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Last update: December 2020

This section has not been reviewed in the current update. While there is no specific new information, it is considered likely that conclusions with regard to children without a support network in Afghanistan remain largely valid.

An element to take into account is that it is not currently clear whether the Taliban government intends to adhere to international treaties that Afghanistan has previously entered into. Similarly, there is no clarity regarding the status and relevance of pre-existing national laws.

This subsection concerns children who do not have a parent or other adult family member who can take care of them in Afghanistan.

COI summary

In general, it can be said that the Afghan orphanage system is insufficient, accommodating approximately 10 % of the orphans in Afghanistan. There are 84 children’s protection action network centres and 78 residential orphanages. The living conditions in the facilities are also poor, lacking running water, heating, education, and recreational facilities. The Afghan State lacked money and means to support all orphans [Key socio-economic indicators 2017, 4.3.1].

Children in orphanages reported mental, physical and sexual abuse, and were sometimes victims of human trafficking [Key socio-economic indicators 2017, 4.3.1]. The shelters, furthermore, often lack the capacity to support traumatised minors [Key socio-economic indicators 2017, 4.4.4].

Children without a support network who fell outside the orphanage system would most likely have to fend for themselves. Street children often resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as street vending, garbage collecting, crime or drug abuse, and are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, including sexual exploitation [Key socio-economic indicators 2017, 4.3.2, 4.3.3, 4.4].

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, 2.8.4 Child labour and child trafficking.

Nexus to a reason for persecution

Available information indicates that in the case of children without a support network in Afghanistan, the individual circumstances of the applicant need to be taken into account to determine whether a nexus to a reason for persecution can be substantiated.