The Afghan Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on Wednesday said that the number of Afghan teenagers and children being expelled from Iran has increased over the past six months.
According to the ministry, over 400 Afghan teenagers and children were expelled from Iran in the past six months and are being kept in safe houses.
Officials from some of these safe houses have said that there are indications that these children were beaten, and there are even signs of torture on their bodies.
Nematullah, 16, is one of the teenagers who was expelled from Iran a month ago.
“I want to be with my father, mother and brothers. I can’t live here,” said Nematullah who was separated from his family.
“In the past six months we registered 400 Afghan children who were deported,” said Mohammad Bashir Gulistani, head of the Support Centers at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
“There is no sign of this reducing, and the process continues,” said Najibullah Akhlaqi, head of the Children Secretariat at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Officials from Save the Children have also raised concerns over the issue.
“Mentally and psychologically the children are affected when they are deported alone,” said Maryam Atayee, spokeswoman for the Save the Children in Kabul.