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Flow Monitoring - Spontaneous Returns of Undocumented Afghans from Pakistan (14 - 27 March 2021)

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IOM Pakistan collects data on the outflows of undocumented Afghan migrants at the Torkham and Chaman border crossing points in an effort to better understand the migration movements of undocumented Afghan migrants returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan. This exercise is part of the European Union funded project “Displacement Tracking Matrix Regional Evidence for Migration Analysis and Policy (DTM REMAP)”.

From 14 to 27 March 2021, 853 undocumented Afghan migrants returned to Afghanistan, including 94 through the Torkham border point and 759 through the Chaman border point. During the reporting period, border authorities facilitated the return of 34 individuals due to the lack of legal documentation to remain in Pakistan. Therefore, information concerning these 34 individuals is not included in the report analysis.


  • During the reporting period, 13% of returnees were categorized as vulnerable persons, mainly elderly and chronically ill.

  • In Pakistan, the primary occupation reported by returnees were: unskilled labor (57%), skilled labor (28%), business (14%) and students (1%).

  • All returnees were carrying household items and cash when surveyed. They also travelled with additional items, such as personal belongings (99%), productive assets (80%), transportation or private vehicles (7%) and livestock (6%).

  • The average cost of travelling from Pakistan to Afghanistan reported was 10,888 PKR per family.

  • The top 3 challenges returnees expected to face in Afghanistan were: arranging for livelihoods (27%), settling into a new city (27%) and finding income opportunities (27%).

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