Guidance on particular profiles with regard to qualification for refugee status

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Please note that this country guidance document has been replaced by a more recent one. The latest versions of country guidance documents are available at https://easo.europa.eu/country-guidance.

GUIDANCE NOTE
Last updated: December 2020

This section refers to some of the profiles of Afghan applicants, encountered in the caseload of EU Member States. It provides general conclusions on the profiles and guidance regarding additional circumstances to take into account in the individual assessment. Some profiles are further split in sub-profiles, with different conclusions with regard to the risk analysis and/or nexus to a reason for persecution. The corresponding number of the profile and a link to the respective section in the common analysis are always provided for ease of reference.

The conclusions regarding each profile should be viewed without prejudice to the credibility assessment of the applicant’s claims.

P295#yIS1 When reading the information below, the following should be borne in mind:

 An individual applicant could fall under more than one profile included in this guidance note. The protection needs associated with all such circumstances should be fully examined.

 The risk analysis paragraphs focus on the level of risk and some of the relevant risk-impacting circumstances. Further guidance with regard to the qualification of the acts as persecution is available within the respective sections of the common analysis.

■ The table below summarises the conclusions with regard to different profiles and sub-profiles and aims at providing a practical tool to case officers. While examples are provided with regard to sub-profiles at differentiated risk and circumstances which may increase or decrease the risk, these examples are non-exhaustive and to be taken into account in light of all circumstances in the individual case.

■ Persons who belonged to a certain profile in the past or family members of an individual falling under a certain profile may have protection needs similarly to those outlined for the respective profile. This is not explicitly mentioned in the table below, however, it should be taken into account in the individual assessment.

■ The potential nexus paragraphs indicate a possible connection to the reasons for persecution according to Article 10 QD. The common analysis sections provide further guidance whether a nexus to a reason for persecution would in general be substantiated or may be substantiated depending on the individual circumstances in the case.

■ For some profiles, the connection may also be between the absence of protection against persecution and one or more of the reasons under Article 10 QD (Article 9(3) QD).

2.1 Members of the security forces and pro-government militias

Risk analysis for individuals that are most frequently targeted by insurgent groups (e.g. officers of NDS, members of PGMs and police chiefs): Well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated.

Risk analysis for other individuals under this profile: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of work and visibility of the applicant

       ○ gender

       ○ area of origin and presence of insurgent groups (in particular, in relation to insurgents’ checkpoints)

       ○ period since leaving the forces

       ○ personal enmities

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.1 Members of the security forces and pro-government militias

2.2 Government officials, including judges, prosecutors, and judicial staff; and those perceived as supporting the government

Risk analysis: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of work and visibility of the applicant

       ○ being linked to ministries at the forefront of the fight against insurgents (e.g. Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior Affairs, etc.)

       ○ high position within the State, government (e.g. governors, senators, provincial and district officials, judges, prosecutors, other judicial staff)

       ○ prominent position within the community

       ○ originating from contested areas or areas with insurgent presence

       ○ personal enmities

       ○ open statements against the Taliban

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.2 Government officials, including judges, prosecutors, and judicial staff; and those perceived as supporting the government

2.3 Individuals working for foreign military troops or perceived as supporting them

Risk analysis for interpreters: Well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated.

Risk analysis for other individuals under this profile: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○  specific role and visibility of the applicant

       ○  being on the payroll of foreign troops

       ○  origin from a contested area or areas with insurgent presence

       ○  etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.3 Individuals working for foreign military troops or perceived as supporting them

2.4 Religious leaders

Risk analysis: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ public expression of support for the government or condemnation of insurgents’ actions

       ○ performing ceremonies for killed members of the security forces

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion and/or religion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.4 Religious leaders

2.5 Members of insurgent groups and civilians perceived as supporting them

Risk analysis for members of insurgent groups: Well-founded fear of persecution by the State would in general be substantiated. In addition, for some applicants under this profile well-founded fear of persecution by other insurgent groups may be substantiated, depending on the group they belong to, their area of origin, and the reach of the actor of persecution.

