Afghanistan has experienced decades of political instability, economic challenges, conflict and insecurity. This context has created a complex picture of migration and displacement marked by large numbers of internally displaced persons, migrants and returnees. The complex migration context remains understudied and little is known on how migration decisions are reached and how decision-making evolves over time.
Sustained Interest, Delayed Migration: Emerging Irregular Migration Dynamics in Afghanistan is the third installation of a longitudinal study on migration from Afghanistan. For this round of data collection, the same structured survey used in the previous report was administered to 187 Afghans in 16 provinces, each of whom had previously participated in the research.
Key findings show that among the potential migrants sampled:
- the majority continued to express demand for irregular migration in light of local migration drivers;
- economic concerns remained relatively constant as a primary migration driver but there was a substantial increase in respondents who mentioned lack of security as a reason to migrate;
- there was a substantial drop in the use of word-of-mouth information channels, suggesting that respondents are engaging with Facebook in new ways;
- word-of-mouth sources, especially friends and family at home, still remained key to decision-making;
- the majority was motivated to leave due to security concerns at home, but afraid to leave due to the risk of violence abroad;
- there was a shift in employment profiles, with more respondents being self-employed; and
- a broad negative view of returnees, highlighting steep social and psychosocial reintegration challenges awaiting migrants who come back to Afghanistan.