Afghan children face deportation from Iran amid economic hardships

KABUL: Thousands of Afghan children endure dire circumstances following their deportation from Iran, a consequence of the Taliban’s 2021 takeover. Concerns about child deportation from neighboring countries have garnered global attention.

Tolo News reports that local authorities in Afghanistan’s Nimruz province confirmed over 20,000 Afghan children forcibly deported from Iran last year alone. In 2024, Iranian authorities acknowledged deporting more than 900 children.

Mohammad Haroon, Border Commander of Nimruz Directorate of Refugees, disclosed that approximately 30 to 40 children arrive in Nimruz daily, left alone after deportation from Iran. He added that their office registered the 20,000 children expelled last year.

One Afghan child shared his ordeal, revealing that economic hardships in Afghanistan compelled him to seek work in Iran. Despite working in a bakery and earning only a few loaves of bread daily, he was deported without his family. Many deported children echoed similar sentiments, expressing despair over their separation from family members still in Iran.

The situation highlights the economic challenges Afghan families face, leading children to resort to illegal means for survival. The Taliban’s policies exacerbate the issue, pushing children into labor and other illicit activities.

Calls for action urge the Afghan Taliban to prioritize the country’s economic well-being, especially for its children. The international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, is urged to address the plight of Afghan refugee children and the Taliban’s involvement in fostering instability in the region.

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