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2.18. Individuals who were born in Iran or Pakistan and/or who lived there for a long period of time

Last update: December 2020

This profile refers to Afghans who were born in or have spent a very long period as a refugee or a migrant in Iran or Pakistan.

This section has not been updated in the current document. While no specific new information has been reviewed, it is considered likely that conclusions with regard to this profile remain largely valid.


COI summary

[Main COI references: Society-based targeting, 8.7; Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 1.2, 2.2.3, 2.3.4, 2.4.2, 2.5.2, 2.6.5, 2.7.4]

Over 8 million Afghans have returned to the country since 2002, mainly from neighbouring Iran and Pakistan. Returnees from Iran were reported to be comprised mostly of young men, whereas returnees from Pakistan were mostly families. Many of them settled in Kabul regardless of their place of origin in Afghanistan, and established themselves according to their capacity without any government support. A third of all Afghan returnees have settled in Kabul and Nangarhar. This fact, combined with high numbers of IDPs, resulted in high pressure on housing, employment, healthcare, and community services, especially in the cities. In the context of Afghanistan’s limited absorption capacity returnees often lived in precarious situations.

Not being accustomed to Afghan norms and expectations and having no support network in Afghanistan may add to the difficulties in finding job or shelter. Afghans who lived outside Afghanistan for a long period of time may also have a strong accent, which would be a further obstacle in finding a job.

Afghans who grew up in Iran and are perceived as ‘Iranised’ or ‘not Afghan enough’ may sometimes receive offensive comments.

Risk analysis

In general, the treatment faced by individuals under this profile would not amount to persecution. In exceptional cases and based on additional individual circumstances, the accumulation of measures, including violations of human rights which is sufficiently severe as to affect an individual in a similar manner, could amount to persecution.

Nexus to a reason for persecution

Available information indicates that in the case of individuals who were born in Iran or Pakistan and/or who lived there for a long period of time, there is in general no nexus to a Convention reason for persecution. This is without prejudice to individual cases where nexus could be established based on additional circumstances.