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UN: Afghan repatriation to continue with reduced cash incentive
UN: Afghan repatriation to continue with reduced cash incentive

On Sunday, United Nations [official website] officials said Afghan repatriation is set to continue on Monday with reduced cash incentives [Aljazeera report] for Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan. The cash incentive, which was initially $400, was cut in half to $200 in order to facilitate voluntary Afghan repatriation. Despite these cuts many refugees are continuing to register for repatriation. The current efforts to deport Afghan refugees is an effort that, according to the Pakistani government, is designed for national security. According to various human rights organizations, the number of police abuses and extortion efforts against Afghan refugees has increased following this initiative. Currently, Pakistan is home to approximately 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees and 1 million unregistered Afghan refugees.

The rights of refugee and migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issues around the world. In January the Slovenian parliament passed amendments to the Aliens Act [JURIST report] to enact emergency measures to deny refugees entry into the country and to expel those whom did not have their asylum claims properly assessed. Also in January US President Donald Trump issued [JURIST report] an executive order restricting access to the US for refugees and visa holders from seven countries. The order also indefinitely suspends the entry into the US of Syrian refugees. The order further suspended admission of refugees from any country for 120 days while the administration is reviewing the visa program and limited the number of possible refugees for 2017 to 50,000. In November experts questioned humanitarian conditions at Grecian migrant camps when a 66-year-old woman and six-year-old boy died [JURIST report] in a camp fire. In April 2016 several aid organizations urged [JURIST report] EU leaders to stop deportations of migrants from Greece to Turkey and to stop detaining asylum seekers. Also in April 2016 Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that the first deportation of 66 people from the Greek island of Chios to Turkey was “riddled with an array of irregularities.” In March 2016 former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged [JURIST report] world leaders to accept more refugees and to combat the growing international anti-refugee sentiments. That same month, an independent UN human rights expert encouraged EU leaders to remain steadfast [JURIST report] in their obligations to handle the recent influx of migrants to the EU.