Afghanistan Geneva Mission: Taliban’s forced displacement will increase risks of human trafficking

Afghanistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva has expressed concerns over the Taliban’s forced displacement flows, saying it will increase the risks of human trafficking and exploitation.

Mohibullah Taib, Counsellor of Human Rights at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Geneva, said in a UN Human Rights Council meeting, that the Taliban authorities continue to conduct a “systematic” policy of forcible displacement of mainly local communities in the country’s north and west.

The Taliban takeover in August 2021 contributed to internal displacements and triggered a large wave of migration outside the country as tens of thousands of people try to flee to neighboring countries or the West in a bid for better lives.

According to the Afghanistan diplomat in Geneva, the Taliban leadership has created an “oppressive” environment that has left many with no choice but to flee, only to “face pushbacks” and “accelerated refugee status determination procedures”.

“Victims of trafficking remain left without assistance or protection,” Taib said in his speech. “Consistent anti-trafficking efforts have been severely hindered since the military takeover of Afghanistan. The Taliban have shut down shelters and protective services for trafficking victims.”

The Afghanistan Mission in Geneva has urged the international community to ensure “effective access to asylum and international protection” for Afghanistan refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) to protect them and prevent trafficking in persons.

The unfolding developments in Afghanistan show that the Taliban are relocating thousands of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members across the northern and central regions of the country. This move has triggered concerns over the mass forced displacement of local residents from their native lands.

While Pakistan has welcomed the Taliban’s plan, opposition groups have warned that TTP relocation would have “fatal” consequences for the stability of the country and erupt in ethnic divide and tensions.