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The international community is calling on Pakistan to stop deporting Afghans in order to prevent a potential disaster for human rights.
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The international community is calling on Pakistan to stop deporting Afghans in order to prevent a potential disaster for human rights.

The OHCHR is calling on the authorities to stop deportations, which are scheduled to commence on November 1st, according to spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani at a press conference in Geneva.

At the moment, over 2 million Afghans without legal documentation are residing in Pakistan. Of those, at least 600,000 arrived after the Taliban regained control in August 2021.

There is a high likelihood of violations.

According to her, numerous individuals who are being deported are in danger of experiencing severe human rights abuses if they are sent back to Afghanistan. This includes being arrested and detained without cause, as well as being subjected to torture and other forms of inhumane treatment.

Individuals who face a higher level of danger include those involved in civil society, journalism, defending human rights, former government employees and members of security forces. Women and girls are also at risk due to oppressive policies that limit their access to education, employment, and participation in various aspects of society.

Ms. Shamdasani mentioned that the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have observed a significant rise in the number of people returning to Afghanistan since the 3 October deadline was announced.

As of October 15th, a recent report by two organizations stated that 59,780 individuals from Afghanistan had departed from Pakistan. The main reason for leaving, cited by 78% of those surveyed, was fear of being arrested.

‘Suspend forcible returns’

Ms. Shamdasani expressed concern about the approaching 1 November deadline and urged the Pakistani government to halt the involuntary repatriation of Afghan citizens. She warned that failure to do so may result in a severe violation of human rights.

The OHCHR urged the Government to maintain protection for those who require it and guarantee that any future returns adhere to international law by being secure, respectful, and voluntary.

Large necessities in one’s place of residence.

Ms. Shamdasani mentioned that with the onset of winter, any large-scale deportations will only worsen the severe humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The country is still struggling to recover from the destructive earthquakes that hit Herat province earlier this month.

According to official statistics, approximately 1,400 individuals lost their lives and 1,800 were wounded.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Afghanistan’s population is approximately 43 million people. A majority of this population, around 30 million, is currently in need of aid. Additionally, over three million individuals have been displaced within the country.

The speaker stated that the de facto authorities in Afghanistan are still bound by international human rights obligations as a state. They have a responsibility to safeguard, support, and uphold human rights.

The source of this information is the United Nations News website.