|Urban Afghan refugees:||30,964
|Unregistered Afghans (estimated):||7,000|
|Main areas of Origin:||Logar, Kabul and Nangahar in Afghanistan|
|Ethnicities of Afghans:||Pashtun:||90%|
|Housing situation:||Majority living in rented pukka (mud) houses.|
|Additional Observations:||Hindko, Pashto Pahari, Urdu and Gojri languages are spoken by refugees.|
Most of the refugees have rented houses and have good relations with their landlords.
Refugees do report cases of police harassment and difficulties accessing government health facilities.
Urban refugees in Haripur currently receive very limited assistance.
- 907 government primary schools, including 656 for boys and 251 for girls (101,670 pupils, of which 52,240 (51%) were boys and 49,430 (49%) were girls).
- 166 mosque schools
- 83 middle schools (56 for boys and 27 for girls)
- Two colleges for girls
- A post graduate college
Private schools include the following:
- Jinnah Jamia Public school and college,
- Sir Syed Model School and college,
- Basri Public school and college,
- Sadat Model Public school,
- Hazara Public school,
- Pakistan International Public school,
- Merit schooling system,
- Beaconhouse schooling system,
- Fauji foundation model school
In Haripur the RAHA programme includes the following projects:
- School rehabilitation and construction of rooms in government school for boys in Bera.
- Provision of tables and computers in Kalabat school for boys.
Key issues with education facilities in Haripur include:
- The ratio of primary schools with the total primary school aged population indicates limited enrolment rates of the children to primary education,
- 37% of schools do not have electricity,
- 20% of schools are without latrines,
- 29% of schools have no access to water,
- 30% pf schools are without boundary walls,
- The district lacks in-service structured training programs,
- Teachers are not provided training, especially for pre-primary stage, while maths, science and computer teachers are provided with very little opportunity for on-the-job teacher training through National Institute of Science and Technical Education.
Overall, in the district, there are more boys’ schools (66%) than girls’ schools (34%), with significant gender gaps at all educational levels, but particularly after primary school.
- DHQ, Meelam Health Care Center,
- YAHYA WELFARE COMPLEX HOSPITAL,
- Shah Faisal Hospital,
- Rasheed Hospital,
- Mothercare hospital,
- Rehman Memoral Complex Hospital,
- AL GHAZI SURGICAL & GENERAL HOSPITAL,
- ABDULAH HOSPITAL,
- SHER KHAN HOSPITAL
The quality of health services available in Haripur is thought to be lower than that available in neighbouring districts.
It has also been reported that refugees often have difficulties accessing public hospitals. When they are admitted, the quality of service that they receive is also reported to be lower than that received by the host community.
Critical gaps in the provision of legal assistance in KP are the absence of key legal entitlements associated with PoR cards, a lack of clear policy and the absence of a mechanism for the management of urban refugee population. There are also legal obstacles for Afghan refugees to present surety bonds in the courts.
Sensitisation of the local authorities, law enforcement agencies and general population is required on refugees’ rights.
It is reported by refugees that the newly established dispute resolution councils operating in each police station are not working effectively, possibly as they are only staffed by Pakistanis. In general, there is a lack of refugee friendly policing initiatives in KP.
There is need to develop more interaction and coordination between urban refugees and host communities. Raising awareness in the urban refugee communities about the legal services that are provided in their area could well help.
New provincial laws regulating rental agreements for rented accommodation does not include provision for the PoR cardholders, disadvantaging them.
Nevertheless, there is great interest amongst refugees, including female refugees, for livelihoods trainings on topics as diverse as marketing, bricklaying, embroidery and finishing techniques in dress making.
While some of the specific trainings noted in each district help improve the livelihoods of Afghan refugees, three more strategic steps that would positively impact on the livelihoods of Afghan refugees in Pakistan are as follows:
- Advocacy by UNHCR on the provision of official work permits for refugees.
- Refugees become eligible for enrolment in government vocational training institutes.
- Development of linkages between skilled Afghan youth and potential employers.
Agriculture is the predominant livelihood of the rural population while in urban areas many refugees work in factories or as labourers on construction sites.
A few refugees in Haripur are self-employed, typically in carpet weaving or distribution businesses, restaurants, car sales, import-export, small shops, greengrocers or as drivers.
