From the Editors

2014 is widely seen as marking a watershed for Afghanistan with its legacy of thirty-five years of conflict and one of the world’s largest populations in protracted displacement. International military forces are being withdrawn and the country is ‘in transition’ – politically, economically and in terms of security and its international standing. The high voter turnout in the recent presidential elections has been greeted as an encouraging sign for Afghanistan’s future but there is still considerable uncertainty about the capacity of the country to address the challenges of return, integration and reintegration, protection, access to rights, and continuing displacement.

This issue of FMR is being published in Dari and Pashto as well as in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

The issue also includes a mini-feature on ‘Statelessness’, marking the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and in preparation for a Global Forum on Statelessness to be held in the Netherlands in September.

We are extremely grateful to Susanne Schmeidl of The Liaison Office (Afghanistan) and to Dan Tyler of the Norwegian Refugee Council for their exceptional assistance and input as special advisors on the feature theme of this issue. We would also like to thank the following organisations for their generous financial support: Norwegian Refugee Council, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)/Swiss Cooperation Office - Afghanistan, UN-Habitat, UNHCR Office in Afghanistan and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

We also wish to thank Laura van Waas of the Statelessness Programme, Tilburg University Law School, for her collaboration on the Statelessness mini-feature, and to thank the Open Society Justice Initiative and UNHCR’s Department of International Protection for funding it.

The full issue and all the individual articles are online in html, pdf and audio formats at It will be available in print and online in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dari and Pashto. An expanded contents listing for the issue is available at

The Statelessness mini-feature is also available online as a 16-page stand-alone pdf at We encourage you to print it off yourself.

Please help disseminate this issue as widely as possible by circulating to networks, posting links, mentioning it on Twitter and Facebook and adding it to resources lists. Please email us at if you would like print copies.

Details of our forthcoming issues – on Syria, Faith-based responses to displacement, Climate change, and the Balkans – can be found opposite and at

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With our best wishes

Marion Couldrey and Maurice Herson
Editors, Forced Migration Review


Opinions in FMR do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, the Refugee Studies Centre or the University of Oxford.
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