Iran expels 8,000 Afghan children in 9 months
Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) officials told reporters in Herat City, the provincial capital, the deported children aged between 8 to 16 years old had been deported during the past nine months.
They had been illegally smuggled to neighboring country through Pakistan, they claimed, saying some of the children had been subjected to different abuses, including sexual harassment.
“We interviewed 987 boys and 247 girls after they were expelled from Iran through the Islam Qala port and we found a majority of them had been tortured, sexually abused and even forced into smuggling drugs across the border,” said Sultan Mohammad Wafakesh, an AIHRC official.
Child rights head at the AIHRC, Azim Akid said half of the children were deported through Nimroz port. He said the children had been smuggled to Iran by human traffickers but they were sent back to Afghanistan by the Iranian police.
Over the past three decades, Iran has been hosting about three million Afghan refugees.
According to Iran’s Ministry of Interior, 940,000 legal Afghan refugees are living in the country besides more than 1.4 million undocumented refugees.
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