UNHCR urges to reunite Afghan families

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Woman and child walk between the makeshift tents in Nwabad Farabia-ha camp for internally displaced people in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan, for the UNHCR
Woman and child walk between the makeshift tents in Nwabad Farabia-ha camp for internally displaced people in Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan

Geneva, 18 October 2021 (TDI): The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) urged the States to facilitate, the reunification of Afghan families. Those procedures are for Afghans that left-behind families in the country, or are displaced. The UNHCR called the States during the press briefing, on 15 October.

The note mentions that many pre-existing Afghan refugees and asylum seekers remain separated from their families to express their concern for the safety of their family that remains in Afghanistan; or neighboring countries.

The Agency mentions that it is necessary to preserve family unity. Also to help protect lives, on account of the situation, are the reasons to urge the States. Because according to the note, the principle of family unity is protected under international law. Binding regional instruments also protect it.

The UNHCR expressed its concern that many Afghan refugees face administrative barriers. These barriers could prevent them to realize these legal rights. Those barriers are the exorbitant costs, long waiting times, and inflexible documentation requirements.

The Agency also encourages the States to apply more humane criteria. It is to identify qualifying families; by taking into account family compositions. The UNHCR also urged to extend the eligibility scope for family reunification. That is to include extended family members when they show dependency.

In this context, those that want to reunite with their loved ones will qualify as refugees. This means that they will be eligible for refugee protection. Another call of the UNHCR is for the countries to take into account potential constraints. Because the refugees may find it difficult to meet taxing administrative; and documentation requirements.

FINAL STATEMENT

The final statement of the note is that family reunification schemes can complement humanitarian programs. Because these schemes can facilitate safe, and legal entry for refugees to other countries. These schemes help them to mitigate the resort by refugees to irregular journeys. Finally, the schemes also help refugees to access protection and long-term solutions.

 

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