Afghanistan + 2 more

Returning "home" to Afghanistan, young refugees confront complex issues

Many young Afghans face distinct challenges while returning to a "homeland" they have never actually experienced. Not addressing these issues may threaten the eventual success of their resettlement, suggests a newly released Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit paper.

Many of the millions of refugees who fled during the decades of conflict in Afghanistan relocated to Pakistan and Iran. A sizeable number of these are young Afghans who have spent most, if not all, of their lives in these neighbouring countries and are the focus of From Disappointment to Hope: Transforming Experiences of Young Afghans Returning "Home" from Pakistan and Iran. While some of these second-generation refugees may be drawn to Afghanistanby a desire to return to their "homeland," gaps exist in the understanding of their social and emotional experiences such as struggles with identity, rejection and discrimination. These issues, either alone or when combined with difficulties in meeting material needs, have important implications for Afghanistan's ongoing refugee repatriation and reintegration efforts.

The paper includes policy recommendations focused on potentially shifting factors toward voluntary return and positive reintegration experiences.

From Disappointment to Hope: Transforming Experiences of Young Afghans Returning "Home" from Pakistan and Iranis available for download at Printed copies, as well as Dari and Pashto translations, will soon be available free of charge from AREU's office.

About AREU

The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit is an independent research organisation headquartered in Kabul. AREU's mission is to conduct high-quality research that informs and influences policy and practice. AREU also actively promotes a culture of research and learning by strengthening analytical capacity in Afghanistanand facilitating reflection and debate. Fundamental to AREU's vision is that its work should improve Afghan lives.

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