QALA-I-NAW (Pajhwok): Some educated youth in western Badghis province say they are forced to go for illegal emigration due to unemployment. They want the interim government to create job opportunities for them.
Unemployment is among the problems haunting youth over the last 20 years. With their consistent demands falling on deaf ears, they regret, many educated people are left with no option but to leave their country.
Poverty & unemployment
Abdul Rauf Ishaqzai, a resident of Aab Kamari district who obtained a bachelor’s degree in Dari literature two years ago, complains he has been jobless.
He adds because of being jobless, he must travel to Iran illegally. He is the only breadwinner for a family of four –caught in abject poverty.
Ishaqzai expects the Islamic Emirate to provide job opportunities for educated youth and adhere to merit in appointments.
Ali Mohammad Qurbani, a 22-year-old victim of unemployment who completed his high school education a year ago, also plans to travel to Iran illegally.
Qurbani has applied for jobs in a number of private and public offices, has been successful so far. He is eager to continue his education and study to the doctorate level if he gets a job. He calls poverty and unemployment the main impediment to the realisation of this dream.
He also asks the Islamic Emirate to focus on generating job opportunities to prevent young people from going abroad.
Driver Ghulam Mohammad estimates: “About 60 percent of passengers travelling with me are individuals who go abroad for work.”
“Most of those who travel illegally to Iran are literate and educated people. They have to leave the country in quest of work. The passengers we take are aged between 18 and 40.”
Issues like war, drought, poverty, unemployment and political changes are among the factors behind youth leaving the country — legally or otherwise.
Ali Reza Kargar, a university professor, identifies jobs, economic growth, political stability, security, capacity enhancement and a friendly environment as some of the ways to prevent illegal emigration.
He stresses: “Jobs must be generated to discourage young people from going abroad illegally.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation acknowledges Afghans go to foreign countries illegally.
Abdul Mutalib Haqqani, spokesman for the ministry, told Pajhwok the main reason behind illegal emigration was restrictions on banking operations. Propaganda by foreigners is another factor prompting people lose trust in Afghanistan’s system, he believes.
A public awareness programme has been launched to address the problems of illegal emigration, Haqqani says, adding MoRR has signed a memorandum of understanding with the ministries of public health and education to create jobs for deserving people and prevent them going illegally to other countries.
Tor Jan Khademi, acting director of labour and social affairs, claims local officials have drawn up multiple programs for young people, including small businesses and short-term jobs.
He says: “The migration of young people to Iran is out of interest, not compulsion… most of Badghis youth do not go there for work. They do so because they are interested in going abroad. We have provided jobs for many of them.”
More than 3,500 people, including women, were given work through the ministry concerned last year, recalls the official.