Stories
06 Sep 2021

Babur grew up in the Kunar Province in Afghanistan and after graduating from high school he started working with his father in his timber business. When he reached the mid twenties, however, he started facing a security problem in his home town. As he did not see it possible to overcome this problem, he decided to migrate to Norway.

​After travelling for six months, Babur reached Norway where he claimed asylum and stayed for four years in total. For the first two years, he lived in a reception centre, but eventually he moved to Oslo where he stayed for another two years. During his four years in Norway, Babur was not allowed to work. Instead, he devoted his time to studying languages. His claim for asylum was rejected after six months, and after appealing this decision he received a second rejection two and a half months later.

​Having received two rejections to his claim for asylum, Babur started feeling insecure about his future prospects in Norway and decided to apply for voluntary return to Afghanistan with IOM. He returned to Kabul in November 2012 where he was reunited with his family. Upon return, Babur received a cash grant from IOM, which he used to cover his immediate needs. After that, he received in-kind support for starting up a business, as well as a housing allowance and support for vocational training.

​Babur is now settled in Afghanistan and he has utilized the reintegration support he received from IOM to go into partnership with a friend who is running a mobile phone business. He says that before returning, he was unsure whether he would be able to start up a sustainable business. In this sense, the reintegration support he received from IOM had a great impact on both his own life and the lives of his family members. Babur says that he had to start his life from scratch, but that in the end, the result turned out good, both for his business and his personal life. He did not find it difficult to reintegrate into Afghan society. Babur does not have any plans of migrating irregularly again.

"I had to start my life from scratch,
but in the end the result turned out good."

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities