Last update: November 2021
In the context of Afghanistan, widespread criminality and breakdown in law and order make the ground of ‘serious (non-political) crime’ particularly relevant. In addition to murder related to family and other private disputes, some examples of particularly relevant serious crimes may include drug trade and trafficking, trafficking in arms, human trafficking, corruption, embezzlement and other economic crimes, illegal taxation, illegal extraction, trade or smuggling of minerals, gemstones, archaeological artefacts, etc.
Violence against women and children (for example, in relation to bacha bazi, in the context of child marriage, honour killings, sexual violence or some forms of domestic violence, etc.), which is widespread in Afghanistan, could also potentially amount to a serious (non-political) crime.
Some serious (non-political) crimes could be linked to an armed conflict (e.g. if they are committed in order to finance the activities of armed groups) or could amount to fundamentally inhumane acts committed as a part of a systematic or widespread attack against a civilian population, in which case they should instead be examined under Article 12(2)(a)/Article 17(1)(a) QD.
In relation to exclusion from refugee status, a crime could fall under this ground if committed in Afghanistan or any third country (for example, while the applicant resided in Pakistan or Iran, or in countries of transit, etc.). In relation to subsidiary protection, serious crimes committed by Afghan applicants in the host country, would also lead to exclusion.