The purpose of this report is to provide security-related information relevant for international protection status determination.
This report is an update of the EASO COI report Afghanistan Security Situation first published in January 2015 and updated annually.
The reference period is 15 August 2021–30 June 2022. The report is to be read in conjunction with two other COI reports published by EUAA in August 2022: Afghanistan – Targeting of Individuals and Afghanistan – Key Socio-economic Indicators in Afghanistan and in Kabul City.
The drafting of this report was finalised on 8 July 2022. Only a few incidents taking place after this date were included in this report, such as the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a US-drone attack on 31 July 2022.
The first part of the report gives an overview of the security situation in Afghanistan in the period between 15 August 2019 and 30 June 2022, focusing on such issues as the structure of the Taliban government, actors, and recent security trends, including regional differences and the impact on civilians. The second part of the report gives a regional description of the security situation (Kabul City and Afghanistan’s 34 provinces).
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:
- Belgium, Centre for Documentation and Research (Cedoca), Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons
- Greece, Asylum Processes and Training Department, Greek Asylum Service, Ministry of Migration and Asylum
- The Netherlands, Country of Origin Information (COI) Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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.