Demonstrators demand that Afghan youth be allowed to stay

DemonstratorsOslo.Demonstrators.Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Two hundred protesters participated in a torch lit march demanding that the so-called ‘October children’ (Oktoberbarna) are not be sent back to Afghanistan.


Oktoberbarna are 130 Afghan asylum seekers who came to Norway in 2015. They are 18 in October, according to the Norwegian authorities, and thus lose the protection they have had as minors. Immigration authorities have decided that they will be sent back to their war-torn homeland, the.
Actor, Lena Kristin Ellingsen, was among those who appealed in front of the parliament building on Wednesday evening.
‘I totally disagree with the way politicians treat these kids. They have experienced things we cant get into. It’s inhumane that they are sent back’, she told TV 2.

Vergeforeningen Følgesvennen, the Organisation for Refugees Welcome, and Enough is Enough were behind the demonstration on Wednesday, but a number of other organisations, including The Workers’ Youth League (AUF),The Kristelig Folkeparti Youth Section (KrFU), Unge Venstre and Socialist Youth supported it.

Safe enough?

The security situation in Afghanistan is very difficult, but the Norwegian authorities believe it safe to send the refugees home.
Only two provinces, Nangarhar and Helmand, are considered so insecure that no one can be returned there.

However, some refugees from these provinces can be returned via so-called internal flight to Kabul, according to Norwegian authorities. The Norwegian practice is controversial and criticised by Amnesty International.

Insufficient security situation

Landinfo, the body that gives immigration authorities facts about the situation in different countries, recently published fresh reports about Kabul and Eastern Afghanistan.

It reported that the security situation in Afghanistan is fluid, invisible and  can change rapidly. It  pointed out that it is difficult to obtain reliable information about the situation outside of Kabul, and that, with the exception of the UN operation UNAMA, there are no sources that systematically report the security situation for civilians in Afghanistan.

Civil victims

Kabul experienced great suffering for civilians in the last year.

‘In the province of Kabul, there was a significant increase of 26%  civilian victims (killed and injured) in the first half of 2017, compared to the previous year, said one report.

219 civilians were killed, and 829 were injured. A major car bomb attack in May was the cause of over half of the civilian victims in the capital.

‘UNAMA’s records show that Kabul is the province of Afghanistan where most civilians are killed and injured in conflict-related violence


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today