FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): Some children in western Ghor province who had been deported from Iran have asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to provide work opportunities so they could be able to stay in the country and avoid repeated attempts of illegal migration.
Ziaulhaq, not a real name, is a 12-year-old boy, he was deported last week by Iranian authorities and returned to Ghor province. He reached Iran with difficulties but Iranian police arrested him during work and deported him.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News that his father was unable to work due to weakness and old age and his elder brother was addicted so he tried hard to go to Iran but Iranian police arrested him at work and deported him.
He said six months ago he went to Iran along with some other boys; they talked to agents who took them to Iran from Pakistan.
“We faced many difficulties on our way, we went to Iran due to poverty and joblessness, my father is unable to work, my elder brother is addicted and there is no one in the family to work and earn livelihood,” he said.
He said agents put them in a Toyta vehicle and transferred them to Iran, 20 people were placed in the space of eight persons in the vehicle, he added.
He added when they reached to Pakistani boarder the agent transferred them to another agent and they travelled three days and nights by foot.
“The soles of my feet had blisters from walking a lot, I was unable to walk, the agents kicked me and forced me to walk and move, we were in terrible condition that finally we reached Iran and worked for some time than were arrested and deported,” said Ziaulhaq.
He said in Iran he worked in a bakery and he sent money to home.
He said after his arrest by Iranian police he was transferred to Sang-i-Safaid Camp where Iranian prisoners beat him and forced him to wash their clothes.
After one week in camp he was then deported to Afghanistan and returned to home. He said if work opportunity inside the country is not provided to him he has no option but to migrate to Ira again illegally despite all the problems and difficulties that he will bear.
This is not only Ziaulhaq who had been deported and beard several problems but there were other children who suffered from similar problems and faced serious problems due to illegal migration.
Mirwais, 13, is another boy from Ghor who earn livelihood for his six member family, and said he went to Iran illegally three months ago.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Three months ago, I went to Iran with my cousins and my neighbor’s children, and when we reached the border of Iran, we were shot by Iranian forces and my hand was hit by a bullet.”
He said although he was injured but were able to reach a safe place.
He said: “When I was in Iran, I was working in a confectionery company, and one day when I was going to the doctor, the Iranian police stopped me and asked me for my passport, we were eight children and they took us to their office, on the way, the Iranians cursed us a lot and hit us with electric gears until we reached the country’s border and they deported us.”
After deportation Mirwais is now working in a bakery in Ferozkoh, the capital of Ghor, and asked other youth not to illegally migrate and try to find work opportunity in the country.
He also urged the IEA government to generate work opportunity for youth so they will not migrate to other countries.
Ahmad Shah, a civil society activist in Ghor province, told Pajhwok Afghan News if incumbent government and national businessmen did not generate work opportunities for youth and teenagers, the number of people illegally migrating will increase.
He said: “Unfortunately, poverty and the lack of work forced a large number of our youth to go to Iran every day to work and find bread for their families. We expect the government, institutions and businessmen of our country to try and provide work environment to these people”
Mullah Nasrullah Ansari, head of the Work and Social Affairs Department, said: “Since the start of ongoing solar year 180 underage children handed over to us by some cooperative NGOs were handed over to their family, these children were deported by Iran.”
He said in coordination with NGOs efforts were underway to attract more support for these families.