10 years ago the United States began its invasion of Afghanistan and now according to a recent United Nations (UN) report the country is experiencing the highest number of political asylum requests of the last decade.
According to the report more than 30,000 Afghans applied for political asylum from January 2011 through November 2011, that’s a 25% increase over the same period in 2010.
One 20-year-old Afghan resident who was attempting to flee into Europe from Iran told the Associated Press:
“I don’t think anything will improve in three or five years, so it’s better to leave now,” while adding, “If foreign troops leave, the situation will only get worse, not better.”
In the meantime it’s believed that numbers may be far higher because of the $1 billion per year human smuggling business that has emerged in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For a few hundred dollars citizens of Afghanistan can enter Iran or Pakistan, while $25,000 will earn them false papers and a flight to various countries including Sweden and England. The number of illegal refugees is hard to determine since they often sink into the underground economy and become nearly impossible to track.
In that same UN report numbers show that less refugees are returning to the country on a yearly basis and Afghan officials worry that those numbers will continue to deteriorate as American and NATO troops hand security of the country over to the Afghan army and police in 2014.
Are you surprised to learn that citizens in terrorist friendly countries are attempting to flee for better living conditions in various other parts of the world?