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UNHCR Pakistan Factsheet – 30 November 2018

*14,017 Afghan registered refugees (PoR cardholders) repatriated to Afghanistan from 1 March � 30 November 2018.

*23,550 Afghan refugee births registered from 1 January � 30 November 2018.

83,364 IDP individuals (13,894 families) returned to their areas of origin in Pakistan since 1 January 2018.

Working with Partners

UNHCR's main counterparts for refugees within the government of Pakistan are the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, the Chief Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees at the federal level and the Commissionerates for Afghan Refugees, at the provincial level. In addition, UNHCR works with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Economic Affairs Division (EAD).

UNHCR implements activities through national and international non-governmental organisations.

Main Activities Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (2018 � 2019)

The regional multi-year Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) provides a framework for cooperation between humanitarian and development actors to address the needs of Afghan refugees. The main goal of the SSAR is to identify and implement lasting solutions for refugees, while providing assistance to host communities. The SSAR prioritises the promotion of youth empowerment through inter-linked interventions in the areas of education, vocational skills training and livelihoods. The Government of Pakistan endorsed the extension of the SSAR framework for 2018-19.

Protection and Durable Solutions

Voluntary Repatriation: UNHCR operates two voluntary repatriation centres (VRCs) in Quetta, Balochistan and Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for refugees wishing to repatriate to Afghanistan. Families who want to repatriate are de-registered at the VRC, and their Proof of Registration (PoR) card (an identity card for Afghan refugees that grants temporary legal stay in Pakistan and protection against refoulement) is cut in the corner. Returnees receive a cash grant of approximately USD 200 per individual upon arrival at one of the three UNHCR encashment centres in Afghanistan. The voluntary repatriation programme re-started on 1 March 2018 after a break due to the winter.

Legal Assistance: UNHCR operates nine Advice and Legal Aid Centres (ALACs) which provide legal assistance to refugees and conduct awareness-raising activities. In the majority of cases, UNHCR and its partners managed to obtain the release of the arrested refugees by law enforcement agencies before the official lodging of charges against them which resulted in their release from detention within 24 hours. Birth registration, police harassment, information on repatriation, PoR card modification and the registration exercise of undocumented Afghans were the issues of greatest concern observed during the reporting period. Out-of-court legal assistance was provided to 98 persons of concern, mostly related to police harassment, PoR card verifications, rental agreements and affidavits.

UNHCR and ALAC staff organised a total of 59 legal and shura meetings, reaching 986 participants (46 per cent were women) in the reporting month. Sixty-one per cent of the legal sessions were held in refugee villages and the remaining sessions in urban areas of Pakistan. Through these legal sessions, refugees shared various issues affecting their communities. UNHCR partner staff informed refugees of available free legal aid and UNHCR helpline services.

UNHCR and its legal partner organised three training sessions on refugee rights,

UNHCR's mandate and international protection for police officers in Hyderabad,

Gujranwala, and Quetta in which 123 police personnel participated.

UNHCR provides support to four Proof of Registration Cards Modification (PCMs) centres operated by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) nationwide. The PCM centres support the modification/replacement of existing PoR cards, the registration of new born children up to the age of five, provision of PoR cards to registered children older than five years of age and the issuance of birth certificates to children under the age of 18. A total of 23,550 children were registered and 17,701 children received birth certificates between 1 January to 30 November 2018.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees