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Pakistan is hosting millions of Afghan refugees since more than three decades; however, it is neither a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention nor has developed refugee specific national legislation. Currently, Pakistan is managing one of the world’s largest protracted refugee caseload under adhoc arrangements that inadvertently amplify their vulnerability. The Government of Pakistan (GoP) has issued POR cards that will now expire in December 2017, after continuous renewals. Apart from registered refugees, there are also sizable numbers of unregistered Afghans who do not possess PoR cards.

SWO envisions a protective environment for refugees in Pakistan. The SWO is an initiative of national organizations and human rights activists, serving as a network for well coordinated and effective advocacy about refugee rights through information sharing, capacity building, and coordination among institutions involved in promoting refugee protection in Pakistan and to defend and expand the rights of all asylum seekers, detainees and refugees. The overarching goal of SWO is to ensure refugee protection.

SWO aspires to fill this gap by bringing together relevant NGOs and civil society organizations at one platform to substantiate the advocacy efforts in a bid to effectively address the entire issues concerning refugee population in Pakistan.