UN special rapporteurs fear Afghan nationals would be at risk of irreparable harm in their home country
Pakistan should immediately cancel plans to deport 1.4 million Afghan nationals back to their country, UN experts said on Tuesday.
After hosting millions of Afghans for decades, Pakistan’s government recently announced that all “undocumented” foreign nationals must leave by Nov. 1 or face deportation to their countries of origin.
These plans would particularly impact more than 1.4 million Afghan nationals, including many who fled to Pakistan seeking safety and protection due to serious human rights concerns and a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“We urge Pakistan to uphold the absolute and non-derogable principle of non-refoulement and prevent collective expulsion and forced return,” the experts said.
“The lack of domestic asylum laws and procedures does not absolve states of their obligations to uphold the principle of non-refoulement under international human rights and customary law,” they said.
According to the UN figures, some 1.3 million Afghans enjoy the status of registered refugees, while another 880,000 have legal status to stay in Pakistan.
The experts feared that Afghan nationals would be at risk of irreparable harm, including serious human rights violations and abuses in their home country.
The experts include Felipe Gonzalez Morales, special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Richard Bennett, special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan; and Reem Alsalem, special rapporteur on violence against women and girls.