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Data show Afghans are increasingly relying on smuggling

According to latest Quarterly Update on Asia from the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC), data collected from the 4MI project show Afghan migrants are reporting an increasing reliance on smugglers and paying higher fees for their services. For one route, Zaranj, Afghanistan, to Istanbul, Turkey, the fee increased from USD 1500 in the first quarter of 2020 to USD 2200 in the third quarter August 2021. 


Behind the increased reliance on smuggling and higher fees are land border closures, lack of consular services and policed or militarized borders in neighboring countries, which limit regular migration pathways and drive Afghans to seek irregular pathways out of Afghanistan.

4MI data also show new migration routes appearing. Though traditional routes are still in use, the use of cheaper but riskier routes is emerging.  At the same time, protection risks are on the rise along the border of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and beyond. According to 423 Afghans interviewed by 4MI in Turkey since August 2021, the most prevalent risks from Afghanistan to Turkey via Pakistan and Iran are physical violence, robbery, detention and death.  

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