Pakistan Moves To Issue Afghan Refugee Cards

Pakistan Moves To Issue Afghan Refugee Cards 26 February 2014

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IGO welcomes the decision by Pakistan to issue new refugee cards to more than 1.6 million Afghan refugees in the country, certifying that they are legal in the country.

From July to the end of this year, Pakistani authorities will register and issue individual cards to some 150,000 children born during the past five years.

In addition, under the initiative, another 330,000 Afghan children below the age of eighteen will receive birth certificates for the first time. This will protect them from issues of statelessness and give them easy access to social services and schooling.

For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting in their country.

Since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, some 3.8 million have returned home, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency. But nearly 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan, with roughly another million living there illegally.

IGO commends the Pakistan government on working with the UNHCR in aiding the Afghan refugees and protecting their rights.