This report assesses the impact on children of being returned from Europe to Afghanistan. Through interviews with individual children, their parents or guardians, and with governmental and non-governmental actors, it builds a picture of children’s material, physical, legal and psychosocial safety during the returns process. Returns processes implemented by EU member states and Norway are examined to analyse where European governments are failing to provide appropriate support.
The exact number of children returned from Europe to Afghanistan is unknown. Our research team spoke with 579 of these children during spring 2018. In addition, Save the Children carried out interviews, consultations and focus group discussions with Afghan children, young people and families in Sweden and Norway.
The results are disturbing: nearly three-quarters of the children interviewed did not feel safe during the returns process. Over half reported instances of violence and coercion and nearly half arrived in Afghanistan alone or were escorted by police. On arrival, the children received little or no support, and only three had a specific reintegration plan. (...)