Risk analysis for civilians perceived as supporting insurgent groups: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of origin

       ○ family ties

       ○ tribal association

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.5 Members of insurgent groups and civilians perceived as supporting them

2.6 Persons fearing forced recruitment by armed groups

Risk analysis: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ age (belonging to the age group of young adults)

       ○ military background

       ○ area of origin and the presence/influence of armed groups

       ○ increased intensity of the conflict

       ○ position of the clan in the conflict

       ○ poor socio-economic situation of the family

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: While the risk of forced recruitment as such may not generally imply a nexus to a reason for persecution, the consequences of refusal, could, depending on individual circumstances, substantiate such a nexus, among other reasons, to (imputed) political opinion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.6 Persons fearing forced recruitment by armed groups

2.7 Educational personnel

Risk analysis: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

        ○ gender (i.e. female teachers)

        ○ origin from contested areas and areas under ISKP influence

        ○ the individual or the institution not following insurgent directives and/or curriculum

        ○ speaking out against the Taliban

        ○ position of local commanders

        ○ links to foreign sponsors

        ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

In the case of individuals persecuted for using a curriculum perceived as contravening the insurgents’ interpretation of Islam, also potential nexus: religion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.7 Educational personnel

2.8 Humanitarian workers and healthcare professionals

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances, could include:

       ○ gender (i.e. women)

       ○ nature of activities (national/international NGO with activities related to polio vaccination, de-mining, promoting women’s rights, etc.)

       ○ link with government or foreign donors

       ○ origin from contested areas

       ○ level of (perceived) cooperation with armed groups

       ○ speaking out against a party in the conflict

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.8 Humanitarian workers and healthcare professionals

2.9 Journalists, media workers and human rights defenders

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances, could include:

       ○ nature of activities (e.g. journalists and media workers covering conflict-related topics and events, the political situation, corruption, and human rights abuses would be at a particularly high risk)

       ○ visibility of activities and public profile

       ○ gender (additional/higher risk for women)

       ○ area of origin

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.9 Journalists, media workers and human rights defenders

2.10 Children

The section on children addresses certain child-specific circumstances of increased vulnerability and risks that children in Afghanistan may be exposed to:

2.10.1 Violence against children: overview

Risk analysis: Not all children would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ gender (boys and girls may face different risks)

       ○ age and appearance (e.g. non-bearded boys could be targeted as bacha bazi)

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles in the family

       ○ poor socio-economic situation of the child and the family

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the applicant need to be taken into account. For example, in the case of (former) bacha bazi children, persecution may be for reasons of membership of a particular social group.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.10.1 Violence against children: overview

 

2.10.2 Child marriage

See the section 2.11.2 Harmful traditional marriage practices under the profile 2.11 Women.

 

2.10.3 Child recruitment

Risk analysis: Not all children would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution in the form of child recruitment. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ poor socio-economic situation

       ○ area of origin or residence

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the child need to be taken into account.

See also 2.6 Persons fearing forced recruitment by armed groups and 2.10.1 Violence against children: overview.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.10.3 Child recruitment

 

2.10.4 Child labour and child trafficking

Risk analysis: Not all children would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution in relation to child labour and/or child trafficking. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○  age

       ○  gender

       ○  family status

       ○  poor socio-economic status of the child and his or her family

       ○  being in an IDP situation

       ○  drug addiction

       ○  etc.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the child need to be taken into account to determine whether or not a nexus to a reason for persecution can be substantiated.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.10.4 Child labour and child trafficking

 

2.10.5 Education of children and girls in particular

Risk analysis: The general deficiencies in the educational system, and the limited opportunities for education cannot as such be considered persecution, as they are not the result of a third party’s deliberate actions. However, in the case of deliberate restrictions on access to education, in particular for girls, this could amount to persecution.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the child should be taken into account. For example, a link could be established to (imputed) political opinion and/or religion in the case of girls attending school in a Taliban-controlled area.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.10.5 Education of children and girls in particular

