Winter suspension of facilitated voluntary repatriation from Pakistan
All registered Afghans in possession of valid Proof of Registration (PoR) cards are informed that UNHCR’s facilitated voluntary repatriation process will be suspended from 1 December 2019 until 28 February 2020 due to the winter season. The facilitated voluntary repatriation process will resume on 2 March 20120.
During the winter break, UNHCR will not be facilitating repatriation from the Voluntary Repatriation Centres (VRCs) at Azakhel, Nowshera and Baleli, Quetta.
Kabul, Samar Khel and Jamal Mayna Encashment Centres in Afghanistan will also not be in operation.
Registered refugees who are not able to formally deregister at the VRCs in Pakistan and who return without a Voluntary Repatriation Form will not be assisted with cash grants and will not have access to Encashment Centres in Afghanistan.
During the winter break, the Proof of Registration card retains its validity and registered PoR cardholders will be accorded their full rights as refugees in Pakistan.
UNHCR offices in Pakistan will continue to provide counselling, information and assistance to refugees during the winter break.
Registered refugees (PoR cardholders) who face harassment, extortion or ill treatment should contact UNHCR for assistance or call the protection helpline numbers below.
All services provided by UNHCR in Pakistan and Afghanistan are free of charge.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa helpline: 0300 858 5600; 03000544491-8
Balochistan helpline: 0333 781 9601; 03331511636
Sindh helpline: 0342 270 4888
Islamabad/ Punjab/ Pakistan Administered Kashmir helpline: 0300 501 8568
Information on UNHCR’s Voluntary Repatriation Programme
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Proof of Registration Card Modification (PCM) Centres
The document titled ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on PCM Centre Activities’ provides information on birth registration, how to obtain birth certificates, modify Proof of Registration (PoR) cards and obtain duplicate cards. Information regarding the significance and procedures of registering new-born children (up to five years of age) with their parents who are already holding PoR cards and receiving birth certificates aims to address a lack of awareness among the refugee population, which has been identified as one of the main reasons behind the large gap in birth registration of Afghan refugee children. Birth registration and birth certificates are critically important means to help determine the child’s identity, age and nationality and to ensure it will be able to enjoy fundamental rights such as access to education, job opportunities, legal marriage, issuance of ID cards/passports and many public services including medical assistance.
The FAQs also inform how Afghan refugees can make get legal assistance. The ALACs/ILAC offer legal assistance and legal representation to refugees and asylum-seekers across the main refugee-hosting areas in Pakistan. ALAC/ILAC activities are focused on cases of unlawful arrest/detention on immigration grounds, civil/family matters and legal response to victims of sexual or gender-based violence. Furthermore, legal advice is provided to refugees through legal camps, shura meetings, community sessions, door-to-door visits and indoor counselling services on issues related to their stay in Pakistan, their documentary status including Proof of Registration (PoR) card validity, renewal or modification, birth registration, police harassment, access/referral to available public services and facilitated voluntary repatriation. ALACs/ILAC work in close coordination with law enforcement authorities and provide regular training sessions to them as well as members of the judiciary on refugee law and refugees’ rights in Pakistan.
Q&A about UNHCR’s Advice and Legal Aid Programme
Q&A about Resettlement
INFORMATION ON ALERTS AND DANGERS
UNHCR is concerned regarding the circulation of misinformation on social media and through other channels for refugees who may wish to go to Europe.
UNHCR CAUTIONS REFUGEES