EU signs 'deal' with Kabul allowing member states to deport asylum seekers
The agreement called the Joint Way Forward, also opens up the deportation of women and children, which at the moment almost exclusively happens from Norway. Photograph: (Getty)
The European Union (EU) has signed a deal with the Afghan government under which its member states will be allowed to deport an ‘unlimited number’ of asylum seekers from the country, the Guardian reported on Monday.
According to the British daily, the deal was being worked upon for months, leading to a large EU-hosted donor conference in Brussels this week. Donors in the conference are expected to pledge about $3 billion a year for Afghanistan through 2020.
Meanwhile, Guardian's report suggests that in a previously leaked memo, the EU hinted stripping Afghanistan of aid if its government did not cooperate.
The deal was signed on Sunday and has not been made public but the Guardian reports that Kabul will commit to re-admitting any Afghan citizen who has not been granted asylum in Europe and those who do not want to go back voluntarily. The agreement called the 'Joint Way Forward' also opens up the deportation of women and children, which at the moment almost exclusively happens from Norway.
“Special measures will ensure that such vulnerable groups receive adequate protection, assistance and care throughout the whole process.”
If family members in Afghanistan cannot be located, unaccompanied children can be returned only with “adequate reception and caretaking arrangement having been put in place in Afghanistan”, the text of the agreement says, as per the report.