Hamed lived in Norway until 2016. “Life was good,” he recalled. Since went there as a minor from Afghanistan, he lived with six other young asylum seekers in an apartment and earned his income by buying, repairing and re-selling used smartphones online. “My family in Afghanistan was very poor, and I went to Iran to live and work there as young as 14 years old. From there, I went with a smuggler to Turkey. For some time, I worked for a group of smugglers, cooking and cleaning for them until I had made enough money to pay them to take me to Greece. And there, I again worked for smugglers as a cook and cleaner until I had made enough to afford the trip to Norway.”
Unfortunately, after having lived in Norway for 6.5, his asylum claim was rejected and he was deported back to Afghanistan. With the USD 1.500 he received from the Norwegian government through IOM, he was able to buy a small mobile phone sales and repair shop in Herat. If IOM hadn’t given him the technical and financial support to set up his own business, he would have migrated again straight away, perhaps back to Europe “doing what I did before,” he affirmed. “…work for smugglers until I have made enough to pay them their fee to take me further. When I left Afghanistan to work in Iran 10 years ago, I left because I had nothing in Afghanistan. So if I had returned with nothing from Norway, I would have left right away again,” Hamed explained.