Afghanistan: These countries will accept Afghan refugees after Taliban coup
- A refugee is a person forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence
- US is expected to take in over 10,000 Afghan nationals
- UK aims to resettle 20,000 Afghan nationals
The Taliban coup in Afghanistan has triggered a wave of a mass exodus from the war-torn country. In the past few days, the world has seen heartbreaking clips and images of hundreds of Afghan citizens rushing to Hamid Karzai International Airport adopting desperate steps to flee the country. Some ran behind the military planes while some even tied themselves to the wheels of the aircraft. Amid the chaos, one question that has popped up in all the minds is that where will these refugees go?
In this article, we will take a look at countries that are accepting Afghan refugees and their respective policies.
What are refugees?
Before we understand the refugee crisis and countries' policies on them, it is important to understand the meaning of a refugee.
A refugee is defined as a person who was forced to escape or flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. Refugees have a constant fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
According to UNHCR, there are about 2.8 million Afghan refugees living abroad. The highest number of refugees living abroad belongs to Syria, at 6.8 million, as of 2020.
Countries accepting Afghan refugees after the Taliban coup
The US Department of State announced a new designation, the Priority 2 (P-2). This designation will grant US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) access to certain Afghan nationals and their eligible family members.
The US government in a statement said that is working to provide certain Afghans, including those who worked with the United States, the opportunity for refugee resettlement to the US.
The country is expected to take in over 10,000 Afghan nationals, which will mostly include the people who helped the government.
India on Tuesday announced that it will issue an emergency e-visa to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country after the Taliban takeover. This visa, however, will be applicable only for 6 months.
The country also announced that it will prioritise Hindu and Sikh migrants. Nevertheless, all Afghans, irrespective of their religion, can apply for the ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ online and the applications will be processed in New Delhi.
The UK government on August 18 announced Afghan refugees, forced to leave home or fear violence, will be offered a way to set up in the country permanently.
During the first year of the resettlement scheme, the government will allow resettlement of 5,000 Afghan nationals at risk due to the Taliban crisis. The scheme will give priority to women, girls and religious minorities.
Overall, the UK is planning to resettle 20,000 Afghan nationals through this scheme.
According to Statista, Austria, France and Sweden are expected to be the prime spots of refuge for the Afghan migrants.
As per a European Union report, around 7,000 Afghans were granted permanent or temporary legal status in the EU in the first quarter of 2021. Out of these, at least 2,200 of them were located in Greece, 1,800 in France, 1,000 in Germany and around 700 in Italy.