 70,000 people, most of them by the US military. Countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, India, Japan and Canada also participate in the rescue mission.
Evacuation is being carried out exclusively through the kabul airport, which only has one runway, which, added to the Taliban’s control of access to the area, slows down the arrival and departure of aircraft.
The 31st is the key date to end the return operations. In fact, the spokesperson Suhail Shaheen assured in the British chain ‘Sky News’ that extending the term means transferring a «Red line»And that doing so would cause«a reaction».