Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (

Exhausted from her perilous journey, Basmina arrived at the Reception Centre in Spin Boldak and through transportation provided by IOM, was transferred to the organization’s Transit Centre in Kandahar where she was able to spend the night and receive assistance.

Reluctant to return to her life in Kandahar, she explains, “I am not free to move and go outside as I want.” Even before going to Pakistan, Basmina never possessed any legal documents, and today remains undocumented. Moving around Kandahar as a single woman, with the rules and norms imposed by the DfA, is almost impossible.

“My two other boys are underage, and they are the ones working to bring an income to our household. I wish my two girls could go to school.”

Fewer and fewer undocumented returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan have proper documentation. The lack of access to civil registration documents, including Tazkira, the national identity card, and passports, is the result of intermittent service provision by the Department of Population and Registration in Afghanistan. In addition, women like Basmina, and members of ethnic minority groups, are more likely to be undocumented because they have never obtained documents due to historic political and socio-cultural norms.

During their journeys, undocumented returnees are more likely to face human rights violations by state security forces of neighbouring and transit states. These include the use of force and firearms, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. It is essential that the humanitarian community raise awareness of, and advocate against, these abuses and that the DfA facilitate access to civil documentation for all.

Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (
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