Kabul [Afghanistan], June 12 (TN): Afghan refugees residing in Iran have voiced concerns about the scarcity of job opportunities available to them in the country and also raised concern over the “mistreatment” by authorities, reported Tolo News.
“Even if an employment opportunity is provided, because of religious issues or for being a Sunni and Afghan, you cannot engage in work. If they are selected for a job, they are given heavy tasks,” said Mursal, an Afghan refugee in Iran.
Many find it challenging to secure stable employment and provide for their families, exacerbating their already precarious situation.
The high number of Afghan refugees, estimated to exceed five million individuals according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, has strained the local labor market, making it increasingly difficult for refugees to find suitable work.
Asifa Stanikzai, a human rights activist said, “The refugees have problems in working and residence issues and lack of identification and also the closure of identification and passport centres has created obstacles for the refugees.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation tweeted that more than 2,500 Afghan refugees returned to Afghanistan from Iran on Saturday.
According to the ministry, “2534 refugees arrived in Afghanistan from Iran on Jawza 20 (June 10, 2023).
“According to a border office in Islam Qala of Herat province, 228 of them were sent to IOM to receive assistance,” the ministry added.
Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid called on Iran to treat Afghan refugees properly. He also said that the Islamic Emirate is trying to provide the ground for the Afghan refugees to return from Iran, as per Tolo News.
“The situation of the refugees should be based on human beings in all neighbouring countries, especially Iran. Their rights should be ensured and they should not be deported. Migration is an issue which is difficult for Iran as well to cope with but it should consider it based on neighbourly and brotherly manners,” Mujahid said.
After Pakistan, Iran hosts the highest number of Afghan refugees. Tens of thousands of Afghans have left the country for Iran over the past two years. (TN)