In urban areas, Afghan refugees rent houses, own cars, work in offices or run their own businesses.
Training on a range of vocational skills in the RAHA programme has been provided in 20 centres throughout Haripur, particularly for urban female refugees. Nevertheless, many urban refugees are not aware of these training programmes, necessitating greater outreach by UNHCR and partner organisations. In Haripur, the vast majority of the activities funded by UNHCR are focused on those refugees residing within the refugee villages (former camps).
Firstly, many refugee children are sent to work by their parents who are often forced into this situation due to extreme poverty. Even those children that do attend school during the day often still have to work in the evening / at night. The parents are generally unaware of the hazards and protection risks child labour presents. Greater advocacy both at national policy level and within communities raising awareness about these risks is required.
Secondly, the identification of child protection, domestic violence, early and forced marriages and SGBV issues are severely constrained by the cultural norms within the Afghan refugee and host communities. As a result these issues are substantially underreported. Advocacy within communities raising awareness about basic human rights is required.
Particularly in relation to SGBV incidents, due to cultural / societal taboos, many refugee SGBV survivors are themselves unwilling or unable to seek external help. Often if they do, they are stigmatised within the community. Furthermore, refugee women often do not perceive violence as an offense against them or a violation of their rights. Rather these acts are often considered by refugee women as a practice to be endured. The promotion of women’s rights within these communities is a clear priority. While most Afghans are not willing to discuss such sensitive topics openly, a way needs to be found to effectively raise awareness of SGBV and women’s health services within the Afghan community.
Thirdly, most communities neglect to include women and children in decision making processes. Greater participation of these two groups would help refugees to build stronger, more inclusive communities. Unfortunately, it has been reported that even the organisations providing these services often lack awareness on the importance of equal opportunities for women, which is reflected in these organisations employing more men than women. General protection oriented trainings are required by partner organisations.
Fourthly, a discriminatory attitude by services providers towards non-Pakistanis attempting to avail their services has been reported in a number of districts. General protection oriented trainings for these service providers would help improve the impartiality and neutrality of these services.
Lastly, discrimination because of disabilities is very prevalent and mental health issues in particular are often not diagnosed. Again, advocacy on these issues within refugee communities is direly needed.
For urban refugees, no referral pathways exist to report child protection issues, domestic violence, early and forced marriages or SGBV incidents. As well as cultural restraints, this is also partly due to a lack of community structures and therefore community leadership in Haripur in urban settings.
Urban refugees in Haripur receive very little assistance.
No organised communal security structures are in place in any urban area throughout KP province.
After the tragic 16 December 2014 terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, the government and host population attitudes to Afghan refugees has hardened. Additional local policing was introduced in several urban areas to improve the security situation, but there have been allegations of harassment and financial extortion by these additional police. In addition, the police themselves have been targeted by opposition militias and the Taliban. As a result, the number of casualties due to security incidents has increased in several refugee communities, particularly in localities in the south of Peshawar. Also, notably, humanitarian polio vaccination teams have been targeted.
Urban areas have often received relatively less support than refugees residing in refugee villages (former camps).
The loose communal structures and ad hoc refugee committees in various areas with significant refugee populations are not recognised by any government organisations. Despite continued capacity building efforts by UNHCR of policy makers, police, the judiciary, the high level district management and the security agencies, many government officials remain unaware of refugee rights and Pakistan’s obligations under international law.
Unilateral actions by law enforcement agencies including the closure of refugee villages (former camps), evictions, harassment, arrest, detention and deportation of the registered Afghans has become a common practice. It is fair to say that the prolonged poor security situation in KP has had a very detrimental impact on many local communities, whether Pakistani or Afghan or both.
Local law enforcement agencies also lack up-to-date tools to verify PoR cards at e.g. check posts.
With respect to unregistered Afghan migrants, there are currently no reliable estimates of how many reside in KP. Typically, they live in scattered communities with little unity between different tribal groups. They have limited information regarding social and legal services and are often wary of availing these services in fear of being deported under the foreigners act when they attend a particular service.
However, open drains can be a serious health risk, spreading diseases especially during the monsoon season. Drains need to be cleaned and covered.
Urban refugees have received very limited support e.g. through the RAHA programme as compared with other urban clusters of refugees or those refugees still living in refugee villages (former camps).