Legal assistance – AJK, Islamabad and Punjab

The PoR card lacks certain important legal entitlements including the ability for the bearer to open bank accounts, apply for a driving licence, or seek admission at universities. The policy on Hajj for Afghan refugees is also opaque. Greater advocacy with ministries of law, justice and human rights is required to facilitate Afghan PoR card holders to exercise their legal rights in their country of asylum.

Host communities are not aware of refugees’ rights in their country of asylum, often resulting in xenophobia. This could be addressed, at least in part, through mass awareness raising campaigns.

In AJK, Islamabad and Punjab, there is a surprising lack of awareness among the law enforcement agencies and relevant government stakeholders regarding the PoR cards (Proof of Registration identity cards) and refugees’ rights more generally.

Lastly, Afghan refugees need to be able to earn a living given the often protracted nature of their displacement from Afghanistan which will require extensive advocacy with Government of Pakistan and detailed liaison with ILO.