Our media monitoring section features the latest news on data about Afghanistan and migration. It also provides a weekly overview of the most discussed topics in the media and useful information on IOM’s and other international responses.
In this period, the media coverage continued to focus on the humanitarian and security situation in Afghanistan particularly on the human rights situation in the country.
The issues raised in the articles also have implications for migration. Various articles also reported about Afghans on the move and and pushbacks of Afghans on the Balkan route. According to EuroStat, a total of 560,710 first-time asylum applications were filled by Afghan nationals in the European Union (EU-27) countries between 2015 and 2020 (Eurostat, 2021). Learn more about Afghans on the move in our data spotlights.
In the first half of February human rights and humanitarian issues remained at the forefront of international media coverage on Afghanistan. While the Taliban continued diplomatic talks with governments and UN officials, recent detentions of journalists and women activists in Afghanistan made international headlines.
Some reports noted that while Taliban officials demand to unfreeze national assets, the decision by United States President Joe Biden to allocate part of Afghanistan’s unfrozen funds to victims of 9/11 has sparked protests in Afghanistan. News outlets also reported on the Taliban’s various diplomatic visits including meetings with WHO’s Director General.
All of the issues raised in the various articles have implications for migration and mobility. The vulnerable situation of Afghan women and girls, gender-based discrimination and violence, as well as a disproportionate impact of the decades-long economic and political instability have been strong drivers of migration and displacement.
In this period, media coverage has focused mainly on the economic, humanitarian and human rights situation of people in Afghanistan. Reports noted that amidst concerns of lack of international aid and the grave humanitarian situation, Taliban officials have conducted diplomatic visits to build relations with other countries and the UN system to access international funds. Some articles continue to report on evacuations, media in Germany reported that many people fleeing the Taliban, still hope to get help from governments, such as Germany. Natural disasters such as the 5.3 magnitude earthquake in the Western Region of Afghanistan on 17 January, which killed at least 26 people, add to the grim humanitarian situation many Afghans are currently facing, fueled by severe drought.
All the issues raised in the various articles have implications for migration. As of the end of 2020, an estimated total of 4.6 million Afghans were living in internal displacement. Among the stock of IDPs globally, Afghanistan hosted the highest number of IDPs due to disasters and the fifth highest number of IDPs due to conflict and violence (IDMC, 2021). See the Portal spotlight on internal displacement in Afghanistan for current operational data.
In the first two weeks of 2022, media coverage on Afghanistan focused primarily on the precarious humanitarian situation in the country. Several reports covered the UN appeals for increased support (the largest single country aid appeal ever) as the country continues to grapple with harsh weather conditions in addition to challenges such as food insecurity and access to education for women and girls. Media exposure in this reporting period, namely the results of news searches related to Afghanistan and migration saw a rise on 7 January but otherwise remained similar to the two previous periods. Learn more below.
Between 16-31 December, media coverage focused on the growing security challenges in Afghanistan and their impacts on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country. The vulnerability of Afghan women, food insecurity, and he situation of Afghans fleeing into neighboring countries were also featured in various media outlets.
Between 30 November and 15 December, media coverage on Afghanistan focused mainly on the looming humanitarian crisis and the increasing food security in the country. Several media outlets also continued reporting on the evacuation of Afghan nationals, resettlement efforts, as well as the human rights situation in the country.
Between 15-29 November, media coverage focused on the growing economic instability in Afghanistan and further deterioration of living conditions in the country. The situation of Afghans fleeing into neighboring countries was also featured in various media outlets, as well as the vulnerable situation of women in the country.
In the week of 07-14 November, media attention has focused on acute food insecurity due to drought and the country’s economic collapse. Media outlets worldwide have also reported on the ongoing evacuation efforts of the Government Germany. During this period, several outlets covered forced returns back to Afghanistan. Media reports the issue of return, forced and voluntary, amidst the compounding challenges facing Afghanistan.
The media coverage is in line with an IOM survey in which 80 per cent of respondents in the country say they have lost their jobs and livelihoods. A joint report from the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) notes that more than half the population of Afghanistan will face high levels of "acute food insecurity" from November to March.
According to IOM, just over one million Afghans have been sent back this year, including more than 28,000 Afghans in the last week of October. "The majority were deported, returning to Afghanistan often broke and broken, in need of health support, food and rest," said IOM Director General, António Vitorino. Read the latest statement here.
Disclaimer: This webpage curates public information and data. The opinions expressed in this webpage are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nor its Member States and other stakeholders. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the webpage do not imply expression of any opinion or endorsement whatsoever on the part of IOM, its Member States and other stakeholders concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries. While the portal section "Afghanistan: Migration statistics, policy and news" has been made possible with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Switzerland, the contents on this section do not necessarily reflect their official policy or position.