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June-28-00

Over 80 Percent Of Repatriated Afghan Refugees Are Women And Children

Under pressure from the Pakistani and Iranian governments, some Afghan refugees are returning to Afghanistan despite deadly drought, threat of renewed fighting and landmines, and denial of basic rights such as education for women and girls. According to United Nations data, women and children make up over 80 percent of the refugees repatriated in 1999. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) supervises the "voluntary repatriation" program, aimed most recently at returning 200,000 Afghan refugees to Afghanistan. "We are obliged to volunteer for the return," an Afghan refugee in Iran was quoted in Gulf News.

Media Resources: Washington Post 18 June 2000, Gulf News 20 June 20

   

     

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