Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 69

3/2012

ENG

Afghanistan
Country of Origin Information for Use in the Asylum
Determination Process
Report from Danish Immigration Services fact finding mission to Kabul, Afghanistan
25 February to 4 March 2012

Copenhagen, May 2012


Danish Immigration Service
Ryesgade 53
2100 Copenhagen
Phone: 00 45 35 36 66 00
Web: www.newtodenmark.dk
E-mail: us@us.dk

OverviewofDanishfactfindingreportspublishedin2010,2011and2012
Honour Crimes against Men in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and the Availability of
Protection, Report from Danish Immigration Services fact-finding mission to Erbil,
Sulemaniyah and Dahuk, KRI, 6 to 20 January 2010
2010: 1
Entry Procedures and Residence in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) for Iraqi Nationals, Report
from Danish Immigration Services fact-finding mission to Erbil, Sulemaniyah, Dahuk, KRI and
Amman, Jordan, 6 to 20 January and 25 February to 15 March 2010
2010: 2
Human rights issues concerning Kurds in Syria, Report from a joint fact finding mission by the
Danish Immigration Service (DIS) and ACCORD/Austrian Red Cross to Damascus, Syria,
Beirut, Lebanon, and Erbil and Dohuk, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), 21 January to 8
February 2010
2010: 3
Allegations against the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) and
warnings against return to Nigeria, Report from Danish Immigration Services fact-finding
mission to Abuja, Nigeria, 9 to 17 June 2010
2010: 4
Security and Human Rights in South/Central Iraq, Report from Danish Immigration Services
fact-finding mission to Amman, Jordan and Baghdad, Iraq, 25 February to 9 March and 6 to 16
April 2010
2010: 5
Human Rights and Security Issues concerning Tamils in Sri Lanka, Report from Danish
Immigration Services fact-finding mission to Colombo, Sri Lanka. 19 June to 3 July 2010
2010: 6
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Thailand, Report from Danish Immigration Services
Fact finding mission to Bangladesh and Thailand, 4 to 17 February 2011
2011: 1
Update on Entry Procedures at Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Checkpoints and
Residence in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), Report from Danish Immigration Services factfinding mission to Erbil, Suleimaniyah and Dohuk, KRI, 7 to 24 March 2011
2011: 2
Iranian Kurdish Refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), Report from Danish
Immigration Services fact-finding mission to Erbil, Suleimaniyah and Dohuk, KRI, 7 to 24
March 2011
2011: 3

Chechens in the Russian Federation, Report from Danish Immigration Services fact finding
mission to Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation, 12 to 29 June 2011
2011: 4
Update (2) On Entry Procedures At Kurdistan Regional Government Checkpoints (Krg);
Residence Procedures In Kurdistan Region Of Iraq (Kri) And Arrival Procedures At Erbil And
Suleimaniyah Airports (For Iraqis Travelling From Non-Kri Areas Of Iraq), Joint Report of the
Danish Immigration Service/UK Border Agency Fact Finding Mission to Erbil and Dahuk,
Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), conducted 11 to 22 November 2011
2012: 1
Security and human rights issues in South-Central Somalia, including Mogadishu, Report from
Danish Immigration Services fact finding mission to Nairobi, Kenya and Mogadishu, Somalia,
30 January to 19 February 2012
2012: 2
Afghanistan, Country of Origin Information for Use in the Asylum Determination Process,
Rapport from Danish Immigration Services fact finding mission to Kabul, Afghanistan, 25
February to 4 March 2012
2012: 3

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

CONTENTS

Abbreviations...............................................................................................................................3
Introductionandmethodology.....................................................................................................4
1.

InternalFlightAlternative.....................................................................................................6
1.1.ThesecuritysituationinKabul..................................................................................................6
1.2.PresenceandactivitiesoftheTalibaninKabul........................................................................7
1.2.1.Profileofthetargeted........................................................................................................7
1.3.Possibilitytoseekprotectionfromtheauthoritiesinconnectionwithconflictsinplaceof
origin................................................................................................................................................8
1.4.Supportmechanismsincl.socialnetworks,relativesandethnicgroups.................................9
1.5Accesstobasicrights...............................................................................................................10
1.5.1Accesstohousing..............................................................................................................12
1.5.2.Accesstothelabourmarket............................................................................................13
1.5.3Accesstootherbasicrights...............................................................................................15

2.

AssociationoremploymentwithUSmilitary/ISAF..............................................................17
2.1RecruitmentofstaffservingISAF/Danishforces....................................................................18

3. AssociationoremploymentwithInternationalorganizations,NGOs,WesternCompanies
andtheAfghangovernment.......................................................................................................19
3.1.AssociationoremploymentwithInternationalorganizations,NGOsandWesternCompanies.19
3.2AssociationorEmploymentwithNGOs...................................................................................21
3.3AssociationoremploymentwiththeAfghangovernment.....................................................23
4.

TheTaliban.........................................................................................................................26
4.1.RecruitmentbytheTaliban.....................................................................................................26
4.1.1RecruitmentofotherethnicitiesthanPashtuns...............................................................28
4.2.Trainingofandprofileofsuicidebombers.............................................................................29
4.3.Existenceandconsequencesofreceivingnightletters..........................................................30
4.4.SituationforformermembersoftheTaliban.........................................................................33

5. Dishonoringthefamilyorbreakingsocialnormswithregardtomarriageandrelationships
betweenmenandwomen..........................................................................................................34
5.1.Consequencesforyoungmen................................................................................................35
5.2.Possibilitiesformenandwomentoseekprotectioninsuchcases.......................................36

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

5.3.Possibilitiesforsettlingdisputes.............................................................................................37
6.

Landdisputes......................................................................................................................40
6.1Settlinglanddisputes...............................................................................................................41
6.2.Regionaldifferencesinsettlinglanddisputes........................................................................43
6.3.Situationaftersettlingthedispute.........................................................................................44

7.

KuchiHazaraconflict..........................................................................................................46
7.1MediationEfforts.....................................................................................................................48

8.

Documents.........................................................................................................................50
8.1.Passports.................................................................................................................................51

Organizations,authoritiesandpersonsconsulted......................................................................52
Bibliography...............................................................................................................................55
ANNEX1:TERMSOFREFERENCE................................................................................................56
ANNEX2:MAPOFAFGHANISTAN..............................................................................................61
ANNEX3:MAPOFWARDAKANDGHAZNI.................................................................................62
ANNEX4:PRESIDENTIALDECREENO.104...................................................................................63

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Abbreviations

AAWU

AllAfghanWomenUnion

AGE

AntiGovernmentElements

AIHRC

AfghanIndependentHumanRightCommission

ANA

AfghanNationalArmy

ANP

AfghanNationalPolice

ANSO

AfghanistanNGOSafetyOffice

AVR

AssistedVoluntaryReturnprogramme

CPAU

CooperationforPeaceAndUnity

CSHRO

CivilSocietyandHumanRightsOrganization

DRC

DanishRefugeeCouncil

IDP

InternallyDisplacedPerson

IFA

InternalFlightAlternative

IOM

InternationalOrganisationforMigration

IPCB

InternationalPoliceCoordinationBoard

ISAF

InternationalSecurityAssistanceForce

LUA

LawyersUnionofAfghanistan

MoI

MinistryofInterior

MoRR

MinistryofRefugeesandRepatriation

MoWA

MinistryofWomensAffairs

NDS

NationalDirectorateofSecurity

NGO

NonGovernmentalOrganization

PRT

ProvincialReconstructionTeam

UNAMA

UnitedNationsAssistanceMissioninAfghanistan

UNHCR

UnitedNationsHighCommissionerforRefugees

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Introductionandmethodology

ThisfactfindingreporthasbeenproducedbytheDocumentationandProjectDivision,Danish
ImmigrationService(DIS)forusebyofficialsinvolvedintheasylumdeterminationprocess.The
informationincludedinthereportwasgatheredduringafactfindingmissiontoKabul,
Afghanistanbetween25Februaryand4March2012.

Thenecessityofthismissionshouldbeseeninthelightofthenumberofasylumseekersfrom
Afghanistanwhichinrecentyearshascomprisedthelargestsinglenationalityamongasylum
seekersinDenmark.In2009,thetotalnumberofAfghanasylumseekerswas1.059,in20101.512
andin2011903,representingintotal27%(2009),30%(2010)and24%(2011)ofthetotalnumber
ofasylumseekersinDenmark.
Thepurposeofthemissionwastocollectinformationonanumberofissueswhichinrecentyears
havebeenrecurringinAfghanasylumcasesinDenmark,includinginternalflightalternativein
Kabul,associationoremploymentwithUSmilitary,internationalforces,international
organizations,NGOs,andAfghangovernment,conflictswiththeTaliban,dishonouringthefamily
throughextramaritalrelations,landdisputes,theconflictbetweenKuchisandHazaras,andthe
possibilitytoobtainfalsedocumentsinAfghanistan.

ThetermsofreferenceforthemissionwerecreatedbyDISandincludecommentsfromthe
DanishRefugeeAppealsBoardaswellasotherpartners.TheTermsofReferenceisincludedas
Annex1.

Inthescopeofcompilingthisreport,thedelegationconsultedarangeofsourcesinKabul
consistingofAfghanauthorities,internationalorganisations,localNGOsandresearch
organizations.Thesourceswerecontactsestablishedpriortodepartureaswellassources
suggestedbyrelevantinternationalandnationalpartnersworkingwithcountryoforigin
information(COI).
Beforeeachmeeting,allsourceswerebriefedthattheinformationtheyprovidedwouldbefor
publicuseinaccordancewithDanishlegislation.Theinterviewswererecordedinhandwritten
form.Eachsourcewasgivenampletimetocorrecthisorherstatementsintherecordswrittenby
thedelegation.Allsourcesagreedtoreviewtherecordoftheirrespectivemeeting.
Eachsourcewasaskedforpermissiontobequotedbyname.Allsourcesagreedtobequotedby
nameand/orbythenameoftheirorganizationexceptfivewhowishedtoremainpartly
anonymousandbequotedonlybytheirprofessionorbythetypeoftheirorganisation.
Thisreportisnot,anddoesnotpurporttobe,adetailedorcomprehensivesurveyofallissues
covered.Theinformationprovidedinthisreportistheinformationofmostdirectrelevanceto
typicalasylumclaimsmadeinDenmark.

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Inthereport,careistakentopresenttheviewsofthevariousinterlocutorsasaccuratelyand
transparentlyaspossible.Itisinevitablethatthereportwillcontainsomeseeminglycontradictory
statements.However,itshouldbenotedthatthereporthasbeenproducedtoaccuratelyreflect,
asfaraspossible,theinformationcommunicatedtothedelegationinthevariousmeetingsand
doesnotcontainanyopinionsorpoliciesheldbyDIS.

Thedelegationwouldliketoexpressitsgratitudefortheassistanceandextensivesupport
providedbytheRoyalDanishEmbassyinKabul,Afghanistan,duringitspreparationsforthevisit
andduringthemission.

ThemissiondelegationandeditorialteamcomprisedChiefAdviserElsellgaardandRegional
AdviserMajidBehbahani,theDanishImmigrationService.

