Iran + 1 more

Afghanistan situation: Emergency preparedness and Response in Iran, 16 May - 15 June 2022

Attachments

KEY FIGURES

Over 822,546 persons have been internally displaced in Afghanistan since the start of 2021, of which 20% are women and 60% are children. Approximately 170,000 have now returned to their previous places of residence, as the security situation improves.

According to evolving estimates by the Government of Iran, approx. 500,000 to 1 million Afghans have arrived in Iran in 20211 . Some 39,107 Afghans who arrived in Iran from 1 January 2021 to 11 June 2022 have approached UNHCR requesting assistance and protection. The 2022 Refugee Response Plan (RRP) for the Afghanistan situation, launched in January 2022, estimates that 274,000 new arrivals will remain in Iran.

New arrivals add to the in situ Afghan population already in Iran. Based on the information provided by BAFIA, 800,000 refugees are currently in the country (of whom 780,000 are Afghans and 20,000 Iraqis).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The 2022 headcount exercise was a Government led census of the undocumented Afghan population and an important step to regularize their presence in Iran. Whilst the legal implications of participation in the 2022 Headcount are still unclear, it is understood that those who participate will be afforded a certain level of protection including against refoulement and access to services. Conversely, as a timebound exercise, the 2022 Headcount cannot be understood as a comprehensive ongoing registration mechanism. Official statements announcing harsh measures for undocumented Afghans who fail to participate in the 2022 Headcount are particularly of concern to UNHCR in the absence of an open, functional, transparent and easily accessible asylum system in Iran2 .

  • The cost of registration and participation in the ongoing headcount exercise for undocumented Afghans is 270,000 Rials per individual at Pishkhan centres, and 310,000 Rials per individual at Kefalat Centres.

  • UNHCR Iran provides complementary information on the headcount exercise on its website (both in Persian and English) and on its Instagram account for undocumented Afghan nationals.

  • The review of the bill on establishing the National Migration Organization (NMO) is ongoing in the Internal Affairs and Councils Committee of the Parliament, according to the head of the Councils Committee on 12 June 2022. The establishment of the NMO is introduced as part of a broader general parliamentary draft bill called "Regularization of Foreign Nationals. This draft bill is still under review and may undergo several revisions before being submitted to the parliament. Meanwhile, UNHCR is reviewing its provisions and implications for our operations and PoCs and is closely monitoring the developments in the parliament on establishing this new organization. UNHCR has requested BAFIA to facilitate a meeting with the members of the parliament (given the fact that UNHCR is restricted from reaching out to them directly) to further explain UNHCR's mandate, structure, and efforts to advocate for more support for Iran.