Which countries are taking in Afghan refugees and which countries are not?
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has resulted in a human catastrophe as it has triggered a mass exodus of Afghan people who are desperate to flee the clutches of the Taliban. But where will they go? On Sunday, Russia and Austria have made it clear that they don't want Afghan refugees for various reasons. Some countries are accepting Afghan refugees while some are weighing their options and are not too keen to expand their refugee programmes.
Pakistan and Iran have taken in the maximum number of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in 2020, reports said. They are followed by Germany, Turkey, Austria, France, Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, India, Italy, UK etc.
List of countries that are accepting Afghan refugees
The United States will accept people from Afghanistan who have previously worked with the government. Reports said these Afghans will be temporarily sheltered in Albania, Kosovo or northern Macedonia, the three Balkan countries in Europe which have opened their doors to Afghan refugees.
United Kingdom: The United Kingdom said it can take up to 20,000 Afghans over the long term with priority given to women, children and those facing persecution.
Australia: Australia has plans to provide at least 3,000 visas to Afghans over a year. It will not allow thousands of Afghans inside the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said. "I note that some are talking about figures of 20,000 but can I tell you there are no clear plans about that. Australia is not going into that territory," he said.
Tajikistan: In July, Tajikistan said it was ready to take in up to one lakh Afghan refugees.
Canada: Around 20,000 Afghan refugees have already fled to Canada.
Germany: Angela Merkel has told her party that the country needs to take in about 10,000 Afghans who are at risk.
India: India is committed to evacuating Hindus and Sikhs who want to come to India. It has introduced a new category of e-visa, which will be valid for six months, as of now.
Iran: Reports said Iran has set up emergency tents for refugees in three provinces that border Afghanistan.
Pakistan: Pakistan said it would seal its border with Afghanistan but so far Afghans have been allowed to cross over to Pakistan.
Countries with a conservative stance on taking in Afghan refugees
Reports said Turkey is reinforcing its border with Iran to stop a potential influx of fleeing Afghans. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey will not become Europe's "refugee warehouse".
Austria’s government said it won’t accept asylum seekers fleeing the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and will instead focus on assisting them locally. “I am clearly against voluntarily accepting more people,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, according to excerpts of an interview published by broadcaster Puls 24. “That won’t happen on my watch.”
Russia has said that it does not want Afghan militants arriving under the cover of refugees.
Emmanuel Macron said France will protect those who are in danger but at the same time he pointed out that Europe has to protect itself from "significant waves of illegal migrants".