Forcibly deporting Afghans from Pakistan could lead to severe human rights violations including the separation of families and deportation of minors, the United Nations warned Saturday.
Pakistan recently announced a crackdown on migrants living in the country illegally, including 1.7 million Afghans, telling them to return to their home countries by Oct. 31 to avoid mass arrest and expulsion.
The government denies targeting Afghans and says the focus is on people who are in the country illegally, regardless of their nationality. It said it is setting up a hotline and offering rewards to people who tip off authorities about such migrants.
The U.N. agencies said Afghanistan is going through a severe humanitarian crisis with several rights challenges, particularly for women and girls, who are banned by the Taliban from education beyond sixth grade, most public spaces and many jobs.
“Such plans would have serious implications for all who have been forced to leave the country and may face serious protection risks upon return,” it said, referring to Pakistan’s crackdown.