Pakistan — Flow Monitoring of Undocumented Afghan Migrants: Summary Report 2020




Period Covered
Jan 01 2020
Dec 31 2020
  • Flow Monitoring

In 2020, thousands of undocumented Afghan nationals returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan. Many of those returning have lived outside Afghanistan for decades and some were born in Pakistan. This population will need support from the Afghan government and humanitarian actors, both on arrival, and as they seek to reintegrate into a country faced with widespread conflict, displacement and scarce economic opportunities. With co-funding from the European Union and the Government of Australia, IOM collects information on the volume, profiles and vulnerabilities of returnees especially undocumented Afghan migrants from Pakistan at two official border points between the two countries.

This information is collected as part of the Flow Monitoring (FM) component of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which has been implemented in Pakistan since 2017. More specifically, FM tracks flows of migrant groups and individuals as they cross two transit locations, the Torkham and Chaman/Spin Boldak (further referred to in this report as “Chaman”) border crossings. At these locations, information on the numbers, socio-economic profiles and vulnerabilities of undocumented Afghan returnees and Afghan Citizen Card holding returnees is collected, analyzed and disseminated bi-weekly.
This report aims to contribute to a better understanding of the return movements of undocumented Afghan returnees by conducting more in-depth analysis on the data that was collected in 2020 at the Torkham and Chaman border crossings. The data, which is collected at regular intervals, gives us the unique opportunity to uncover specific trends regarding the volume of flows, profiles and vulnerabilities of undocumented Afghan returnees.

The analysis of the data, which was collected in 2020 at the two border crossing points, indicates that the number of returnees has decreased significantly in comparison to the previous year, 6,661 individuals in 2020 compared to 17,286 in 2019. Besides a variety of push and pull factors, the steep decline in return movements can also be attributed to the closure of the borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it more difficult for Afghan nationals to return to their home country.