Afghans began to flee to Iran and Pakistan in 1979 when war broke out in their home country. Currently, there are about one million Afghan refugees in Iran and 1.4 million in Pakistan. The majority of them were born in their countries of asylum and have never been to Afghanistan.. Yet, the preferred solution of the Iranian and Pakistani Governments is for Afghans to repatriate. In addition to registered refugees, it is estimated that there are also between 1.5 and two million undocumented Afghans in Iran and one million in Pakistan. Many of these undocumented Afghans have valid international protection needs, but were unable to receive or maintain refugee status from their host countries.
Background paper prepared for the 2019 Global education monitoring report: Migration, displacement and education: building bridges, not walls