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Internal protection alternative

Last update: April 2022

The required elements in order to apply Article 8 QD are:

Figure 3. IPA: elements of the assessment.

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For profiles who have a well-founded fear of persecution or real risk of serious harm by the Taliban, the safety criterion would not be met, taking into account the territorial control of the group.

For individuals with a well-founded fear of persecution or real risk of serious harm related to targeting by other actors, the uncertainty of the current situation and the lack of protection meeting the requirements of Article 7 QD would result in IPA not being safe. In exceptional cases a person may not have a well-founded fear or face a real risk of serious harm after relocating to a particular part of the country, depending on the reach of that actor. When assessing whether the requirement of safety would be substantiated, the uncertainty of the current situation should be taken into account.

There are currently no known restrictions on travel and admittance within Afghanistan for men. Women’s ability to travel on their own in Afghanistan was already constrained by social and formal restrictions and often their freedom of movement was limited by the requirement of male consent or male chaperone. Following the takeover, the Taliban have announced further restrictions on travel for women which may affect women’s ability to safely and legally travel within Afghanistan. In particular, the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice reportedly issued a guidance saying that women should not be offered transport of more than 45 miles (72 kilometres) if unaccompanied by a close male relative and calling on drivers to not offer rides to women that are not wearing hijab [Country Focus 2022, Introduction].

In those exceptional cases where both the safety and travel and admittance criteria under IPA could be met, particular attention should also be given to the current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The latter would affect the reasonableness criterion within the assessment under Article 8 QD and result in IPA generally not being reasonable. See also the sub-section on Humanitarian situation under General remarks.

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Therefore, at the time of writing, it is considered that IPA in general, would not be applicable to any part of Afghanistan.