War and poverty have scattered Afghans across the globe like pieces of shrapnel. Millions of Afghans came of age in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran, and engaged in labor work. Even they are going to Persian Gulf nations to work. Currently the Afghan refugees are facing hug problem as poverty trigger them into deep uncertainty, and don’t hesitate even for labor working.
Due to insecurity, still migration continues. It has been reported that more than two million undocumented Afghans and a million Afghans with refugee statues living in Iran. There is problem at home. It is a fact that intense poverty and the absence of opportunity forces thousands of young Afghans to travel legally and illegally to Iran in search of work, but, many of them are losing their live with fighting other people’s wars. News doing round in media since longtime that the Iranian officials are sending Afghan refugees to Syria to fight for Bashar Assad’s regime.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has recruited Afghan immigrant children living in Iran to fight Syria, Human Rights Watch said. “Afghan children as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division, an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside government forces in the Syrian conflict. Under international law, recruiting children the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities is a war crime.”
Human Rights Watch researchers reviewed photographs to tombstones in Iranian cemeteries where the authorities buried combatants killed in Syria, and identified eight Afghan children who apparently fought and died in Syria. Iranian media reports also corroborated some of these cases and reported at least six more instances of Afghan child soldiers who died in Syria. According to report, since years, Iran has supported and trained thousands of Afghans, at least some of them undocumented immigrants, as part of the Fatemiyoun division, a group that an Iranian newspaper close to the government describes as volunteer Afghan forces, to fight in Syria.
Looking this, it is very much annoying to see Afghan children and adult being sent by Iranian government to fight a war which has nothing to do with us. Moreover, it is a clear violation against refugees by the host country. Noting this, it is now clear that several Afghans are now in battlefield fighting in Syria.
The National Unity Government leaders have to ask for immediate end to the current recruitment of child solider and force Iran to bring back Afghan children it has sent to fight in Syria. Misusing refugees by host state is against international laws. Sending refugees for these kinds of tasks is against the Geneva Convention. Those who are responsible for recruiting Afghan children are accountable at eyes of Afghans and international law. The government of Iran has to project Afghan refugee children, not leaving them vulnerable to unscrupulous recruiting evil agents.
We know Iran has been supporting Asad’s regime, but it should send its troops. It’s like fighting war at someone else expense. Iran has to safeguard its refugees instead of using them.
Afghanistan Times, October 3, 2017