Afghan refugees have complained over lack of job opportunities in Iran, saying they are also concerned about “mistreatment” by authorities.
“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.
“The refugees have problems in working and residence issues and lack of identification and also the closure of identification and passport centers has created obstacles for the refugees,” said Asifa Stanikzai, a human rights activist.
The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation meanwhile said on Twitter that more than 2,500 Afghan refugees returned to Afghanistan from Iran on Saturday.
The ministry said that “2,534 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 said.
The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid called on Iran to treat Afghan refugees properly.
He also said that the Islamic Emirate is making efforts to provide the ground for the return of Afghan refugees from Iran.
“The situation of the refugees should be based on human beings in all neighboring 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 neighborly and brotherly manners,” Mujahid said.
Iran hosts the highest number of Afghan refugees after Pakistan. Tens of thousands of Afghans have left the country for Iran over the past two years.