The purpose of this report is to provide relevant information for the assessment of international protection status determination, including refugee status and subsidiary protection. In particular, it is intended to inform the update of the Country Guidance on Afghanistan April 2022.
The reference period is from 1 December 2021 until 30 June 2022. Some additional information was added during the finalisation of this report in response to feedback received during the quality control process, until 4 August 2022. The drafting of this report was finalised on 29 July 2022.
The first chapter provides background information on Afghanistan; chapters two to seven provide an overview of key socio-economic indicators for Afghanistan and Kabul City, chapter eight covers child specific issues, chapter nine provides information on networks of support and chapter ten deals with mobility and travel in the country. In addition, most chapters also include subsections on the situation of women-headed households, as well as on the situation of IDPs and returnees.
The EUAA acknowledges as the drafter of this report:
• Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD).
The following departments and organisations have reviewed the report:
• Greece, Asylum Processes and Training Department, Greek Asylum Service, Ministry of Migration and Asylum;
• Sweden, Unit for Migration Analysis, the Swedish Migration Agency.
This report is produced in line with the EASO COI Report Methodology (2019) and the EASO COI Writing and Referencing Style Guide (2019).
The overall security situation in Afghanistan in recent decades has been largely determined by a long-running internal armed conflict, as a result of which many Afghans are internally displaced or have sought refuge abroad. The Taliban took power in August 2021, after many years of conflict between the former government, its security forces and foreign troops on the one hand, and rebel groups such as the Taliban and the ISKP on the other.
The end of the fighting between the former government and the Taliban resulted in a sharp decline in conflict-related violence and a significant drop in civilian casualties. In assessing the need for international protection, the Commissioner General takes into account that the Taliban's control of the entire Afghan territory has a significant impact on the human rights situation in the country and on the risk faced by many Afghans in case of return.
Following the seizure of power by the Taliban, the Commissioner General announced a temporary, partial suspension of refugee status determination decisions. In the period between 15 August 2021 and 1 March 2022, no rejection decisions were taken for Afghan applicants. However, it was apparent that many persons clearly were in need of protection; positive decisions granting refugee status were taken for those cases during that period. This also applied to many persons evacuated from Kabul.
In early March 2022, the suspension was ended. Since then, the CGRS has been taking decisions again for all cases.
The CGRS has to assess whether a need for protection exists for each applicant for international protection. Every application is assessed individually. This is done on the basis of the refugee and subsidiary protection definitions contained in law and international treaties. The CGRS does not make "political" assessments of a regime and grant protection status on that basis.