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Migri revises asylum policy

Afghan families need not flee back home

13 Sep 2018, 02:37 ( 9 Months ago) | updated: 13 Sep 2018, 11:43 ( 9 Months ago)

DF Report
Afghan security force members carry an injured man at the site of an attack in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, July 22, 2018. Over two dozen people including civilians and police were killed and injured in a suicide attack that rocked Kabul. File Photo Xinhua.

The updated decision-making policy of Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) does not require asylum-seeking Afghan families with children now in Finland to repatriate or return to Afghanistan.

The policy revision follows suspension of the decision-making process on asylum applications received from Afghan refugees after the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on 30 August 2018 issued a guideline on assessing the need for international protection of the asylum seekers from that country, said a Migri press release.

Migri first suspended its decision-making process on asylum pleas made by Afghan citizens until it could complete its evaluation of the UNHCR guideline. The process has now been resumed.

According to UNHCR, the security situation in certain parts of Afghanistan may have deteriorated to such a serious extent that no one should be required to return there. Migri, in its assessment, too, has found that there are many areas in that country where violence has escalated to such an extreme level that anyone returning there would be in danger of falling victim to it.

Although UNHCR has considered the security situation in Afghanistan in general terms, without specifying the areas, Migri’s assessment of that country’s security situation, however, is district-based and founded on EU directives, national legislation and established legal practices, said the press release.

At present, no Afghan refugee is required to return to the following extremely violence-prone areas in that country – Helmand Province; Tirin Kot, Dehrawud and Chora districts in Uruzgan; the southern districts (Achin, Kot, Nazyan, Chaparhar, Bati Kot, Pachirwa Agam, Khogiani and Deh Bala/Haska Mina) of Nangarhar Province; and Ghorak, Khakriz, Maiwand, Nish and Shah Wali Kot districts of Kandahar Province.

Migri is also of the opinion that the general situation related to international flights in Kabul has deteriorated.

According to the Service, a majority of its decisions made in 2018 on asylum applications submitted by Afghans were positive.

Around 175 Afghan refugees have applied for asylum so far this year, of which about 63 per cent have received positive decisions and around 25 per cent negative ones. Of the remaining applications, some were lapsed or not investigated into on various grounds, such as where the applicant concerned had already applied for asylum in another EU country which is obliged to investigate into the application.

Around 760 Afghan asylum seekers are now awaiting Migri’s decisions.