Iran deports 1500 Afghan kids in 2 months: Official
HERAT CITY (PAN): Iran has deported up-to 1500 Afghan children to the eastern province of Herat in the past two months, an official said on Tuesday.
The deportees aged between 10 and 18 years included females, Herat Refugees and Repatriation Department head, Hamidullah Khatebi told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Of the nearly two million Afghan refugees living in Iran, half of them lack legal stay documents, he said, adding Iran has deported 180,000 Afghans to Herat despite having valid residence documents.
“The Iranian police demand 30,000 Iranian tomans for each child and arrest children and deport them if their parents fail to pay the money,” Khatebi said.
One of the deportees, Ali Ahmad, currently living in the Ansar Camp area, said he was shopping in a market in Iran when police arrested him a year ago. The Iranian-born teenager said he had no idea about his home location in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission Herat’s chief, Abdul Azim, condemned Iran’s actions as against the international and human rights laws.
Tehran says it deports Afghans who live in Iran unlawfully. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans are estimated still living in Iran with no valid residence and/or work permits.
Many young Afghan men and children travel to Iran in search of work because of poverty and lack of employment opportunities at home.
Child deportees are considered prone to sexual exploitation and physical abuse in the immediate aftermath of their expulsion from Iran, child rights activists warn.
Deportees often have no money to cover their immediate needs, such as food and accommodation, and also cannot afford transport expenses to reach their final destination.
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