Last update: April 2022
The country guidance represents the common assessment of the situation in the country of origin by senior policy officials from EU Member States, in accordance with current EU legislation and jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
This guidance does not release Member States from the obligation to individually, objectively and impartially examine each application for international protection. Each decision should be taken on the basis of the individual circumstances of the applicant and the situation in Afghanistan at the moment of the decision, according to precise and up-to-date country information, obtained from various relevant sources (Article 10 of the Asylum Procedures Directive).
The analysis and guidance provided within this document are not exhaustive.
Below, you can learn more about the country guidance methodology and how this document was developed:
The country guidance is intended as a tool for policy-makers and decision-makers in the context of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). It aims to assist in the examination of applications for international protection by applicants from Afghanistan, and to foster convergence in decision practices across Member States.
On 21 April 2016, the Council of the European Union agreed on the creation of a senior-level policy network, involving all Member States and coordinated by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), with the task to carry out a joint assessment and interpretation of the situation in main countries of origin. The network supports EU-level policy development based on common country of origin information (COI), by jointly interpreting such information in light of the relevant provisions of the asylum acquis and taking into account the content of the EUAA training material and practical guides where appropriate. The development of common analysis and guidance notes has been included as a key area in the new mandate of the EUAA and it is currently regulated under Article 11 EUAA Regulation.
What is the scope of this update?
The current version of the guidance updates and replaces the ‘Country Guidance: Afghanistan’ (November 2021).
It represents a targeted update, focusing on the significant changes observed in the first months that followed the Taliban takeover. While information on certain topics remained limited and/or conflicting in the timeframe of this update, an effort has been made to provide common analysis and guidance to the extent this is currently found to be feasible. Please take into account that the COI referred to in this document is limited to events taking place until 8 December 2021. Additional information with regards to restrictions to women’s freedom of movement introduced by the ‘Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice’ on the 26 December 2021 have also been taken into account. The reader is reminded to always consider the available relevant and up-to-date COI at the time of taking the decision.
EUAA together with Member States will continue to monitor the evolving situation in the country and to regularly review and update this country guidance.
Is this guidance binding?
The country guidance is not binding. However, in accordance with Article 11 EUAA Regulation, Member States have the obligation to take into account the guidance notes and common analysis when examining applications for international protection, without prejudice to their competence for deciding on individual applications.
Who was involved in the development of this country guidance?
This document is the result of the joint assessment by the Country Guidance Network. The work of the Network was supported by a Drafting Team of selected national experts and by EUAA. The European Commission and UNHCR provided valuable input in this process.
The guidance note, accompanied by the common analysis, were finalised by the Country Guidance Network in March 2022, and endorsed by the EUAA Management Board in April 2022.
What is the applicable legal framework?
In terms of applicable legal framework, the common analysis and guidance note are based on the provisions of the 1951 Geneva Convention  and of the Qualification Directive (QD) ; as well as on jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU); where appropriate, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is also taken into account.
What guidance on qualification for international protection is taken into account?
The horizontal guidance framework applied in this analysis is based primarily on the following general guidance:
These and other relevant EUAA practical tools can be found at https://www.euaa.europa.eu/practical-tools.
Relevant UNHCR guidelines available at the time of finalising this document, and in particular the UNHCR Guidance Note on the International Protection Needs of People Fleeing Afghanistan, were also taken into account.
What country of origin information has been used?
The EUAA Country Guidance documents should not be considered and should not be used or referenced as sources of COI. The information contained herein is based on EUAA COI reports and, in some instances, on other sources as indicated. Unlike the Country Guidance, these represent COI sources and can be referenced accordingly.
This update is mainly based on the following recent COI:
Annex II. Country of origin information references provides further details and links to all COI reports used as a basis for the analysis within this document. References within this document are to the respective sections of these COI reports.
This guidance should be considered valid as long as current events and developments fall within the trends and patterns observed within the reference period of the respective COI reports. New developments that cause substantial changes and result in new trends may impact the assessment provided in the present guidance. All effort is made to update the EUAA COI reports and country guidance documents regularly and to reflect any such significant changes accordingly. Individual applications should always be assessed in light of the most up-to-date available COI.
To access EUAA COI reports, visit https://www.euaa.europa.eu/country-reports.
How does country guidance assist in the individual assessment of applications for international protection?
The guidance note and common analysis follow the steps of the examination of an individual application for international protection. This document looks into the relevant elements according to the QD and provides a general assessment of the situation in the country of origin, along with guidance on relevant individual circumstances which should be taken into account.
How is this document structured?
The country guidance is structured into guidance note and common analysis:
The GUIDANCE NOTE is the first part you will find in this document. It summarises the conclusions of the common analysis in a light user-friendly format, providing practical guidance for the analysis of the individual case.
The COMMON ANALYSIS is the second, more detailed, part. It defines the relevant elements in accordance with legislation, jurisprudence and horizontal guidance, summarises the relevant factual basis according to the available COI, and analyses the situation in the respective country of origin accordingly.
For additional information and to access other available country guidance, see https://www.euaa.europa.eu/country-guidance.