Iran being the main destination of Afghan migrants and refugees, there are currently almost 3 million Afghans living in Iran and over 2 third of them don’t have a legal status. This community is discriminated in various ways: they are only hired for some specific jobs, mostly dangerous manual labor and they have no insurance of any kind.
Afghans face huge restrictions regarding the freedom of movement; they are only allowed to circulate with a travel permit, without which they could face arrest and even deportation. In a recent case an Afghan resident goes shopping and is lost. After two weeks it is discovered that he was forcefully deported to his country despite the fact that he had all his family in Iran. The government has also established some NO-GO zones for Afghans which is a complete violation of their right to freedom of circulation.
In recent years hundreds of Afghans have been shot, while attempting to cross the border to Iran. This is a complete breach of the obligations that Iran has accepted under Geneva Conventions.
Xenophobia is officially encouraged in Iran as children of intermarriage between Afghans and Iranians are not recognized. Afghans don’t receive a birth certificate when born in Iran and are denied citizenship, and rights related to it such as driver’s license, right to property or the use of the same sport facilities as Iranians. Their children are not allowed to enroll in Iranian schools and they are therefore left with no education.
Finally, Sudwind would like to urge the UNHCR and all states in this council to investigate more attentively into the degrading situation of Afghans in Iran.