 

2.10.6 Children without a support network in Afghanistan

Risk analysis: The lack of a support network does not amount to persecution in itself. However, it considerably enhances the risk for such children to be exposed to acts, which, due to their severity, repetitiveness or accumulation could amount to persecution. See, for example, 2.10.4 Child labour and child trafficking.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the child should be taken into account.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.10.6 Children without a support network in Afghanistan

2.11 Women

The different forms of violence against women in Afghanistan are often significantly interlinked. Therefore, the following subsections should be read in conjunction.

2.11.1 Violence against women and girls: overview

Risk analysis: Not all women and girls would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles in the family

       ○ poor socio-economic situation

       ○ family status (the risk of sexual and gender-based violence against women and adolescent girls is higher for those without a male protector, female heads of households, etc.)

       ○ being in an IDP situation

       ○ type of work and work environment (for women working outside the home)

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion or religion (e.g. when persecution is by Taliban), and/or membership of a particular social group (see examples below).

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.11.1 Violence against women and girls: overview

 

2.11.2 Harmful traditional marriage practices

Risk analysis: Not all women and girls would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution in relation to traditional marriage practices. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ young age (in particular, under 16)

       ○ area of origin (particularly affecting rural areas)

       ○ ethnicity (e.g. Pashtun)

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles in the family

       ○ poor socio-economic situation of the family

       ○ local power/influence of the (potential) husband and his family or network

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: membership of a particular social group (e.g. in relation to refusal to enter into a forced or child marriage).

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.11.2 Harmful traditional marriage practices

 

2.11.3 Women in public roles

Risk analysis: Not all women under this sub-profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of origin (particularly affecting rural areas)

       ○ conservative environment

       ○ visibility of the applicant (e.g. nature of the work, public statements perceived negatively by the actor of persecution)

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles by the family or network

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) political opinion or religion (e.g. when persecution is by Taliban), and/or membership of a particular social group (e.g. in case of female human rights defenders).

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.11.3 Women in public roles

 

2.11.4 Women perceived to have transgressed moral codes

See the profile 2.12 Individuals perceived to have transgressed moral codes.

 

2.11.5 Women perceived as ‘Westernised’

See the profile 2.13 Individuals perceived as ‘Westernised’.

 

2.11.6 Single women and female heads of households

Risk analysis: Not all women and girls under this sub-profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ personal status

       ○ area of origin and residence

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles in the family or community

       ○ economic situation

       ○ availability of civil documentation

       ○ education

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: membership of a particular social group (e.g. divorced women).

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.11.6 Single women and female heads of households

2.12 Individuals perceived to have transgressed moral codes

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ gender (the risk is higher for women, including with regard to the absence of protection)

       ○ area of origin (particularly affecting rural areas)

       ○ conservative environment

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles by the family

       ○ power/influence of the actors involved

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: religion and/or (imputed) political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.12 Individuals perceived to have transgressed moral codes

2.13 Individuals perceived as ‘Westernised’

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ gender (the risk is higher for women and lower for men)

       ○ behaviours adopted by the applicant

       ○ area of origin (particularly affecting rural areas)

       ○ conservative environment

       ○ perception of traditional gender roles by the family

       ○ age (it may be difficult for children to (re-)adjust to Afghanistan’s social restrictions)

       ○ visibility of the applicant

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the applicant need to be taken into account. In some cases, persecution may be for reasons of religion and/or (imputed) political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

See also profiles 2.11.3 Women in public roles, 2.12 Individuals perceived to have transgressed moral codes and 2.16 Individuals perceived to have committed blasphemy and/or apostasy.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.13 Individuals perceived as ‘Westernised’

2.14 LGBTIQ

Risk analysis: Well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated.

