Friday, December 10, 2010

Afghans: Risking All

AFGHANISTAN: Risking all for the chance of a better life

Iran has deported tens of thousands of Afghan migrants

10 December 2010 - The financial costs and serious risks faced by Afghan asylum-seekers in making the long and arduous journey to Europe are no real deterrent when the alternatives are seen as poverty and political uncertainty at home, young Afghans told IRIN.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says 26,800 Afghans requested refugee status in 2009 - a 45 percent increase on the year before when 18,500 claims were made.

“Afghans currently constitute 7 percent of all asylum applications lodged in the 44 industrialized countries,” Adrian Edwards, a UNHCR spokesman, told IRIN. In 2001 they topped the chart when 54,000 Afghans sought asylum.

UNHCR’s data is only about asylum-seekers and does not include economic migrants who mostly use the same routes and means to reach to their destination, but in far larger numbers. {continued}

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