Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU

Afghanistan case study

  • Created by: Kelleigh
  • Created on: 05-06-12 13:49

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - Refug

A definition of a refugee:

Defined in article 1(a) of the 1951 refugee convention (UN) as a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of rac, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his or her nationality (or former habitual residence) and is unable to return for fear of persecution

1 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - locat

Afghanistan is strategically placed between the middle east, central asia and the indian subcontinent

2 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - push


For centuries, foreign armies have fought over it and tried to conquer it

Many have been defeated by the rugged terrain - mountains cover four fifths of the land - and fierce resistance from the different tribal groups

Ethnic, religious and regional rivalries and the terrain have also made it hard for the authorities in the capital, Kabul, to rule the country

Soviet invasion - the overthrow of Afghanistan's King Zahir Shah in 1973 sparked a chain of events that led to decades of unrest. Reforms imposed by a Moscow-backed regime sparked rebellions and, in 1979, soviet troops invaded Afghanistan. US-backed Islamic fighters known as mujahedeen - among them Osama Bin Laden - fought the soviets and the country became a cold war battleground

In 1989, the USSR withdrew in defeat, leaving behind a devastated country and hundreds of thousands of dead Afghans

3 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - push

The rise of the Taliban

After soviet forces left, a number of Afghan faction continued to fight for control of the country. In 1994, the hard-line Islamic Taliban emerged. By the late 1990s they controlled most of Afghanistan with their strict version of Sharia law

The Taliban angered the international community by letting Osama Bin Laden, and other Al-Qaeda members, live there. In 2001, after the 9/11 attacks on the US, the Taliban refused to hand him over, paving the way for a new war

US-led war. In october 2001, the US and its allies launched a bombing campaign against the Taliban marking the beginning of America's "war on terror". Within weeks, US-led troops and local fighters forced the Taliban from Kabul and drove them from power. Several tens of thousands of US and other foreign troops remain in Afghansitan hunting Taliban supporters who have regrouped since 2003

4 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - push

Very poor country

Rebuiling the country - years of fighting have left Afghanistan in ruins - it is one of the poorest countries in the world. International donors have poured billions of dollars into the country, but the government says it needs more

5 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - push

Uncertain future

Islamic militants, warlords and the booming drugs trade are among the greatest threats to stability. The authorities have limited power outside Kabul, and huge swathes of teh country are racked by insurgent violence or controlled by warlords once funded by the US to fight the Taliban.

Many of these powerful regional militia chiefs have a history of drug trafficking and human rights abuses

The state of lawlessness is fuelled by the opium trade trade. Despite a ban on poppy crops, Afghanistan still produces about 90% of the world's opium

6 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - pull

Safe country

Chances of employment

UK has a high GDP

UK has a good health service and education

A high standard of living

7 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - conse

There will be a range of consequences, both positive and negative for the countries of destination of the Afghan refugees. These may include:

  • Cultural diversification and emergence of a more multi-ethnic society
  • Unwanted jobs filled by cheap labour
  • Discrimination agrainst immigrants, particularly if members of ethnic minorities
  • Pressure on food supplies, housing, jobs, services, etc. 
8 of 9

Afghanistan - Refugees migrating to the EU - conse

Negative consequences include:

  • loss of human resources, e.g. labour, enterprise, skills
  • Communities and regions drawn into a vivious circle of decline
  • The splitting up of families and communities
9 of 9


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Population change resources »