EASO COI Report. Situation of Afghan refugees


This report provides relevant information on the situation of registered and unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

The legal status of Afghans living in Pakistan determines their ability to access education, health services, property and housing and legal aid. Afghan refugees living in Pakistan can be broadly divided into four main groups: Proof of Registration (PoR) cardholders, Afghan Citizens Card (ACC) holders, unregistered Afghan refugees and Afghan passport holders with Pakistani visa. The main focus of this report lies on the Afghan refugees and not the Afghan passport holders with Pakistani visa.

The report provides a brief historical overview of Afghan migration to Pakistan, it describes the legal status of Afghans living in Pakistan and its impact on their ability to access education, employment, health services, housing, financial and communication services, legal aid. Further, the report provides information on the attitude of the Government of Pakistan as well as on the general attitude of Pakistan's population towards Afghan refugees.

The first draft of this report was finalised on 15 April 2020. Some additional information was added during the finalisation of this report in response to feedback received during the quality control process, until 6 May 2020.

EASO would like to acknowledge the Belgian Centre for Documentation and Research (Cedoca) in the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, as the drafter of this report.

The following national asylum and migration departments reviewed this report:

France, Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless persons (OFPRA), Information, Documentation and Research Division (DIDR)

Germany, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Country Analysis

The following external organisation reviewed this report:

ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentati


The security and human rights situation in Pakistan is problematic. Many citizens of Pakistan are being exposed to ethno-political or sectarian violence and the Pakistani authorities are often unable or unwilling to offer protection. The violence in Pakistan can be mainly attributed to terrorist organisations that are active in the country. These organisations primarily target members of the security services and the army, members of religious minorities and the police. In addition, Pakistan sometimes sees large-scale attacks aiming to cause a maximum number of casualties within a specific community. Religious minorities, primarily Shi’a Muslims, are generally targeted. However, such attacks are rather the exception than the rule. The security situation in the country is further influenced by flares of violence between extremist elements and government troops in the north-west of the country as well as by the nationalist uprising in Baluchistan.