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

1. InternalFlightAlternative

1.1.ThesecuritysituationinKabul
RegardingthesecuritysituationinKabul,MoRRsaidthatitisrelativelysafecomparedtothe
provinces.
IPCBfoundthatthereareplacesinAfghanistanwhereAfghanNationalPolice(ANP)isfunctioning
wellintermsofprovidingsecurity,especiallyinKabulandotherbigcitieslikeHerat,MazariSharif
andFaizabad.Inthisconnection,IPCBpointedoutthattherecentsecuritysituationinKabul(the
unrestduetoKoranburningsatBagramattheendofFebruary2012)hadshownthattheANPhad
beenabletosecurethecentralcity(withintheringofsteel)fromdemonstratorsenteringthecity.
ThechallengefortheANPnowistobemorepreventiveintheirworkaccordingtoIPCB.
RegardingthesecurityinKabul,UNHCRcommentedthatingeneralKabulcouldbeanoptionfor
safety,buttowhatextentthecitycouldbeasafeplaceforapersonfleeingaconflictdependson
theprofileofthepersonandthenatureoftheconflictthepersonhasfledfrom.Therefore,an
assessmentofinternalflightalternative(IFA)shouldbemadecarefullyandonacasebycasebasis.
RegardingsecurityinKabul,aninternationalNGOinformedthedelegationthatKabulisoneoffew
placesinAfghanistanwherethesecuritysituationisrelativelygoodandstableeventhough
incidentsareoccurringalsoinKabul.
RegardingthesecuritysituationinKabul,IOMsaidthattherehavebeenanumberofsuicide
attackswhichinfluencesthelivesofordinarypeople.However,apartfromsuicideattacks,Kabulis
saferthanotherplacesinAfghanistan,andtheareaismoreundercontrol.Thisis,accordingto
IOM,duetothefactthatAfghanNationalArmy(ANA)andANPingeneralaremoretrainedin
securityoperationsinKabulandotherbigcitieslikeHeratandMazariSharifandthesituationis
moreundercontrolinthesecitiescomparedtootherpartsofthecountry.InJalalabad,however,
theauthoritiesarenotyetthatefficient,andtheTalibanhasastronginfluence.
SafetyisanissueinKabulbecauseofsuicidebombings,accordingtoAIHRC.InDecember2011,80
peoplewerekilledand200injuredinareligiousshrineinKabul.Hospitals,hotelsandshopping
mallshavealsobeentargetedandAIHRClostoneoftheircommissionersinthebombingofthe
FinestSupermarketinFebruary2011.Contributingtotheinsecurityisalsotheincreasingcrime
rate,butKabulisconsideredsaferthanotherplaces,accordingtoAIHRC.Inaddition,thereare
socialproblemssuchaschildlabourandprostitutions.
Aninternationalorganizationstatedthatifsomeoneisfleeingaconflictinhisorherareaoforigin,
itdependsontheseriousnessoftheconflictwhetherheorshewillbetraceddowninKabul.
Afghanistanisatribalsocietywithclosefamilynetworks,whichmeansthatifyoureallywantto
findsomeone,youwillbeabletotracehim/herdown.
ConcerningthepossibilityoftrackingdownsomeoneinKabul,anindependentpolicyresearch
organizationinKabulstatedthatKabulisabigcityandpeopledonotevenknowtheirneighbors
anymore.Therearenewcomerseverydayandpeoplemovearoundandstayinrented

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

accommodationsiftheyhavethefinancialresources.Onthisbasis,thesourcebelievedthatif
someonefleesaconflictandmovestoKabul,itwillbequitedifficulttofindhim.Theindependent
policyresearchorganizationinKabulpointedout,however,thatitisnotdifficultforthe
governmenttofindpeopleinKabuliftheyareinsearchofaparticularperson.Thismeansthatif
someoneisfleeingsomeoneseniorinorwellconnectedtothegovernment,policeorarmy,they
wouldbeingreaterperil.
WhenaskedwhetheritispossibletotracedownapersoninKabulwhohasfledfromaconflictin
hisorherplaceoforigin,anAfghanlawpractitionerrepliedthatthispossibilityexistsifonehas
theexactaddressofthatperson.However,theAfghanlawpractitioneraddedthatduetothefact
thatthereisnoregistrationofaddressinAfghanistan,tracingdownapersoninabigcitylike
Kabulwithoutanaddresswouldbedifficult.Thesamesourceaddedthatpeoplenormallydonot
gotothepolicetoaskaboutotherpeoplesplaceofresidencebecausethereisstillnotagood
organizedpolicesystemtohelppeopletodoso.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulexplainedthatKabulhasgrowntremendouslyover
recentyears.InAfghanistan,mostpeopledonothaveaproperaddressinthewaycitizensof
othercountrieshave(streetnamesareproblematic,asarehousenumbers).ThestandardAfghan
methodtorecordandidentifyapersonsnameistocitetheirfathersname,e.g.SarwarAli,s/o
(sonof)MohammadNaveed.Inthisway,itisverydifficulttotraceindividualpeople,particularly
inthebigcities.

1.2.PresenceandactivitiesoftheTalibaninKabul
1.2.1.Profileofthetargeted
UNAMAdidnotruleoutthepossiblythattheTalibanwouldtargethighprofilepersonsinKabul,
butitdidnotfinditlikelythattheTalibanwouldmakeitapriorityorhavethecapacitytotrack
downlowprofilepersonsinthecity.Thisis,accordingtoUNAMA,themainreasonwhyUNAMA
sometimesbringsitsstaffwhofacessecurityrisksfromtheprovincestoworkandliveinKabul.
UNAMAinformedthedelegationthatthegreatestsecurityriskinKabulisposedbycriminal
groups.
UNHCRsaidthatifalowprofilepersonfleesaconflictwiththeTalibanintheareaoforigin,it
wouldbepossibleforhimtoseekprotectionwithinhiscommunityinKabul.UNHCRstatedthat
mostprobablytheTalibanwouldnotmakeitaprioritytotrackdownlowprofilepeopleinKabul.
However,athoroughassessmentoftheclaimandtheIFAshouldbemadeonacasebycasebasis.
RegardingtheTalibanactivitiesinKabul,AIHRCinformedthedelegationthattheTalibancertainly
hasthemeanstoactandkillinKabul,andthattheTalibancanharmhighprofilepeople
anywhere.Asexamples,AIHRCreferredtothemurderofRabbani(inSeptember2011)andthe
recentmurder(February2012)oftwoAmericanadvisersinsidetheMinistryofInterior.Whenit
comestolowprofilepeople,ithashowevernotbeenapriorityfortheTalibantotracethem
down.Previously(in2007,2008and2009)theTalibanalsotargetedlowprofilepeople,butin
2011and2012ithasbeenapriorityfortheTalibantogoafterhightargetsinKabul.AIHRCalso

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

pointedoutthatifkillingshavetakenplaceinKabulitisnotalwaysclearwhoisbehindthese
killingsasitmightalsobeacriminalact.
AccordingtoAIHRC,alowprofilepersonwhohasfledaconflictwithaTalibancommanderinhis
placeoforiginwouldinmostcasesnotbetrackeddownbytheTalibaninKabulasitisnota
priorityfortheTalibantogoafterlowprofilepeople.
AskedabouttheTalibanactivitiesinKabulandothermajorcities,IOMexplainedthattheTaliban
cellsarecertainlyoperatinginKabulandthattheirnetworksseemtobegettingstrongerand
stronger.However,ifalowprofilepersonhashadaconflictwiththeTalibaninhisplaceoforigin,
theTalibanwouldmostprobablynotmakeitaprioritytotrackhimdowninKabul,accordingto
IOM,astheTalibansactivitieswillmainlyfocusontargetinghighprofilepersons.IOMaddedthat
thesecuritysituationinMazareSharifandHeratwithregardtotheTalibanspresenceissimilar
tothatofKabul.
AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulfounditunlikelythattheTalibanwould
chasedownlowprofilepersonswhohavefledaconflictwiththeTalibanintheirplaceoforigin
andhavecometoKabul.Accordingtothesamesource,inthefewcaseswherelowprofilepeople
havebeenkilledinKabul,itisnotcertainwhetherornotitistheTalibanwhoisbehindthekilling.
TheindependentpolicyresearchorganizationaddedthattheTalibancertainlyarepresentin
Kabul,buttheiractionsaremerelyfocusedonhighprofilepersonslikeforinstancehighlevel
governmentemployees,highlevelpoliticiansorhighlevelemployeesoftheDefenceMinistry.
ConcerningpresenceoftheTalibaninKabul,DRCstatedthattheTalibancertainlyispresentin
somesettlementsinKabul,butDRChadnoknowledgeoftheextentoftheirpresence.
WhenaskedwhetherlowprofileIDPsareatargetfortheTalibanorotherinsurgentgroups,DRC
repliedthatithadneverheardIDPsinthesettlementscomplainabouttheirsecuritysituation,and
ithadneverheardofanylowprofilepersonfleeingtoKabulandthenbeingtargetedbythe
Taliban.AccordingtoDRC,securityisexactlythemainreasonwhymanyIDPsareinKabul,and
theywouldnothavecometoKabuliftheyfeltthattheirsecuritywasindangerthere.
CPAUhadnevercomeacrosscaseswheretheTalibanhadgoneafterlowprofilepersonsinKabul.

1.3.Possibilitytoseekprotectionfromtheauthoritiesinconnectionwithconflictsinplaceof
origin
Regardingthepossibilitytoseekprotectionfromtheauthoritiesinconnectionwithconflictsin
placeoforigin,UNHCRstatedthatthecommonperceptionofthepoliceisnegativeinAfghanistan.
Ingeneral,peopleconsiderthepolicetobecorruptandweakanditwouldbethelastresortfor
peopletoseekprotectionwiththepoliceandotherlawenforcementagents.Askedifthesituation
wouldbedifferentinthebigcities,UNHCRrepliedthatthecorruptionisevenhigherinthecities
thaninthecountryside.UNHCRemphasizedthatpeopleseekprotectionwithintheir
communitiesandethnicgroups.Inlocalareas,theywillturntotheshuras/jirgasforassistance,

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

buttheshuras/jirgasareveryrarelyinKabulandtheonlyprotectionavailableistheprotection
givenbyonesownethnicgroup.
DRCexplainedthatifpeoplewerethreatenedinKabul,theywouldnotgotothepolicetoaskfor
helpbecauseofthewidespreadcorruptionandalackoftrustinthepolice.
AccordingtoDRC,ifsomebodyisthreatenedandneedprotection,thereisacouncilofelders
(shura)ineachsettlementwhichisresponsibleforestablishingsocialorderinthesettlement.All
activitiesinthesettlementarecoordinatedthroughthesecouncilsofelders.Insomesettlements
withethnicallymixedinhabitants,thereisarepresentativefromeachethnicgroupinthecouncil.
CPAUpointedoutthatpeopleusuallydonotgotothepolicewhentheyreceivenightlettersor
anyotherthreateningmessage,noteveninKabul,because,thepolicewouldnormallynottake
anyactioninthesecases.
AccordingtoIOM,somepeoplewhoarethreatenedbytheTalibaninKabulwouldseekprotection
withtheauthorities,butmanywillnotbecausetheydonottrustthepolice.Itwasthoughadded
thatsomeoftheANPstaffaregettingmoreandmoreactiveandhastakensomeactiononcases
relatedtocriminalityandkidnappingrecently.
AccordingtoIPCB,theANPispartoftheAfghanNationalSecurityForces(ANSF)whosemainfocus
hasbeenprimarilycounterinsurgencyoperations.IPCBinformedthedelegationthatitistheaim
ofthepolicetrainingprogrammetoprofessionalizetheANPinawaythattheforcewillultimately
moveawayfromthesecurityclusterandtowardsjusticeandgoodgovernance.Inthediscussions
aboutthedevelopmentofANP,thefocuswasinitiallyonquantityoftheforceratherthanquality
oftheindividualpoliceman.ThechangingroleofANPinordertoprotectpeoplehasnowbecome
apriorityinthetrainingprogramme.AccordingtoIPCB,ANPslawenforcementcapabilitycould
beimprovedandchangesinthisareahavestarted.Thatiswhythebiggestchallengeistodevelop
theANPintoalawenforcementinstitutionaspartofthewholeinstitutionalreformprogrammein
theMinistryofInterior(MOI).Thisexercisetakestimeasitisachallengetochangepeoples
perceptionofthepolice,accordingtoIPCB.Itwas,however,addedthatthereisamoveinthe
populationtowardsacceptanceofthepolice.1

1.4.Supportmechanismsincl.socialnetworks,relativesandethnicgroups
Thereare,accordingtoanindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul,differentfactors
affectinganIDPsabilitytosettledowninKabul,includinghisresources,hisnetworkinthecity
andhisjobopportunities.
Accordingtoaninternationalorganization,itwillingeneralbequitedifficulttosettleinKabulif
youdonothavefamilyandrelativestheretosupportyou.

