IOM Afghanistan Opens a photo exhibition on International Migrants Day: “Stories of Afghans”

18 December, Kabul – On 18 December, on International Migrants Day, IOM opened  a week-long photo exhibition in Kabul, Afghanistan, that highlights the experiences of migrants across Afghanistan. The exhibition emphasizes the roles and contributions of Afghan women while exploring migrants’ stories. 

Afghans face the compounding effects of conflict, diseases, disaster, and climate change. These factors contribute to the decisions of many to move, both internally and internationally, in search of better economic opportunities, stability, and safety. Many Afghan encounter significant risks along their migratory journeys, particularly those who resort to irregular pathways or are forced to move. 
“In our work, we meet and assist many Afghans along their journeys of migration and recovery, and each one has a story. We thought the best way to celebrate this day would be to bring their voices and stories to Kabul, as a reminder of the challenges they face, the amazing resilience of Afghans and the need to keep listening and seeking solutions with them” said Maria Moita, IOM Chief of Mission in Afghanistan.
The photo exhibition brings together a series of migration-related stories from all around the country to help represent the complex experiences of those on the move, as well as contextualize some of the opportunities and challenges linked to migration in Afghanistan. 

“Reflecting on the human mobility trends in Afghanistan, it remains a priority to ensure that these migratory movements are safe and regular.  Durable Solutions is a priority for my office and is in line with Secretary General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement and I am pleased to see IOM’s commitment on this”, added Ramiz Alakbarov, D-SRSG and Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Afghanistan. 

As a country with high mobility, Afghanistan witnessed roughly 4.6 million returns between January 2021 and April 2022, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. In addition, hundreds of thousands have moved across borders on a regular basis. In 2022, almost 900,000 undocumented Afghan nationals have returned from Pakistan and Iran.  
“Many rural women are moving to urban centres or leaving the country altogether, which poses a particular challenge as they are often undocumented and must resort to unsafe and irregular migration, exposing them to multiple risks including trafficking. As such, I am pleased to hear about IOM’s third pillar of its new country strategy and to work with IOM towards this shared goal” emphasized Alison Davidian, Special Representative of UN WOMEN in Afghanistan.

For more information please contact:

In Kabul: Léo Torréton, Media and Communications Officer,, +93 7 93 20 60 74