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Rising plight of Afghan kids in Iran
The Afghans are facing discrimination in Iran every now and then. `Shargh' newspaper reported on 6th January that an Iranian school's principal beat the students belonging to Afghanistan. He left the marks on their faces and told them that their population is too much to bear and they have to leave Iran.

According to the media reports in Iran, the government tried its best to suppress such news but these stories are making the rounds, as Afghans are subjected to physical and mental harassment and discrimination. The monitoring agencies and the education ministry have attempted to restrain such information to come in public domain but by chance it is coming out now.

Shirzad Abdollahi, an expert in Iranian education affairs informed the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about it. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that Iran is host to one of the largest refugee populations in the world with 950,000 Afghans registered in 2005. Abdollahi also said that the mistreatment with the Iranian children in the form of physical or verbal abuse and even humiliation is common in Iran. But when it comes to Afghan kids, it is worse due to lower protection they have been offered.

The abusive staffs are also not getting punished generally. Many undocumented students do not even get any opportunity to attend the school, which is definitely a violation of international law that guarantees the right to education. On January 16, 2016, an Afghan kid from Pakdasht city was beaten and expelled from the school for not paying the tuition fee. The parents were unable to pay $76 but could only offer $33 and the lad was told not to come to school until the payment of fee.

Last year four students from the same city who were studying in another school, were punished by a teacher by forcing them to put their hands inside the toilets. Abdollahi even highlighted that teachers and administrators are not completely trained about the children's rights. It is not happening from the educational institutions only but a few years ago, a group of families from Tehran's Kan district rallied in front of their neighboring schools and demanding not to enroll the Afghans in the schools.

Afghans' financial condition is understandable as being refugees; they earn quite less than a normal Iranian which is exemplifying the discrimination. Abdollahi talked about the solution "Since last year, the tuition issue has been somewhat resolved and schools are no longer required to demand tuition from Afghan students.

They may be asked to make voluntary contributions for certain school expenses, but it's not clear what's voluntary and what's not." Apart from all this, regulation states that Afghans have the same right as of Iranians and no one has the right to mistreat them. Education is a recognized children's right regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, residency status or financial means. Abdollahi added "This right must be completely respected without any impact from changing governments and policies."

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