Inthiscontext,IPCBreferredtothePolicePerceptionSurvey:UNDPAfghanistan,PolicePerceptionSurvey2011,TheAfghan
Perspective,Kabul2011,accessedathttp://www.undp.org.af/Publications/KeyDocuments/2011/PPSEng%20Version
2011%20Final%20Lowest%20Res.pdfon27March2012

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AccordingtoUNHCR,althoughKabulisabigcity,thecultureinAfghanistanissuchthateverybody
withinacertainethniccommunitywouldtrytofindprotectionwithintheirownethnic
community.
UNHCRemphasizedthatsupportmechanismssuchassocialnetworks,ethniccommunitiesand
extendedfamilylinksarecrucialfortheprospectsofintegrationandsecurityinotherlocations
thantheplaceoforigin.Peoplewhodonothavesocialnetworkswillhavedifficultiesasthereis
nosupportfromthegovernment.
UNHCRalsonotedthatthesituationforsinglewomenorfemaleheadedhouseholdsisvery
difficult.Ingeneral,UNHCRfoundthatyoungsinglemenwouldhavebetterchancesofsettlingin
Kabulandotherbigcitiesascomparedtosinglewomenforwhomthesituationwouldbe
extremelydifficult.
AccordingtoIOM,supportmechanismssuchassocialnetworks,relativesandethnicgroupshavea
highimpacteverywhereinAfghanistanandtheyhaveanimpactonpeoplesaccessto
employmentandfoodsecurity.Mostpeoplelivewithintheirownethnicgroups.
SinceKabulisacitywhichhasgrownfrom500.000to5millioninhabitants,itisdifficultfora
singlepersontoestablishhisownnewnetworks,accordingtoIOM.However,itwasaddedthatall
ethnicgroupshavetheirowncommunitiesinKabul,andyoungmenwillusuallyfindtheirown
ethniccommunitywhentheycometothecity.Theethniccommunitytendstointegratethe
newcomerswithinthegroupandprovideprotectionforthem.
ConcerningtheexistenceofsocialnetworksintheinformalsettlementsinKabul,DRCexplained
thatIDPsbuildtheirownnewsocialnetworkswithinthesettlements,andtheyhelpeachother
throughthesenetworks.Insomeareas,theinhabitantsofthesettlementsarefromthesame
ethnicgroupandpeoplehaveoftenreestablishedtheirsocialrelationsfromtheirplaceoforigin.
Inotherareas,peoplearecooperatingacrossethnicitiesthroughtheestablishedshuras.
AskedifitwouldbepossibleforsomeonewhoisfleeingalocalconflictwiththeTalibantosettle
inKabul,IPCBstatedthatitiseasiertohideinacityoffivemillionpeoplethaninalocalvillage.
However,IPCBemphasizedthatthefamily,thetribeandthecommunityplayaprominentrolein
thelifeofanAfghancitizen,andthisisalsowherepeoplefindprotection.Forthisreason,itwould
beadifficultdecisionforsomeonetouproothimselfandgoandsettleinKabul.

1.5Accesstobasicrights
MoRRemphasizedthatKabulnolongerhasthecapacitytoabsorbmorepeopleandbasicservices
cannotbeprovidedinKabul.AccordingtoMoRR,thereare500,000IDPsinAfghanistanandmany
ofthemareinKabul.Thesepeoplehavebeendisplacedduetonaturaldisasters(droughts)aswell
asconflicts.Furthermore,Kabulhasreceivedanothercategoryofinternallydisplacedpersonsdue
tounemploymentinruralareaswhichcausesmovementstourbanplacesandcreationofinformal
settlements.

10

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AIHRChighlightedthatduringtheTalibanperiod,Kabulhadaround500.000inhabitants.Dueto
theconflictsindifferentareasinthelastdecadesandtosomeextentalsoduetonatural
disasterssuchasthedrought,thereturnofrefugees,bettereconomicopportunitiesand
operationoftheinternationalNGOsmanypeoplehavefledtoKabulinrecentyears.Nowthecity
hasmorethanfivemillioninhabitantsandhasreacheditslimits,accordingtoAIHRC.Atpresent,
thereisnomoreroomforpeopletosettleinKabul,peoplecannotfindadecentlivelihood,and
housesaswellaspublicservicessuchaswaterandsanitationarenotavailable.Thiswinter(2012),
manypeople,andespeciallymanychildren,havediedduetothecoldweatherinKabul.
UNHCRpointedoutthatKabulhasgrownrapidlywithinthelasttenyearsandisnowacityof
approximately5millionpeople.UNHCRfurtherpointedoutthatthelivingconditionsinKabulare
difficult,especiallyinthesocalledinformalandillegalsettlementswhereamixtureofgroupsof
returnees,migrantsandpeoplefleeingconflictintheirareaoforiginhavesettled.Asanexample,
UNHCRmentionedthatdrinkingwaterisproblematic.Atpresent,mobilewatertanksare
supplyingpeoplewithdrinkingwaterintheseareas,butthesupplyisnotsufficientandthe
governmentdoesnotallowapermanentsolutionsuchasinstallationofwaterpumpsinthearea.
Thepositionofthegovernmentisthattheinhabitantsofthesesitesaremigrantswhohavecome
toKabulforeconomicreasonsandshouldgobacktotheirareaoforigin.Furthermore,theKabul
municipalitydoesnotallowNGOstoworkonmoredurablesolutionsintheseareas.Kabuls
informalsettlementsinclude43differentsitesinKabul,eachwitharelativelyhomogenousethnic
group,accordingtoUNHCR.19,400persons(3,235families)arelivingintheseinformal
settlementsthroughoutKabul.2Thesettlementshavenoprotectionagainstevictionandasthe
governmentwantstodevelopKabulasacapitalcity,thesesettlementsaresubjecttobeing
bulldozed.

AccordingtoDRC,accesstosomebasicrightssuchasaccesstowaterispoorintheinformal
settlements,especiallybecausethegovernmentdoesnotallowpermanentimprovements.In
somesettlements,1,000familiesaresharingonewaterpump.
WhenaskedwhetherIDPsliveunderworseconditionsinKabulcomparedtotheirplaceoforigin,
DRCstatedthatifoneseesthesituationinthesettlementsinKabul,onecannotimaginethat
thesepeoplecouldhavelivedunderworseconditionsbefore.Mostofthemwerefarmersbefore
comingtoKabulandtheireconomicsituationwouldprobablyhavebeenbetter,buttheyhave
cometoKabulforsafety.DRCbelieves,however,thatsomeIDPswillnotfaceanysecurity
problemiftheygobacktotheirareaoforigin,buttheyremaininKabulduetobetteraccessto
healthcareservices,betterlivelihoodopportunities,andhopeforbetterfutureinthecity
comparedtotheirplaceoforigin.
AninternationalorganizationinKabulstatedthatimportantimprovementsinKabuls
infrastructuresuchasproviding24hourselectricitysupplyhavebeenmadeasaconsequenceof
theinternationalpresence.However,livingconditionsinKabularetough.AlthoughKabulfaces
thesameproblemsasanyotherbigcity,thesituationinKabulisworsethaninothermajorcities
2

UNHCRiscurrently[March2012]reviewingthepopulationfiguresofthesites.

11

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

inAfghanistanbecausethedemandforjobsandsocialservicesishigherthanwhatthecitycan
offer.
Accordingtotheinternationalorganization,everythingismoreexpensiveinKabulthaninother
placesofAfghanistan,inparticularhousingandfood.InothercitieslikeMazariSharifandHerat,
thecostoflivingislowerthaninKabulandfoodischeaper.ManypeoplewhoarecomingtoKabul
needtohavetwojobstosustainthemselvesandtheirfamilies.Forexample,therearepeoplewho
haveajobduringthedayandworkasguardsinthenight.
1.5.1Accesstohousing
Whenaskedwhetheritispossibleforpeoplewhofleeaconflictintheirareaoforigintomoveto
andsettleinKabul,anAfghanlawpractitionerexplainedthatgenerallythereisnolegalbarrierfor
peoplefromotherplacesinAfghanistantocomeandsettleinKabul.TheAfghanlawpractitioner
added,however,thatfindingaplacetoliveinKabulisamajorproblemasrentsareveryhigh.
TherearethoughareaswithlowerrentssuchasPoleCharkhi,KotaleKhairKhanaorsuburbsof
Kabul.ThesamesourceaddedthatsomeofthepeoplewhohavecometoKabulliveintentsas
theycannotaffordotheraccommodationandthegovernmentdoesnotprovideanysheltersfor
them.
AccordingtoMoRR,manyIDPsliveintentsinKabulwhicharequitehardtoliveinduringcold
wintersandhotsummers,forexamplethiswinterwheretheweatherhasbeenverycold.
MoRRpointedoutthataccordingtothePresidentialDecreenumber104from2005,3allreturnees
andIDPshavetoreturntotheirplaceoforigin,andthegovernmentwillallocateaplotoflandto
returneestosettleon.MoRRisworkingtopreparetheseIDPstoreturntotheirareasoforigin
withtheassistanceofaidorganizationsanddonors.
AccordingtoUNHCR,housingisproblematicinKabulbecauseofscarcityandrentsarehigh.
AsregardsaccesstohousinginKabul,DRCstatedthathousingisexpensiveinKabul,andmanylive
inextremelybadconditionseitherintentsormudhousesandhavedonesoforthelast810
years.4DRCaddedthattheAfghanauthoritiesdonotseemtobewillingtoprovideanyhelpinthe
informalsettlementsmainlybecausethegovernmentwantthesepeopletogobacktotheirareas
oforigin.AccordingtoDRC,evenwhenNGOswanttoprovidehelp,theyaretoldbythe
authoritiesthatmanyamongthesettlershavesettledillegallyonlandtheydonotown,andthe
NGOsshouldthereforenothelpthem.Someofthesepeoplemayalsofaceevictionbythe
government.
WhenaskedaboutthehouserentsinKabul,DRCmentionedasanexamplethatafamilyofsix
shouldpayabout100USdollarspermonthforaflatinalowmiddleclassneighbourhood.DRC
addedthatforthesamereasonDRCseesnomovementsoutoftheinformalsettlements.

PresidentialDecreeNo.104,6.December2005,ref.http://morr.gov.af/en/DocumentsandAnnex4

InthisconnectionDRCreferredtotheWorldBank/UNHCRstudyonIDPs(ResearchStudyonIDPsinurbansettingsAfghanistan,
KabulMay2011)inwhichitisfoundthat92%ofIDPsinKabulrelyontemporaryhousingarrangementsofwhichathirdlivein
tents(p.32ff).

12

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Concerninghouserentpaidbyasingleperson,DRCstatedthatnormallysinglepeoplelivewith
friendsandrentaflattogetherwithothers,anditishencedifficulttoestimatehowmuchthe
singlepersonspay.
HousinginKabulisabigproblem,accordingtoIOM.RentingahouseinKabulisveryexpensive.In
centralKabul,therentforasmallhouseforsixtosevenfamilymemberswillvarybetween300to
450USdollarspermonthdependingonthelocation.Incomparison,ateacherssalaryis80US
dollarspermonth.
IOMaddedthatpeoplewillusuallyjoinfamilymembersandstaywiththeirrelativesinKabul.This
isalsowhatmanyofthereturneesontheAssistedVoluntaryReturnprogramme(AVR)aredoing,
accordingtoIOM.Inthisway,theywillmanagetheexpendituresbysharingtherentand
squeezingtogether.
AskedwhetherayoungsinglemanwouldbeabletomanageonhisowninKabul,IOMrepliedthat
IOMdidnothaveanyexamplesfromtheirAVRprogrammeofyoungmenstayingontheirownin
Kabulastheywouldnormallyhaveotherfamilymemberstostaywith.
1.5.2.Accesstothelabourmarket
AccordingtoMoRR,themainprobleminKabulisemploymentforpeoplecomingfromthe
provincesorreturningfromabroad.
AIHRCpointedoutthattheemploymentrateisverylowinAfghanistan.36%oftheworkforceis
unemployedandanother36%isearninglessthanonedollaraday.Kabulhasarelativelybetter
employmentrate,butpeoplecomingfromtheprovinceswillhavedifficultiesinfinding
sustainablejobs.
AccordingtoAIHRC,therearebothwealthypeopleandpoorpeoplewhohavefledconflictsin
theirareaoforigin.Theeconomicsituationofmostofthepeoplehasnotimprovedbycomingto
Kabul.Peoplewholivedunderpoorconditionsintheirareaoforiginwillalsoliveinpoor
conditionsinKabul.Therearepeoplewhohadtheirlandandwerelivingfromagriculturebutwho
haveendedupasdailylabourersinKabul.
Askedabouttheaccesstoemployment,UNHCRexplainedthatitisbetterinthebigcitiesthanin
thecountryside.AccordingtoUNHCR,manypeoplecometoKabulinsearchofjobsbecausethey
thinkthattherearelotsofjobsinKabulduetothepresenceoftheinternationalcommunity.
However,becauseoftherapidgrowthofthepopulationofthecityinrecentyears,theaccessto
employmentismoreacuteinKabulcomparedtoothercities,anditisdifficultfornewcomersto
establishalivelihoodthere.
RegardingaccesstothelabourmarketinKabul,DRCexplainedthatbecausemanypeopledonot
haveeducation,theyaredoomedtounemploymentortolowpaidjobsasdaylabourers,anditis
quitedifficultforthemtoearntheirliving.DRCassumedthatpersonswithvocationalskillshavea
reasonablechanceofprovidingaminimallivelihood,andthatisthereasonwhyDRChasstarted
activitieswithvocationaltraininginmotorbikerepair,cellphonerepair,tailoringandcarpet

13

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

weavinginsomesettlements.DRCalsopointedoutthatpersonswithforeignlanguageand
computerskillshaveverygoodjobopportunitiesinKabul.
Comparedtosinglewomenorfamilies,singleyoungmaleseventhosewithnoeducationhave
betterchancestofindjobsandsurviveinKabul,accordingtoDRC.AsDRCexplained,widowsand
singlewomenareinanextremelyvulnerablesituation,particularlywidowswhotendnottobe
lookedafterbytheirfamiliesandsomeofthemevenendupinprostitution.
IOMstatedthatemploymentingeneralisabigprobleminAfghanistan.IOMaddedthatthe
labourmarketinKabulisunderahugepressureasaresultoftheconsiderablegrowthofthecitys
populationwithinthelasttenyears.Thesamesourceexplainedthatduetotheworsening
securitysituationinthevariousprovinces,manypeoplearecomingtoKabul.Thesourceadded
thatmanyreturneesfromtheAVRprogrammearealsostayinginKabullookingforjob
opportunities,insteadofreturningtotheirareasoforiginwhichmaybeinsecureareas.Moreover,
therearepeoplewhohavecomefromtheruralareastothecityinsearchofbetterjob
opportunitiesandbetterlife.IOMpointedoutthattheaccesstoemploymentisstillhigherin
Kabulandotherbigcitiesthanintheruralareas.
IOMfurthersaidthatyoungmenwillhavethebiggestopportunitiesforjobscomparedtoother
groupsandmanyyoungpeopledecidetocometoKabulbecauseofemploymentopportunities.
Regardingjobopportunities,IOMsaidthatmostjobsarefoundintheprivatesector(oftensmall
businesses),andthereareonlyfewopportunitiesinthepublicsector.ForpeoplecomingtoKabul
fromthecountrysidewithoutanyeducation,theonlyopportunityavailableisoftenlowpaiddaily
labour,mainlyintheconstructionorservicesector,accordingtoIOM.Thesepeoplewillgain57
USdollarsperday,anditisespeciallydifficultforfamilieswithchildrentosurvivewithsuchlow
income.Otherswilltrytomakealivingasshopkeepersbuttheycanbarelysurviveonthat.IOM
saidthatmostpeoplewhoarefleeingthecountrysideandwhohavepreviouslybeenfarmerswill
endupinaworseeconomicsituationthanpreviously,buttheyprefertostayinKabulbecauseitis
asaferplaceforthemandtheirfamiliesthantheirareaoforigin.
IOMstatedthatcomparedtoothernewcomers,educatedpeoplehavebetteropportunitiesto
findajobwithinthegovernmentorinprivatecompanies,particularlythosewithforeignlanguage
orcomputerskills.
AccordingtoaninternationalNGO,themainprobleminKabulistofindajobinordertosustaina
livelihood.AsmanyfamilieshavemovedtoKabulduetoinsecurity,thereispressureonthe
availableresourcesandjobs.TheinternationalNGOfoundthatingeneralitiseasierforasingle
mantosettleandintegrateinKabulthanforawholefamily.
AnAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthattofindajobisaconsiderablechallengeforpeoplemoving
toKabulalthoughtherearemorejobopportunitiesinKabulcomparedtootherplacesin
Afghanistan,especiallyforeducatedpeople.

14

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AninternationalorganizationsaidthatalargepartoftheeconomyinKabulissustainedbythe
internationalpresence,inparticularISAFtroops.Itisexpectedthereforethattheemployment
situationinKabulwillbecatastrophicthedaytheinternationalforcesleavethecountry.
Thesamesourcestatedthatformenitiseasiertofindjobsthanforwomenalthoughthe
unemploymentrateisveryhighevenformen.TherearemanyfrustratedyoungmeninKabulwho
donothaveajobduetolackofeducation.Ifyouareeducated,youhavemorechancestofinda
jobinKabul.
Regardingyoungmen,MoWAstatedthatiftheycometoandsettledowninKabul,theywillnot
facesomanyproblemsassinglewomendoandiftheyhaverelatives,itwillbemucheasier.
1.5.2.1Womensaccesstothelabourmarket
Aninternationalorganizationexplainedthattherearefewerwomeninthelabormarket
comparedtomen,andthatiswhytheunemploymentislessvisibleforwomen.Widowswillbein
ahighlyvulnerablesituationiftheydonothavesocialnetworksandfamilytosupportthem,and
theymightendupinprostitution.
AskedaboutthesituationforwomeninKabul,includingsinglewomenandfemaleheaded
households,AIHRCfoundthatiftheyhaveaccesstowork,theywillbeabletomanageontheir
own.TherearenorestrictionsontheirmovementandtheAfghansocietyprotectswomen,
accordingtoAIHRC.
Regardingwomen,andespeciallywidows,IOMexplainedthattheyareboundbyfamilyrulesand
traditionsandarehencerarelyallowedtowork,whichispartlydeterminedbytheAfghanculture.
However,itisatrendobservedbyIOMthatyoungeducatedwomenaremoreandmoreentering
thelabourmarket,andmoreandmorefamiliesareallowingyoungwomentogetaneducation
andajob.Overthelastsevenyears,IOMhasseenmoreandmorefemalestaffapplyingforjobs
withintheirorganization.
MoWAsaidthatthereisnosupportforwomenwhowanttosettleinKabul.MoRRdoesnot
allocatelandtofemaleheadedhouseholds.Further,itwasstressedthathousingpricesarehuge
inKabul,andifasinglewomanshouldhaveachancetosurviveinKabul,shemustbeprovided
withaplacetolive.
AnothermajorchallengeforasinglewomaninKabulwouldbetofindajob,accordingtoMoWA.
ItwouldbeeasierforwelleducatedwomentofindajobinKabul,buteventhentheywouldhave
difficultiesinsustaininglivelihoodiftherearenojobs.MoWApointedoutthatitisgenerally
difficultforasinglewomantomanagelifealoneinAfghanistan.Livingaloneasasinglewomanis
veryunusual,andshewillalsofacesecurityissuesinherlife.Forfemaleheadedhouseholdsitis
easierandmoreacceptediftheyhavechildren.
1.5.3Accesstootherbasicrights
IOMsaidthatinKabulandotherbigcities,accesstoschoolsisunproblematic.Educationforadults
suchaslanguagetrainingandcomputertrainingisalsoavailable.However,mostpeoplewho
cometoKabulneedtoearnmoneyimmediatelyinordertosupportthemselvesandtheirfamilies

15

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

andwillnotavailthemselvesofeducationopportunities.InHerat,thesituationisdifferentasthe
levelofeducationingeneralishigherandmanyAfghansinHerathavebeeneducatedinIran.
Regardingaccesstoschoolforinternallydisplacedchildren,anAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthat
thosechildrenhaveaccesstoeducationinKabulandtheycancontinuetheireducationthere.
AskedaboutaccesstoschoolsinKabul,DRCstatedthatintheorythereisaccesstoschoolsforall
inKabul,andthereisnolegalhindrancefornewcomerstoenroltheirchildreninschoolsinKabul.
However,therearemanyinternallydisplacedchildrenwhoduetopovertyworkascasual
labourersorstreetvendorsinsteadofattendingschool.DRCaddedthattherearealsoNGOs
runningschoolsforthechildrenintheinformalsettlements.
IOMsaidthataccesstohealthisbetterinKabulthaninthecountryside,andthehealthserviceis
relativelygood.
Regardingaccesstohealthcareservices,UNHCRstatedthattheaccessandtheavailabilityof
medicalcareingeneralisbetterinthecitiesthaninthecountryside,particularlyinKabulwhere
theaccessandtheavailabilityofmedicalcareisbestcomparedtootherplacesinAfghanistan.
RegardingaccesstohealthcareservicesinKabul,DRCsimilarlystatedthatthesituationinKabulis
betterthaninruralareas.DRCaddedthatsomeaidorganisationsprovidehealthcareservicesin
thesettlements,forexampleaphysicianvisitingthesettlementtwiceaweek.
AsregardsaccesstohealthservicesinKabul,anAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthatinternally
displacedpersonshaveaccesstohealthservicesinKabulinthesamewayasintheirplacesof
origin.Ifthereareshortcomings,italsoappliestoallotherresidentsinKabul.
TheAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthatthereisnoshortageoffoodinKabul,butfoodpricesare
higherinthecapitalthaninotherplacesinAfghanistan.
AccordingtoIOM,foodsecurityisanissueintheIDPcampsbutfortherestofthepopulationin
Kabulitisnotanissue.FoodsecurityisnotanissueinMazarandHerateither.

16

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

2. AssociationoremploymentwithUSmilitary/ISAF

ConcerningtheriskrunbypersonswhoareassociatedoremployedwithUSmilitary,an
independentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulinformedthedelegationthattheseemployees
donotrunahighriskiftheirworkplaceisinKabul,butifoneworksinamilitarybaseoutside
Kabul,thenthereisariskofbeingtargetedregardlessofonespositionandtypeofwork.That
includescontractorsaswellasservicestaffanddrivers.Asregardsotherpeopleworkingforthe
USmilitary,theindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulstatedthatforinstance
interpretersarehightargets.Anotherfactordeterminingthelevelofriskinthisconnectionis
onesplaceofliving.Employeeswholivelocallyoutsidebasesrunahigherriskcomparedtothose
whoareoriginatingfromanotherareathanwherethebasesarelocated.Thesamesourcestated
thatmanyofthosewhoworkforthemilitarykeeptheirjobsasecretiftheycan.
DRCstatedthatpersonsworkingfortheinternationalforcesaredefinitelyatargetintherural
areas.
AccordingtoUNHCR,allpersonswhoareseentosupportNATOsoldiersandpeopleworkingfor
NATO,aswellasforeignersandpeopleworkingforforeignersareatriskofbeingtargetedbythe
Taliban.5UNHCRcommentedthatregardingstaffemployedbytheUSmilitaryorISAF,thereisa
highpossibilityforeverystaffmemberbeingintimidatedbytheTaliban.Interpretersaswellas
localdriversworkingforcompaniessupportingthebasesareatrisk.
UNHCRmentioneditasaruleofthumbthatallbluecollaremployeeswhoareseengoinginand
outofmilitarybasesaswellasPRTcampsonaregularbasis,maybeatriskofintimidationbythe
Taliban.AsUNHCRexpressedit:themorevisibleyouarethehighertheriskyourunofbeing
targeted.Inpractice,however,itisdifficulttodistinguishbetweenthevariouslevelsof
employmentaccordingtoUNHCR.Ingeneral,allAfghanswhoareassociatedwithforeignerscould
beatriskinKabulaswellasinthecountryside.However,theriskishigherforpeopleoutside
Kabul,accordingtoUNHCR.
PeopleworkingforUSmilitaryorISAFrunahigherriskthanothergroups,accordingtoIOM.
Translatorsaremoreatriskthanotheremployeessuchascleaningstaff,whichIOMexplainedby
thefactthattranslatorsaremoreincontactwiththemilitarystaff.Familymembersofthese
employeeswouldalwaysbeincludedinthethreats,accordingtoIOM.IOMfurthersaidthat
contractorsworkingfortheUSmilitaryorAmericanorBritishcompaniesarealsotargeted,and
contractorsworkingforIndiancompaniesaretosomeextentalsotargeted.
AccordingtoAIHRC,peopleworkingwithinternationalforcesaretargetedbytheTaliban.
TranslatorsworkingforU.S.militaryorISAFforceswerementionedbyAIHRCamongtheTalibans
targets.Asregardsfamilymembersofpeopleworkingfortheinternationalforces,thereare

UNHCRexplainedthattheyarenotinapositiontogivedetailsonrecruitmentofvariousUSmilitaryandISAFstaff.UNHCRhas
triedtocollectinformationfromISAFbutastheissueisconsideredasverysensitivebyISAF,noresponsewasforthcoming.

17

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

examplesthattheTalibanhasintimidatedtheirfamiliesandacquaintances,buttherealriskisfor
thepersonworkingfortheforces.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulinformedthedelegationthatespeciallyinterpreters
employedbytheinternationalforcesareatrisk,butdriversandservicestaffcouldalsobe
targeted.Theycanbekidnapped,blackmailedorkilledbecauseofthisassociation.NATOconvoy
driversarealsooftenkilled.
AAWUstatedthatmenwhoworkwithinthesecurityforcesandinterpretersworkingforthe
foreignforcesarehightargets.

2.1RecruitmentofstaffservingISAF/Danishforces
AccordingtotheDanishMinistryofDefence6,interpretersworkingforISAF/Danishforcesare
recruitedthroughforeigncompanies/contractors.InterpretersaretypicallylocalAfghanswhoare
recruitedfromKabulbuttheycouldalsobecitizensfromotherforeigncountries.Theessential
issueistheirproficiencyofthelanguage.Variouslocalstaffusedforcleaning,campmanagement,
canteen/cookingetc.arealsorecruitedthroughforeigncompanies/contractors.However,insome
camps,thistypeofstaffisalsocitizensfromotherforeigncountries.AccordingtotheDanish
MinistryofDefence,mechanicsaretypicallynotlocalAfghans,butcitizensfromothercountries
whoarealsorecruitedthroughforeigncompanies/contractors.
Theforeigncompanieswhichdelivertherequiredpersonneltotheforeignforceshavetheirown
independentrecruitmentprocedure,forwhichreasontheDanishMinistryofDefenceisnotina
positiontoinformthedelegationwhethertheseproceduresareuniformordifferentforthe
differentnationsthecompaniesareservicing.
StaffwhohasbeenrecruitedformechanicalservicesbytheforeigncompanieslivesintheDanish
partoftheISAFcampswheretheyareworkingiftheyareservingtheDanishforces.Someofthe
interpreters7havetheirownseparatesectionwithintheBritish/AmericanTombstonecamp.
Somestaff8hasreceivedthenecessaryentrancecardsinordertoaccessthecamp.
TheDanishMinistryofDefenceisnotissuingcertificatesforservingtheDanishforcesasthe
employmentisbetweentheemployeeandtheforeigncompany/contractor.However,mechanics
andinterpretershavereceivedCertificatesofAppreciationfromtheDanishforces.
AccordingtotheDanishMinistryofDefence,somecompaniesareissuingcertificatestostaffwho
hasservedUSmilitaryafterleavingtheservice,asitwillallowtheformerstafftoapplyforaGreen
Card.
6

TheDanishImmigrationService(DIS)hastriedtocollectinformationonrecruitmentprocedures,securitychecks,registering,etc.
oflocalAfghanstaffwhoareservingUSMilitary/ISAFforcesduringitsmissiontoKabul,Afghanistan.However,astheissueis
consideredasverysensitivebyUSMilitaryandISAF,nosourcescouldbeidentifiedforaninterview.Instead,DIShascontactedthe
DanishMinistryofDefence,whohasrepliedinwritingandgivensomedetailsonrecruitmentofvariouslocalstaffservingUS
militaryandISAFstaff.
7
ThoserecruitedbythecompanyMissionEssentialPersonnel
8ThoserecruitedbythecompaniesMissionEssentialPersonnelandSupremeGroup

18

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

3. AssociationoremploymentwithInternationalorganizations,NGOs,Western
CompaniesandtheAfghangovernment

3.1.AssociationoremploymentwithInternationalorganizations,NGOsandWesternCompanies
MoRRinformedthedelegationthatpeopleworkingfortheAfghangovernmentorinternational
organizationsaresubjecttointimidationbytheinsurgentgroups.
MoRRsaidthattherehavebeenmanycasesofextensiveintimidationandkillingscommittedby
theinsurgentgroups,andsomeofthesecasesarealsoreflectedinthemedia.AccordingtoMoRR,
alllevelsofemployeesassociatedwiththeinternationalcommunityaretargeted.
AIHRCstatedthatpeopleworkingwithNGOs,internationalorganizationsandWesternCompanies
arealltargetedbytheTaliban.
RegardingemploymentwithWesternCompanies,AIHRCexplainedthatemployeesincompanies
whohavecontractswithinternationalforcesorforeignorganizationsareatrisk.Thisdoesnot
includecompanieswhichimportwesterncommoditiesbutonlycompanieswhichhavecontracts.
AccordingtoAIHRC,ifpeopletravelwithIDcardsofinternationalorganizationsorNGOsandthey
arestoppedattheTalibancheckpoints,theywillbeatrisk.Insuchcases,theTalibanwill
sometimesevenkillpeople.However,thisisusuallynotthecaseinthebigcitieswherepeoplewill
ratherbesubjectedtointimidations.TheAIHRCrepresentativeinterviewedbythedelegationhas
himselfbeenatargetforsuchintimidation.
UNHCRstatedthattheriskofintimidationofemployeesofinternationalorganizationsisgenerally
highandmanyformeremployeesofinternationalorganizationsareleavingthecountryforthe
samereason,includingsomeofUNHCRsownstaff.UNHCRfoundthatespeciallythemidlevel
managementintheseorganizationsistargeted.Ithappensthatpeopledonotdisclosetheir
employmentwithinternationalorganizationseventotheirclosestfamily.
Whenaskedaboutpossiblethreatsposedtopersonswhoareassociatedoremployedwith
Internationalorganizations,UNAMAstatedthatithappensthatitsemployeesarethreatened.
ThoseofUNAMAsemployeeswhoareinvolvedinactivitiesinconflictareasdonotdiscloseeven
totheirfamiliesthattheyareworkingforUNAMAduetopossiblethreatsnotonlyfromthe
Talibanbutalsofromcriminalgangs.ThisisparticularlythecaseforlocalstaffinKandaharand
otherareasintheSouth,buttosomeextentalsointheSouthEast.UNAMAaddedthatitsstaffis
generallyunderpressureindifferentways:intimidationbynightletters,threateningphonecalls,
peopleapproachingtheemployeesinthemosqueorinthestreetthreateningthemtostop
workingforUNorotherwisetheymightgetkilled.UNAMAexplainedthatthesecasesare
reportedthroughitssecuritystaff.
UNAMAknewofacaseinKunduzwherethenamesofpersonswhoworkedforinternational
organizationsweredisclosedonaTalibancontrolledradiostation,andafemaleemployeewas
subsequentlykilled.

