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The case of ‘miraculous survival’ during irregular migration

16 Feb 2020 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) – Poverty, unemployment and insecurity have led many Afghan youngsters, including the educated ones, to pursue irregular migration routes.

One such young man, Hussain Haidari left unfinished studies to pursue a better life and a brighter future, and embarked on a path of irregular migration with his friends. The hardships of the journey, the loss of his friends along the way, the loss of his companions to starvation and the humiliation and torture caused by the smugglers are now haunting him as nightmares.

According to Hussein, a number of his friends were left exhausted and thirsty between the rugged mountains of the Iranian-Turkish border, and to this day no information is available on them.

"We were over a hundred people sleeping in the mountains during day time and walking all night. We used to walk in the mountains till the morning. We climbed up the mountain, then down the valley. We walked three nights on the Turkish-Iranian border. At the Turkish-Iranian border, there were many of my fellows who disappeared into the mountains at night, and we did not see them again”, he said.

In the course of the dialogue, Hussain said he and a handful of his fellows ‘miraculously’ survived. He said that after 15 days on this treacherous journey, Hussain and only few of his friends reached their destination, Sweden, but his asylum application was turned down for being ‘over-age’.

Hussain said, he was unwilling to return owing to the hardships he faced on the way, and the dangers awaiting him in Afghanistan. So, he began working in Sweden secretly. But, eventually police caught him after two months, and departed him back to Afghanistan.

The more he narrated the memories of this irregular migration, the more he found himself lost in troubling thoughts, and now he is distressed, saying that 85 percent of immigrants become so depressed because of their asylum cases that they eventually commit suicides.

However, Basit Ansari, a media adviser at the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, told Salam Watandar, that irregular migration has never been easy and has a negative impact on migrants' life.

"When the youngsters are somehow fooled by other people taken to other countries only to be fired and deported later, it is natural that it will have a negative effect on them and everyone around them."

In recent years, more and more Afghan citizens have been taken on irregular migration routes at the expense of their lives despite the officials trying to alert people on the dangers of this type of migration.

Syed Sher Hussain Honaryar, coordinator of the Center for Immigration Information told Salam Watandar this department has launched an awareness programs at universities and schools about the unfortunate consequences of irregular migration upon reaching destination countries.

According to officials from the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, returnees from Turkey and European countries are being helped through the International Organization for Migration or (IOM) to start a small business in their own country.


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