Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, April 19th, 2019

The Issues of Migrants Must be Addressed

December 18th is being celebrated as International Migrants Day around the world. The day is meant to highlight the issues of the migrants and the need for policies that can promote better opportunities for them in country of origin and that of origin. Its objectives also include emphasis on the basic rights of every migrant and requirement of measure that can ensure those rights in the best possible manner.
The day was first proclaimed on 4th December 2000. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), considering the increasing number of migrants around the world, announced that December 18 would be celebrated each year as International Migrants day. December 18 was chosen because it was the day when, in 1990, UNGA had adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
For Afghanistan this day is very important and must be observed in the best possible manner as migration has always been an issue for Afghanistan. Different eras of instability have forced millions of people to leave their homeland and move to the neighboring countries and other countries, mostly Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. After the downfall of Taliban and installation of a so-called democratic government, there were some opportunities that the situation could improve and the conditions in the country could get better and people would ultimately return to their country. Regrettably, with an intensification in insecurity people do not appear to be very much confident about the future and many people who have already migrated hesitate to come back and many of those who are in the country are planning to leave for better future.
Those who decide to migrate are caught in different sorts of problems; nevertheless, they are ready to take the risks and leave their homes. The have to undergo different problems on the way to their destinations as most of the times they have to follow illegal means. They have to face human smugglers, cross borders illegally, face different weather conditions and travel across mountains, rivers and even sea. There have been different incidents when the migrants have lost their lives on these routes. On many occasions, Afghan migrants lost their lives in the waters of Greece on their route to Europe or in Indonesian and Australian waters.
This clearly depicts that people do not take decisions to migrate because of economic conditions, alone; rather, they do so mostly because of the security conditions. Lately, the migrants include many individuals from media and different offices, who having observed the situation in the country closely, opted to flee. Therefore, it is no more the issue of ignorance or tough economic conditions as the decisions are taken by well-educated individuals who are educated and even have jobs.
Unfortunately, the ones who reach other countries after myriads of problems are not guaranteed secure future. As the issue of refugees has become very serious many countries are not sure about allowing refugees in their countries. Particularly, European countries, after facing a flux of refugees are already deporting many Afghan refugees. Germany that initially welcomed refugees is also in the process to deport many of Afghan refugees to their country. Same is the case with other European countries.
Moreover, the policies and procedures regarding the cases of different refugee in European countries have also changed to a great extent. There are many Afghan refugees in European countries who have been waiting for the final decision about their cases and in the meanwhile are not in a condition to move freely, earn livelihood and travel to different places and or meet their family members.
Even in the neighboring countries, Afghan refugees have not always been welcomed with warm hugs; every now and then they have been the victims of discrimination and ill-treatment. Most of the Afghan refugees in the neighboring countries, especially, in Iran and Pakistan have suffered the consequences of fluctuations in the way they are treated. Definitely, it has been generous of both the countries to compensate the Afghan refugees, who because of wars and instability left their dear homeland, but on certain occasions they have also displayed the attitude that have violated the rights of the refugees to a great extent. Definitely, these countries have their own problems; they are developing countries and they have their own economic issues to face; however, they have been supported by international community and United Nations to assist the refugees and guarantee their rights under international law.
Both the European and neighboring countries at this crucial juncture must make sure that they design a clear strategy regarding the fate of Afghan refugees. Definitely, there are political and diplomatic concerns for all the governments of the world to consider, but the issue of refugees is more important than such concerns, as it involves the precious human lives.