19

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

UNAMAstressed,however,thatthreatsandintimidationarenotanormbutithappensonceina
while.Nevertheless,itwaspointedoutbyUNAMAthatnightlettersarequitedisturbingforits
employeeswork,andthreatsandintimidationapplytoitsemployeesatalllevels.UNAMA
mentioned,however,thatnokillingsorkidnappingofitsemployeeshavebeenreportedsofar.
AccordingtoUNAMA,inafewcasesthefamiliesoftheemployeeshavebeenthreatened.UNAMA
reportedoneincidentinthesouthernregionofanemployeesyoungsonbeingkidnapped,held
fortwomonthsandrescuedfromcaptivitythroughanAfghanpoliceoperation.
UNAMAaddedthatUNAMAs2011AnnualReportonProtectionofCiviliansdocumentsindetaila
campaignbyAntiGovernmentElements(AGEs)fortargetedkillingsandintimidationofAfghan
civilianswhoworkfortheGovernmentofAfghanistan,internationalmilitaryforcesand
organizations,orwhoareperceivedbyAGEstobesupportiveofthegovernmentorinternational
militaryforces.9
IOMinformedthedelegationthattheirstaffmembersreceivethreatsandnightlettersdueto
theiremploymentwithIOM.AccordingtoIOM,theirstaffatalllevelsistargetedbytheTaliban,as
forinstancedriversandcleaners.Someofthestaffhavealsoexperiencedthatfamilymembers
havebeenkidnapped.IOMexplainedthattheTalibanisconsideringpeopleemployedby
internationalorganizationsastraitorsofthecountry,forwhichreasontheirlivesmightbein
danger,andthethreatsmightalsobeextendedtotheirfamilymembers.IOMhashadacasefrom
thecountrysidewherethefamilyofastaffmemberwasthreatened.IOMfurtherinformedthe
delegationthattheorganizationhasalsohadacasewhereastaffmemberinvolvedincommunity
workgotkilled,andthiswasassumedtoberelatedtohiswork.Duetothedangerthelocalstaffis
facing,IOMisinstructingthemnottowearanysignsorcarryanydocumentsrelatedtothe
organizationwhentheytraveloutsideKabul.InKabul,thestaffwouldnotfaceanyproblems
accordingtoIOM.IOMaddedthatifithappenedinKabulorMazarorHerat,theANPwouldtake
action.
IOMfurtherexplainedthatpreviouslymostlyNGOworkerswerethreatened,butwithinthelast
1yearthethreatsaremoreandmorebeingposedtotheUnitedNations(UN).Thesethreatsare
madeopenlytoagenciesworkingwiththeUN.Thethreatsarenottargetingspecificpositionsbut
aredirectedatalllevels.
Aninternationalorganizationstatedthatthelevelofriskforpersonsassociatedwithinternational
organizationsdependsonhowmuchtheseorganizationsexposetheirlocalstaff.Asanexample,
interpretershaveajobwhichisconnectedwithrisksifitisperformedbylocalstaff.Forsensitive
tasks,itisoftenbettertohaveexpatriatesthanlocalstaffbeingincharge.
Liaisonofficerswhoarenetworkingwithvariousorganizations/donorscanalsobethetargetof
theinsurgentgroups,accordingtothesamesource.Supportstaffandservicestaffcanalsobe
9

UNAMAandUNHCHR,Afghanistan,AnnualReport2011,ProtectionofCiviliansinArmedConflict,Kabul,Afghanistan,February
2012,accessedon
http://photos.state.gov/libraries/usnato/562411/PDFs_001/UNAMA%20POC%202011%20Report_Final_Feb%202012.pdf,15
March2012

20

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

perceivedassupportingtheothersidealthoughitisdifficulttoassesshowmuchtheyarea
target.Thestaffnormallytakesitsprecautionsforthemselvesaswellasfortheirfamilies.
TowhatextentpersonsworkingforinternationalorganizationsandWesterncompaniesareatrisk
ofbeingtargetedbytheTalibanorotherinsurgentgroupsdepends,accordingtoanindependent
policyresearchorganizationinKabul,ontheorganizationinquestion.Regardingthetypeof
employeestargeted,theorganizationstatedthatemployeesatalllevelshavebeenkilled.The
samesourcepointedout,however,thatitisnotalwaysclearhowtheassaultshavetakenplace
andwhoisbehind:theTaliban,criminalgroupsoreventhegovernment.
AAWUinformedthedelegationthatwomenwhoworkforAfghanaswellasforeignorganizations,
NGOsandtheAfghangovernmentfaceahighriskofbeingtargetedbytheTaliban.However,it
waspointedoutthatwomenworkingforforeignorganizationsandcompaniesaretoalarger
extentprotectedcomparedtothelowprofilewomenworkingforthegovernmentorAfghan
organizationsastheyworkinhighlyprotectedworkplaces,driveinsecurecarsandsometimes
evenhavebodyguards.
AccordingtoAAWU,thethreatsposedtoemployeesininternationalorganizations,Western
companies,andtheAfghangovernmentmayendinviolence,includingkilling,kidnapping,or
throwingacidonpeople.AAWUmentionedthatsomeoneonceshotatAAWUsofficewhichwas
assumedbyAAWUtobeawarningfromthosewhoareopposedtoitswork.
Askedifemploymentbyinternationalorganizationscouldhaveconsequencesforthefamilyofthe
employee,anindependentresearchinstituteinKabulsaidthatinruralareastheTalibanwould
alsowarnthefamilytocallbacktheirsons.Thiswarningwouldoftencomebyanightletter.

3.2AssociationorEmploymentwithNGOs
AccordingtoCPAU,ingeneraleveryonewhoisassociatedoremployedwithNGOswhoare
involvedinpoliticalactivitiesisatargetforinsurgentgroups.IfsomeoneisworkingforUSfunded
projectsororganisationsorforacontractorwhoworksforAmericans,heorshewillbeahigh
targetnotonlybecauseofhisorherjobbutalsobecauseofthemoneyheorsheisperceivedto
have.Kidnappingwouldbeapossiblewaytoaskformoneyfromsuchpersons.
CPAUstatedthatpersonsworkingforAmericanorganizationsareathighriskofbeingtargeted
becausetheseemployeesarenotallowedtomovearoundinnonarmouredvehicleswhichinturn
makethemavisibletarget.AccordingtoCPAU,themoreapersonmovesaroundinalowprofile
andinvisiblemannerthelesshewillmakehimselfatargetforinsurgentgroups.
CPAUhastakenitsownsecurityprecautionstoavoidattackswhentheytravelinthecountryside.
Travellinginalowprofilemanner,notdrivinginbigorarmouredcars,usingtheemployeeswho
speakthelocallanguage,refrainingfromcarryingsatellitephonesorcellphonescontaining

21

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

contactinformation(names,phonenumbers,calllogs,etc.),andpretendingtoberesearchers
fromtheuniversity10aresomeofthemethodsusedbyCPAUtoavoidpossiblerisks.
CPAUaddedthattheNGOscooperatingwithmilitarygroupsconductingdevelopmentworkfor
exampleTheProvincialReconstructionTeams(PRT)indifferentprovincesinAfghanistanarealso
atriskofbeingtargetedbyinsurgentgroups.Thisisbecausetheycannotdistinguishbetweenwho
iswhoasPRTisamixofcontractors,militarypersonnel,businesscompaniesandNGOs.
Whenaskedwhichgroupstendtoposeathreattointernationalorganisations,NGOsandWestern
companies,CPAUrepliedthattheycomprisetheTalibanorotherinsurgentgroups,criminal
groups,andindividualgovernmentemployeeswhocarryarmsespeciallythosepolicemenwho
arepartofthelocalmilitiaandarenotwearinganyuniform.ThelastgroupiscalledArbakisbythe
localpopulation.
Tothequestionofwhethertheemployeesfamiliesalsoaretargeted,CPAUstatedthatingeneral
itisonlytheindividualemployeewhoisindanger.Thisisduetothefactthatonenormallydoes
notfindeducatedpeopleinthevillagesthatarecapableofcarryingoutNGOworkandemployees
attheinternationalorganizations,andNGOsarethereforeoftennotlocalsandtheirfamilieslive
inotherplaces.
AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulexplainedthatitnowadaysdoesnotentaila
greatrisktoworkforNGOs.Inthisconnection,theindependentpolicyresearchorganization
referredtoreportsfromANSOfromwhichitclearlyappearsthatNGOworkhasbecomeless
dangerousandthatattacksonNGOstaffhavegonedown.Thisiscontrarytoforexample
employeesinsecurityanddevelopmentcompaniesordeminingorganisationswhoarepotential
targets.Thesamesourceadded,however,thatthelevelofriskdependsontheplacewherethe
organisationoperates.Insomeareas,itispossibletoestablishanagreementwiththeTalibanin
orderfortheNGOstobeabletocarryouttheirwork.InotherareasasforinstanceintheEast,
thereareforeigncommandersoperatingwhomakethesituationmuchmoredangerous.
TheindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulmentionedthatitsometimeshappensthat
employeesatanNGO,whichnormallyisnotatarget,arekidnappedandthenreleasedaftera
coupleofdays;ANSOreferstothisaskidnapforinformationgathering,i.e.theTalibanwantto
findoutwhattheNGOdoes.Accordingtothesamesource,whetheraparticularpersonisatarget
fortheTalibandependsonhisjob,hispositionwithinanorganisation,andhissocialties,thatis
whetherhethroughhissocialties(relatives,triballinks,sharedmembershipofamujahedingroup
etc.)isrelatedtopersonsintheTaliban.
DRCexplainedthatpersonsassociatedoremployedwithinternationalorganisations,including
NGOsandWesterncompanies,arenottargetedinKabul,anditisonlyoutsideKabulandinthe
ruralareaswheretheyrunarisk.Regardingitsownstaff,DRChasneverheardanyfromitsstaff

10

CPAUexplainedthattheysaythisonlywhileinterviewingpeopleforaresearchsotheyarenotscepticalofthem.Thisismainly
becausepeoplecannotdifferentiatebetweenaprofessionalresearchmissionandintelligencegatheringmissionsbyforeign
forces.

22

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

complainabouttheirsecuritybeingthreatened.Therehavebeenveryfewcasesofabduction,but
thesecasescouldalsoberelatedtopeoplesincomeandstatusratherthanwhotheyworkfor,
accordingtoDRC.Ingeneral,NGOemployeesare,accordingtoDRC,notthreatened,atleastnot
thoseworkinginKabul.
AninternationalNGOdidnotconsideritasahighsecurityrisktobeemployedbyaninternational
NGO.AccordingtotheNGO,Talibansstrategyhaschangedinrecentyearsandtheiractivities
havebecomemoreandmorefocusedontargetingemployeesoftheAfghangovernmentand
foreigntroopsratherthanNGOstaff.However,theTalibanhasitsownopiniononthevarious
NGOsdependingonwhichissuestheyareworkingwith.
LocalAfghanstaffemployedbytheinternationalNGOhasnothadanyproblemsoverthelast
year.Normally,theNGOisabletoworkwiththelocalpopulationthroughagreementswiththe
localcommunity.However,theNGOistakingitsprecautionsandoperatesinadiscretemanner.
Forinstanceituseslocallyhiredvehicles,andthestaffisnotcarryingIDcardswhentheyare
operatinginhighriskareas.
TheinternationalNGOstatedthattheTalibanwouldliketoappearasabetteralternativetothe
governmentanddeliveraccesstobasicneedssuchasfoodanddrinkingwater.Thatiswhy
organizationsworkingwiththeseissuesarelesstargeted.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulpointedoutthatespeciallywomenworkingwithNGOs
areatarealriskofbeingkilledorkidnappedbytheTaliban.InKabultheremaybekidnappingsfor
ransombycriminalgroups,butasregardspoliticallymotivatedkidnappings,therearenotmany
cases.AccordingtotheindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,theproblemsarisewhenpeople
travelinareascontrolledbytheTaliban.Theinstitutesresearcherscleanthemselveswhen
goingtothefieldbyremovingSIMcardsfromtheircellphonesandnotshowinganysignswhich
maylinkthemtoanorganizationworkingwiththeinternationalcommunity.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulalsopointedathumanrightsactivistsasacategoryof
peoplewhoareindangerandespeciallyactivistsworkingwithwomensrights.Theresearch
instituteaddedthatmostinternationalNGOshavecutdowntheirstafftoaminimumintherural
areasasworkingconditionshavebecomemoreandmoredifficult.
AIHRCstatedthattherehavebeenahandfulcaseswherefamilymemberstopeopleemployedby
NGOshavealsobeenharassedandextorted.

