About 2,000 Civilians Are Trafficked From Afghanistan to Iran Every Day

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Sources in Nimruz province, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Hasht-e Subh that about 2,000 people enter Iran daily through the Afghan border. Taliban officials for the administration of refugees and returnees in Nimruz province do not provide exact figures on human trafficking across the border, saying that about 2,000 are deported from Iran each day. People who intend to smuggle into Iran say they have been forced to leave the country because of extreme poverty and unemployment, accepting the risk of death.

Khodaidad, a resident of Farah province, is one of those who decided to go to Iran illegally. “These people are leaving the country out of poverty and misery,” he told Hasht-e Subh. “There is no work in the homeland, no money, and we surrender to the smuggler. There are robbers on the way and, there is the danger of death.”

People trying to enter Iran through the Nimruz border are from different provinces of Afghanistan. Nasrallah is a resident of Kapisa province. “I want to travel to Iran because I have economic problems,” he told Hasht-e Subh. “I cannot find a piece of bread in my homeland. Nobody helps us. To save our family from starvation, we go to Iran to send them a piece of bread. There are many dangers in this way. There is a 90 percent chance of death and a 10 percent chance of survival.”

At the same time, some of them say that although they know that they face many dangers along the way of smuggling, they still take refuge in Iran out of compulsion and find work. Abdul Rahman is a resident of Bamiyan province. “I went to Iran three months ago, but I was deported,” he said. “My family is there (in Iran). I have come to go to Iran again. What can we do if there is no work in our country, the economy is weak, and there are many problems. We have to go to work and live with our families.”

Everyone who intends to go to Iran pursues one goal; Finding a piece of bread for the family. Jawad is a resident of Takhar province. He says that everyone has resorted to smuggling and migration due to poverty and unemployment. Jawad adds: “Our homeland is good, but there is not a job. I came to go to Iran, to live there. We surrender our lives to the smuggler and, the future is uncertain whether we will arrive or be sold.”

Meanwhile, Taliban officials in charge of managing refugees and returnees in Nimroz say they are trying to talk to Iranian officials about Afghan refugees. “We are trying to help the refugees who are crossing the border again and tell them not to leave the country,” Siddiqullah Nusrat, head of the Department of Refugees and Repatriations in Nimroz, told Hasht-e Subh. Two to three thousand people cross the border from Iran every day and, immigrants are mistreated. We are trying to talk to the Iranian authorities about the plight of Afghan refugees so that they will not be harassed again.”

Poverty and unemployment in Afghanistan have been cited as major causes of people fleeing to neighboring countries. Although the exact number of people leaving the country daily is not known. with the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, thousands of families are smuggled to neighboring countries, especially Iran, every day. The Los Angeles Times also reported that Iran hosts about 10 percent of Afghanistan’s population. Meanwhile, Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada recently issued a decree instructing Taliban officials to resolve the problems of citizens leaving the country, preventing them from fleeing to neighboring countries.