Potential nexus: membership of a particular social group.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.14 LGBTIQ

2.15 Persons living with disabilities and persons with severe medical issues

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances, could include:

       ○ nature and visibility of the mental or physical disability

       ○ negative perception by the family

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: membership of a particular social group, in the case of persons living with noticeable mental or physical disabilities.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.15 Persons living with disabilities and persons with severe medical issues

2.16 Individuals considered to have committed blasphemy and/or apostasy

Risk analysis: Well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated.

Potential nexus: religion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.16 Individuals considered to have committed blasphemy and/or apostasy

2.17.1 Individuals of Hazara ethnicity

Risk analysis: Being a Hazara in itself would normally not lead to the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. In most cases where a well-founded fear of persecution is substantiated, it would be related to circumstances falling under other profiles included in this guidance, such as the profiles on 2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili, 2.1 Members of the security forces and pro-government militias, 2.2. Government officials, including judges, prosecutors, and judicial staff; and those perceived as supporting the government, 2.8. Humanitarian workers and healthcare professionals, etc.

Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of origin and area of work (depending on the actor of persecution), profession

       ○ political activism

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: (imputed) religion (see profile 2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili), (imputed) political opinion (e.g. links to the government, perceived support for Iran), and/or race (ethnicity).

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.17.1 Individuals of Hazara ethnicity

2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of origin (areas where ISKP has operational capacity presence)

       ○ participation in religious practices

       ○ political activism

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: religion.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili

2.17.3 Hindus and Sikhs

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. The individual assessment of whether or not there is a reasonable degree of likelihood for the applicant to face persecution should take into account risk-impacting circumstances, in particular their area of origin (e.g. areas where ISKP has operational capacity), etc.

Potential nexus: religion. 

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.17.3 Hindus and Sikhs

2.17.4 Baha’i

Risk analysis: Well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated.

Potential nexus: religion.

See also 2.16. Individuals considered to have committed blasphemy and/or apostasy.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.17.4 Baha’i

2.18.1 Blood feuds

Risk analysis for men directly involved in a blood feud: Well-founded fear of persecution would in general be substantiated.

Risk analysis for women, children and men who are farther removed from the feud: Not all individuals would face the level of risk required to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ intensity of the blood feud

       ○ origin from areas where the rule of law is weak

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: The individual circumstances of the applicant need to be taken into account to determine whether or not a nexus to a reason for persecution can be substantiated. For example, family members involved in a blood feud may have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of membership of a particular social group.

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.18.1 Blood feuds 

2.18.2 Land disputes

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○  violent nature of the dispute

       ○  power/influence of the actors involved in the land dispute

       ○  areas of origin with weak rule of law

       ○  etc.

Potential nexus: In general, no nexus to a Convention reason. This is without prejudice to individual cases where nexus could be established based on additional circumstances (e.g. ethnicity, land dispute leading to a blood feud, etc.).

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.18.2 Land disputes

2.19 Individuals accused of ordinary crimes

Risk analysis: Not all individuals under this profile would face the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. Risk-impacting circumstances could include:

       ○ area of origin of the applicant and the prevalent justice mechanisms

       ○ nature of the crime for which he or she is prosecuted

       ○ envisaged punishment

       ○ etc.

Potential nexus: In general, no nexus to a Convention reason. This is without prejudice to the assessment in cases where the prosecution is motivated by a Convention ground or initiated or conducted on a discriminatory basis related to a Convention ground.

* Exclusion considerations could be relevant to this profile.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.19 Individuals accused of ordinary crimes

2.20 Individuals who were born in Iran or Pakistan and/or who lived there for a long period of time

Risk analysis: In general, the treatment faced by individuals under this profile would not amount to persecution. In exceptional cases, the accumulation of measures could amount to persecution.

Potential nexus: In general, no nexus to a Convention ground.

>>> Read more in the common analysis on 2.20 Individuals who were born in Iran or Pakistan and/or who lived there for a long period of time