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Parliamentary questions
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11 September 2019
Question for written answer E-002714-19
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 138
Urmas Paet (Renew)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Afghan refugees in Pakistan
 Answer in writing 

According to Human Rights Watch, Pakistan is responsible for the world’s largest forced return of refugees and undocumented workers. Through a series of policies, including abusive policing techniques, financial pressure and promoting negative public attitudes, some 365 000 registered Afghan refugees and 200 000 undocumented Afghan migrants have been forced to return home.

According to international law and the principle of non-refoulement, returning refugees to a country not deemed safe is prohibited. In light of the current situation in Afghanistan, I would like to know if the EU considers Afghanistan a ‘safe country’ for the return of refugees?

If not, does the Commission acknowledge that Pakistan’s forced return of Afghan refugees is a violation of its GSP+ obligations, given that Pakistan is a beneficiary of this programme, which includes the ratification and effective implementation of the Convention against Torture as an obligatory precondition? If Pakistan is in breach of its obligations, what steps is the Commission taking to re-evaluate Pakistan’s GSP+ status, given its treatment of Afghan refugees?

What does EU do to support Afghan refugees who find themselves in this precarious situation?

Last updated: 25 September 2019Legal notice