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Afghan migrants in Iran in modern times

Joanna Modrzejewska-Leśniewska ()
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Joanna Modrzejewska-Leśniewska: Warsaw School of Economics

Studia z Polityki Publicznej / Public Policy Studies, 2020, vol. 7, issue 4, 22

Abstract: For many decades Iran was a destination of economic immigration for Afghans. There, they could earn money to provide for their families at home. Since the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, Iran also became a place of refuge for some 3 million Afghans. Their situation was changing according to the changes in the internal and international position of Iran. Sometimes the Iranian authorities were sympathetic; other times they were fiercely unsympathetic and keen to remove the Afghan "guests." So, the Afghans in Iran could not be sure how long they would be allowed to stay there, if the Iranians would be willing to support them, and if they would have work to provide for their families. This state of uncertainty of the Afghan community was worsened by an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the Iranian and Afghan healthcare systems are unable to effectively deal with the problem. And the economic collapse in Iran affected primarily the foreigners there of whatever stance, in this particular case, the Afghans. The main aim of the article is to present the changing and unstable situation of Afghans in Iran in recent years. The analysis covers areas such as their legal status, education, family life, or the right to work. It also takes into account, to a limited extent, the internal situation of Iran, which undoubtedly influenced the situation of Afghan migrants. Based on the analysis of the available materials, it can be concluded that the position of the Afghans in Iran was and is strongly dependent on the situation of Iran and the good or bad will of the Iranian authorities. At the same time, due to the complicated situation in Afghanistan, Afghan migrants find themselves in a hopeless situation and are "doomed" to stay in Iran.

Keywords: Afghanistan; Iran; migration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 O15 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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