3.3AssociationoremploymentwiththeAfghangovernment
Accordingtoaninternationalorganization,theTalibanconsidersanypersonworkingforthe
governmentasatraitorandtherebyasatarget.Truckdrivers,forexample,whobringfoodto
militarybasesorpeopleworkingfortheministriescanbeviewedassupportingtheenemyside
andthusbecomeatarget.Itistheindividualwhoistargetedbutitcouldalsoexpandtotheir
families.

23

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Asregardsgovernmentemployees,itismainlypeopleworkinginhighpositionsinKabulwho
comeunderthreat,accordingtoIOM.Therearealsoexamplesofgovernmentemployeeswhose
familieshavebeenkidnapped.IOMhadsofarnotheardofalowprofilegovernmentemployee
beingtargetedinKabul.
MORRinformedthedelegationthatforpeopleworkingfortheAfghangovernmentinKabul,itis
tooriskytotravelbacktotheirvillagesifitisintheNorth,SouthorSoutheast.MoRRalso
mentionedthatitisdifficultforfemaleteachersintheruralareastocarryouttheirworkasthey
mightbetargeted.
RegardingemployeesoftheAfghangovernment,UNHCRexplainedthatmanyministershave
settledtheirfamiliesinothercountriessothattheyarereadytoexitthecountryafterthe
withdrawaloftheforeignforces.AccordingtoUNHCR,Afghangovernmentemployeesatalllevels
areatrisk.Somegovernmentemployeesmayhavehadunofficialdiscussionsandagreementswith
theTalibanatthelocallevelinordertobeabletocarryouttheirwork,butthosepeoplewhohave
hadastrongervoiceonbehalfofthegovernmentorwhohavebeenaffiliatedwiththe
internationalcommunitywillbeatrisk.AccordingtoUNHCR,employeesoftheMOI(Police/NDS)
areparticularlyatrisk.Thisincludesemployeesfromjuniortohighrankingstaff.Consideringthe
numberofattacksongovernorsoffices,governmentbuildings,schoolsormedicalfacilitiessuch
astheattackontheANAhospitalinKabulinMay2011,itisfairtosaythattherisksrangefrom
threatstotargetedorindiscriminatekillings.
RegardingemployeesoftheAfghangovernment,AAWUsaidthatemployeesatthehighestlevel
havetheirprotectioninplace,butsomeoneworkingatalowerlevelandespeciallysecurity
guardsisatrisk.
Regardinggovernmentemployees,CPAUstatedthattheyareatriskofbeingtargetedbythe
Taliban.CPAUaddedthatgovernmentofficialsarenotstayinginthevillagesbutstayinthe
provincialcapitalsandeventhereonedoesnotfindtheminmanyplaces.Judgesforinstanceare
notavailableandthereisnofunctioningstatejudiciary.Categorizingthegovernmentemployees
accordingtotheriskofbeingtargeted,CPAUstatedthatemployeesinthesecurityforcessuchas
thepolice,theintelligentserviceandthemilitaryrunthehighestrisk,followedbyteachersand
employeesathealthclinics.
Whenaskedwhatbenefittheinsurgentgroupscouldderiveoftargetingamedicalclinic,CPAU
repliedthatthemainobjectiveofsuchactionsistocreateanatmosphereoffearbywhichthese
groupscanrule,andtoobtainthisobjectivetheydonothesitatetotargetteachersormedical
workers.However,CPAUstatedthattheTalibanlatelyhaschangeditspolicyandnowallowseven
girlstoattendschoolbutwithcertainconditions.
AccordingtoCPAU,contrarytofamiliesofemployeesinNGOsandcontractcompanies,familiesof
governmentemployeesareatriskofbeingtargetedbecausetheyoftenliveclosetotheworkplace
oftheemployee.
AccordingtoAIHRC,peopleworkingwiththeAfghangovernment,governmentemployeesand
evenordinarypeoplewhosupporttheGovernmentaretargetedbytheTaliban.

24

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

IPCBsaidthatworkingasapolicemanisariskyjobvisavistheTalibanasthepoliceforceisthe
faceoftheAfghangovernment.IPCBaddedthatforeveryAfghansoldierkilled,therearetwo
policemenwhodieontheirjob.MembersoftheAfghangovernmentanddeputyministersare
alsoathighriskofbeingtargetedbytheTaliban.
AccordingtoDRC,governmentemployeesdefinitelyrunariskofbeingtargetedintheruralareas.
AccordingtoanindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,employeesoftheAfghangovernmentat
alllevelsareatriskassoonastheyareoutsideKabuloroutsideprovincialcapitals(i.e.outside
thoseareascontrolledbytheKarzaigovernment),especiallyinareascontrolledbytheTaliban.
Withinthelast12months,ithasbecomemoredangerousforgovernmentemployeestotravel
duetocriminalsaswellasinsurgentgroups.Ordinarycitizenscantravelbutgovernmentstaffhas
tosanitizetheirphonesetc.andtaketheriskoftravellingasordinaryindividuals.
Thesourceaddedthatwhetherthethreatswouldalsoincludefamilymembersofthegovernment
employeedependsonthecommunityinwhichtheyliveandespeciallythelevelofeducationthe
communityhas.Thismeansthat,ingeneral,themoreeducatedthecommunityis,thelessthe
familyisthreatened.

25

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

4. TheTaliban
4.1.RecruitmentbytheTaliban
WhenaskedaboutwhethertheTalibanrecruityoungpeoplebyforce,AIHRCstatedthatthereare
noreportsindicatingthatforcedrecruitmentistakingplacebytheTaliban.AIHRCexplainedthat
mostpeoplejointheTalibanvoluntarily,buttheTalibanputpressureonfamiliesintheregions
wheretheyareincontrol:theycollectmoneyandmakethempayzakat(religioustax)bypaying
afeeontheircrops.
UNHCRreferredtoaleakedISAFreportonthestateoftheTalibaninrelationtothechangeof
strategyoftheTaliban11.Accordingtothisreport,theTalibandonothavedifficultiesinrecruiting
peoplefortheirforce.Theyhavemanyvolunteersandthereisawillingnesstojointhemovement.
TheTalibanmayrecruitcollectivelyinthevillagesbyofferingeducationtopoorpeoplessonsand
bybrainwashingpeople.ConsideringtheacceptancebythelocalpopulationoftheTaliban,it
couldbeassumedthatforcefulrecruitmentisnotwidelytakingplace,however,UNHCRadded
thatverylittleisknownonthisatthepresenttime.
RegardingforcedrecruitmenttotheTaliban,CPAUstatedthatintheSouthernprovincesithas
happenedthattheTalibancametoavillageandaskedforanumberoffootsoldiers.However,it
wasaddedthatunlessthereisanemergencysituation,theTalibandonotrecruitpeoplebyforce
evenintheSouthernprovincesbecausetheydonotneedtodoso.AccordingtoCPAU,thereare
manyunemployedyoungmaleswhoforthesakeofmoneyandsocialstatuswillvoluntarilyjoin
theTalibanwhoenjoythesupportofthecommunityintheseprovinces.AccordingtoCPAU,the
localpeopleevenconsideritasareligiouslygooddeed(sawab)toprovidetheTalibanwithfoot
soldiers.AsCPAUexpressedit:ifyouthinkthataTalibancommandercomestoyourhouseand
threatensyoutogivehimyoursonasafootsoldieryoumakeabigmistake.
Basedonitsresearch,CPAUstatedthatpoverty,unemployment,andadesireforhighersocial
statusinthecommunity,ratherthanideologicalreasons,arethemainfactorsdrivingthe
recruitmenttotheTaliban.AsCPAUexplained,therecruitedareoftenordinarypeoplesuchasa
sonofafarmerorateacherwhoduetotheabovementionedreasonsjointheTaliban,andmany
ofthemdonotevenknowthebasicsoftheTalibanideology.
RegardingrecruitmenttotheTaliban,anindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul
referredtothenewlyleakedNATOreportinwhichitisstatedthatpopularsupportforthe
insurgencyintermsofrecruitmentanddonationshasincreasedwithinthelastyear.12
Accordingtothesamesource,therearevariousreasonswhypeoplevoluntarilyjointheTaliban.
Thesourcestatedthateconomicincentivesplayaminorrolecomparedtootherfactorssuchas:
socialindignation,peoplesfrustrationovertheirownsituation,theirperceptionsofinjustice(e.g.
11

Thewholereport,StateoftheTaliban,canbeseenonNewYorkTimeswebsite,
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/asia/23atwartheTalibanreportdocviewer.html

12
KateClark,TheEmperorsNewClothes:TheleakedNATOreportontheTaliban,AfghanAnalystsNetwork,2.2.2012,accessedat
http://aanafghanistan.com/index.asp?id=2481,

26

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

arbitrarydetention,nightraids,politicalmarginalization,landgrabbingetc.)andideologicaland
politicalfactors.
AskedaboutprevalenceofforcedrecruitmentbytheTaliban,CSHROinformedthedelegationthat
beforethefalloftheTalibanregimein2001,itoftenhappenedthattheTalibanrecruitedbyforce,
andthattheymadetheHazarassteponminestoopenthewayfortheTalibanintheirmilitary
actions,ortheyforcedpeopletoprovidethemwithmoney.NowtheTalibandoesnothavethe
samepowerandinfluenceastheyhadduringtheirregime,andtheycannotforinstancegoto
peopleshomeandforciblyrecruittheiryoungster,accordingtoCSHRO.
CSHROfurthersaidthattodaysomepeoplejointheTalibanmovementformoneywhileothers
joinbecausetheyhavelostfamilymembersbyattacksfromforeignforcesandtheyfeel
frustrated.
AccordingtoCSHRO,theTalibanusedifferentmethodstorecruitmembers.CSHROmentioned
thatafewmonthsearlier(attheendof2011),agroupwithconnectiontotheTalibanwas
arrestedanditturnedoutthattheyhadbeenplanningasuicideactionagainstthePresidentasa
mapofthePresidentialpalacewasfoundwiththem.Amongthearrestees,therewereuniversity
studentsandemployees,oneofPresidentKarzaissecurityguards,andAfghansworkingforan
internationalorganisation.CSHROconcludedthatitisnolongerexclusivelyuneducatedyoung
maleswhoarethetargetoftheTalibansrecruitmentefforts,buttheyalsoaddresseducated
Afghansandpeopleinkeypositions.
AskedabouttheTalibansmethodsofrecruitmentandwhetherrecruitmentcouldincludeforced
recruitment,anindependentresearchinstituteinKabulrepliedthatingeneral,andasfarasthey
wereaware,theTalibandoesnotuseforcedrecruitment.TheTalibanmightrequestavillageto
provideforinstancetenpersonstobeactivefortheTalibanforoneortwomonths.Thistypeof
requestwoulddependonthesizeofthevillage,andtherequestwouldprobablynotbemadeto
anindividualfamily.
Theresearchinstituteexplainedthatrecruitmenthastobeunderstoodinthecontextof
persuadingAfghansintojihad,andthattheTalibantriestoconvincepeoplebytheirpropaganda
andothercommunicationactivities(especiallyvideos,mobilephoneclips).Thesourcealso
referredtothelackofservicesdeliveredtotheruralpeople,seriousunemploymentanddifficulty
inearningalivingaspossiblemotivationsforrecruitmenttotheTaliban.Theresearchinstitute
furtherexplainedthatthereisahighunemploymentrateandthereareonlyveryfewoptionsfora
salaryintheruralareas.ThesalariesofferedbytheTalibanarethereforeattractivetopoorrural
people.
TheindependentresearchinstituteinKabulinformedthedelegationthattheTalibanhasrecently
changeditsstrategyforrecruitmenttowardsproselytization,andtheirrecruitmentactivitiesare
nowmoreandmoreaimedatthegenerationinuniversitiesandschoolsinKabulandotherbig
cities.Forthesamereasons,theTalibanisgettingmoreactivewithpublications,webpagesand
CDstargetingpeoplewhocanreadandwriteandhaveaccesstonewtechnology(computersand
theinternetespecially).Amongtheuniversitystudents,especiallyengineersandmedicalstudents
seemtobetargetsfortheTalibansrecruitmentactivities.Thesourceaddedthatweaponsare

