The IRC's new report ‘Two years on: Still no safe pathways for Afghans,’ reveals the EU’s staggering neglect of the needs of Afghans seeking protection - leaving millions stranded in Afghanistan or neighbouring countries, and failing to provide adequate safety and inclusion for the small proportion who manage to reach Europe.

The report sets out a roadmap to overcome these immediate challenges, and put in place a sustainable, longer-term plan for Europe to welcome Afghans at risk, in line with its own values and its true capacity to welcome.”

Read our press release and download the report.

About the report

Despite representing the third largest refugee population globally, only 271 Afghans were resettled in the EU last year - just 0.1% of the 270,000 Afghans currently in need of resettlement. 

Separately to resettlement, many of the complementary schemes set up by EU states to bring Afghans to safety have failed to materialise at scale or fallen short of their targets. 

As a result, the vast majority of Afghans are left stranded in neighbouring countries, while some resort to dangerous journeys in search of safety and protection in Europe.

The tiny proportion that reach Europe face further dangers - including violent pushbacks, prison-like detention, and a lack of reception and integration support.

The report explores the many challenges faced by Afghan refugees and asylum seekers seeking protection in Europe, and outlines what the EU must do to better welcome and support Afghan refugees. Download the report.

An Afghan woman looks at the camera while standing against a wall

I had high hopes for my asylum procedure, but it took me two and a half years to get a positive answer… Waiting for an answer was a very difficult and anxious time for me, as I was without my two children in this foreign country whose culture I did not know. I had no choice but to wait and hope that one day I would be able to offer my children a safe life here. Unfortunately, my wish has not yet been fulfilled, as I have not yet been able to bring my child to me. This greatly disappoints me, and I miss my older son, who is still in Kabul, very much. Even as I am telling this, I am crying. I hope that I will be able to hold him in my arms again soon.

aged 60, from Afghanistan and currently living in Germany

The IRC is calling on the EU and its member states to urgently:

  1. Scale up safe routes to protection, first, by expanding refugee resettlement - EU states should resettle more than 42,500 Afghan refugees over the coming five years - and second, by establishing more safe routes and scaling up those currently in place.
  2. Ensure access to asylum, dignified reception and lasting support for asylum seekers and refugees in Europe, regardless of where they are from or how they arrive.
  3. Draw lessons from the response to this crisis, including establishing an emergency response mechanism to trigger and coordinate EU efforts on safe and regular routes to protection in response to future emergencies.

How you can help

Help spread the word about our new report and how the EU can better welcome and support Afghans at risk by sharing the IRC's Tweet below:

You can also use our pre-prepared tweet to post from your own Twitter account.