27

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

gettingmoreandmoresophisticatedandrequiremoretechnologicalknowledgewhichmaybea
reasonfortheinterestforstudentsofengineering.
UNAMAexplainedthatithappensinsomeareasofthecountrythattheTalibanconvincespoor
peopletogiveuptheiryoungstersbytellingthemthattheywillbetakencareofeconomicallyand
thattheywillbegivenaneducation.Mostoftherecruitedinthesecasesareunder18,according
toUNAMA,andtheyaretakenbytheTalibantomadrassasinPakistanormadrassasininsurgent
controlledareas.UNAMAstatedthatrecruitmentusuallyhappensvillagebyvillagebutalsobythe
Talibanrecruitersgoingfamilybyfamily.
UNAMAstressedthatitdidnothaveindepthknowledgeaboutrecruitmentbytheTaliban.
UNAMAreferredhowevertoreportsinformingaboutforcedrecruitmentofchildrentojointhe
ranksoftheTaliban.UNAMAreferredespeciallytoitsAnnualReportonProtectionofCiviliansin
ArmedConflictfor2011inwhichitisstatedthatatotalof212incidentsofchildrecruitmentwere
reportedbypartiestotheconflict.Ofthe212casesofunderagerecruitment,173(81percent)
wereattributedtoAntiGovernmentElements.13UNAMAalsoreferredtorecentmediareports
aboutrecruitmentofchildreninPakistan.
4.1.1RecruitmentofotherethnicitiesthanPashtuns
AsregardsforcedrecruitmentofHazarasbytheTaliban,CPAUfounditquiteimprobablethatthe
TalibanwouldmakeanyattemptinHazaraareastorecruitpeopleandtheywoulddefinitelynot
doitbyforce.Thisis,accordingtoCPAU,becausetheTalibanandHazarasgenerallydonottrust
eachotherandtheTalibanwouldthereforenottrustHazarasasfootsoldiers.
AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulstatedthatitwasnotinpossessionofmuch
informationonforcedrecruitmentofyoungmalesbytheTaliban.However,whenasked,the
independentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulfounditquiteunlikelythattheTalibanwould
attempttorecruitfootsoldiersamongHazarapeople.ThesamesourceexplainedthattheTaliban
couldprobablyforceHazarastoprovidethemwithmoneyorfood,butnotfootsoldiers.
RegardingprevalenceofrecruitmentofHazarasbytheTaliban,UNAMAstatedthatalthoughit
wasnotinpossessionofmuchinformationonthis,itdidnotfinditverylikelythattheTaliban
wouldtrytorecruitHazaras.
RespondingtothequestiononwhethertheTalibanwouldrecruitpeoplefromtheHazara
community,AIHRCsaidthattherehavebeencasesofHazaracommunitiesinHelmand,Ghazni,
Wardak,andUruzganbeingsubjecttointimidationtojointheTaliban,andtherearealsocases
wherepeopleoutoffearsupporttheTalibaneconomically.However,itwasaddedthat
recruitmentofHazarasbytheTalibanisnotawidespreadphenomenonanditwouldbean
exception.

13

UNAMAandUNHCHR,Afghanistan,AnnualReport2011,ProtectionofCiviliansinArmedConflict,Kabul,Afghanistan,February
2012,accessedon
http://photos.state.gov/libraries/usnato/562411/PDFs_001/UNAMA%20POC%202011%20Report_Final_Feb%202012.pdf,15
March2012

28

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AskediftheTalibanwouldrecruitotherethnicitiesthanPashtuns,andespeciallyiftheTaliban
wouldrecruitpersonsfromtheHazaracommunity,anindependentresearchinstituteinKabul
repliedthatinareaswheretheTalibanisrulingoverotherethnicities,theywouldprobablyaskthe
communitytoeitherparticipateor,ifnot,tobuytheirwayoutbypayingmoney.Ifitisapoor
area,theTalibanmightalsoaskthecommunitytocontributebyprovidingyoungmentobeactive
intheTalibanactivities.Thiscanbemerelyactingasportersbutmayalsoinvolveactivefighting.
TheresearchinstitutefurthersaidthattherearesmallcommunitiesofSunniHazarasinsome
partsofUruzganandGhazniandotherareasborderingHazarajat.However,accordingtothesame
sourceifthesecommunitiesweretocontributeyoungmentotheTaliban,thenitwouldprobably
beadecisiontakenbythecommunityratherthanadecisionofindividualfamilies.

4.2.Trainingofandprofileofsuicidebombers
Regardingrecruitmentofsuicidebombers,CPAUmentionedthatitnormallytakesplacein
Pakistan.CPAUestimatedthatabout90%ofallsuicidebombersinAfghanistanstemfrom
Pakistan.
AccordingtoCPAU,suicidebombershaveoftenbeentrainedinacampforseveralmonthsin
ordertoachieveanideologicalattachmenttothemovement.CPAUruledoutthepossibilityof
forcedrecruitmentofsuicidebombersbytheTalibanbecausesuicideactionsrequireacertain
levelofwillingnessandbeliefinthepurposeoftheaction.AccordingtoCPAU,theTalibanisvery
carefulinrecruitingpeopleforsuicideattacksandmanyofthemhavefamilyattachmenttothe
Talibanandarecertainlynotpickedrandomly.Intherecentpast,manyofthesuicidebombers
whohavebeensuccessfulincompletingamission,andalsothosewhohavebeencaughtby
securityforces,havebeenPashtunmaleteenagersagedbetween14to19.Lastyear,President
KarzaipardonedandreleasedagroupofsuchteenagersandorderedtheMinistryofEducationto
getthemenrolledinlocalschools.Themajorityofyoungsuicidebombersaresaidtobecoming
fromsouthernpartsofthePakistaniprovinceofPunjab(PunjabiTaliban)aswellassomeother
madrassasinNorthandSouthWaziristan.
Regardingrecruitmentofsuicidebombers,anindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul
statedthatsuicidebombersareoftenpooryoungsterswhohaveoftenlivedandbeentrainedin
Pakistanorinthetribalborderareas.
AskediftheTalibanwouldtrytorecruitsuicidebombersbyforce,thepolicyresearchorganization
inKabulfounditimprobablethatsuicidebombersarerecruitedbyforceandaddedthatthe
experiencehasshownthattheTalibanhasnodifficultyrecruitingvoluntarysuicidebombers.
Accordingtothesamesource,kidsandyoungpeoplegetbrainwashedandpersuadedtojoin.
Whenaskedabouttheethnicityofsuicidebombers,theindependentpolicyresearchorganization
inKabulrepliedthattheyaremostlyPashtunbutnotexclusively.
CSHROexplainedthatrecruitmentofsuicidebomberstotheTalibantakesplacethrough
approximately25.000madrassasinPakistan.AccordingtoCSHRO,eachschoolhasitsownwayof

29

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

recruitingstudents.Theeducationgiventostudentsinmadrassastakesbetween12yearsafter
whichsomeofthemwillbeselectedforspecialclasses.CSHROpointedoutthatafter34years,
thestudentsareideologicallybrainwashedandpreparedtojointheTalibanorAlQaedamilitant
groupsandparticipateinsuicideattacks.
WhenaskedwhethertheTalibanwouldrecruitHazarasassuicidebombers,CSHROstatedthatit
hasneverheardofanysuicidebomberbeingofHazaraorigin,anditfounditimprobablethatthe
TalibanwouldtrytorecruitsuicidebombersamongHazarasbyforce.AsregardsHazaras,CSHRO
pointedoutthattheTalibanbearsomuchanimositytowardsHazarasthattheirsuicidebombers
alsotargetgatheringsofordinaryHazarasforexampleduringtheShiareligiousceremonyof
AshurainKabullastDecember(2011).
Regardingtrainingofsuicidebombers,UNHCRcouldonlyspeculatethatitwouldprobablytake
placeinPakistan,andthatconductingasuicideoperationwouldpossiblyrequireaveryreligious
personwhoistrainedforawhile.UNHCRwasnotinapositiontogivedetailedinformationonthis
issue.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulinformedthedelegationthat,accordingtotheir
impressions,suicidebombersareeithermostlyrecruitedfromtherefugeecampsinPakistanor
frompoorfamiliesintheSouthandSouthEastofAfghanistanwhoaretoldthattheirchildrenwill
getaneducationandwillbesenttoreligiousschools/madrassasinPakistan.TheTalibanwilloften
motivatethesefamiliesbypropagandaandinadditionagreetopayallthecostsofthe
educationandalsoperhapspaymoneytothefamilies.
Inthisconnection,theresearchinstitutereferredtotherecentnewsabout41Afghanchildren
agedsixto11whohadbeenrescuedbytheAfghanpoliceinKunarprovinceastheywereaboutto
besmuggledacrossthemountainsintoPakistan.Accordingtothenews,theinsurgentswere
planningtotrain,brainwashandusethechildrenassuicidebombers.14Theindependentresearch
instituteinKabulalsoreferredtoanothereventearlierthismonth(February2012)inwhichtwo
childreninKandaharprovincehadbeenrearrestedonsuspicionofbeingsuicidebombers.Thetwo
childrenwerefromagroupofwouldbesuicidebomberswhowerereleasedafterbeingpardoned
byPresidentKarzailastsummer(2011).
TheindependentresearchinstituteinKabulfurtheraddedthatsomeofthepersonspickedfor
suicidebombersarereputedlyalsodrugusersordisabledpeople.

4.3.Existenceandconsequencesofreceivingnightletters
AIHRCinformedthedelegationthatnightlettersareawellknowntacticusedbytheTalibanto
intimidatepeople.ThistacticisnotmuchusedinKabul,butinthecountrysidesuchasinWardak
andGhazniprovincesthisphenomenoniswidespread.
14

Ref.also:http://articles.cnn.com/20120221/asia/world_asia_afghanistanchildbombers_1_afghanpolicesuicidebombers
kunarprovince?_s=PM:ASIA)

30

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Whenaskedaboutassaultsfollowinganightletter,AIHRCstatedthattherearedifferentlevelsof
intimidation:whilenightlettersinsomecasesmayendupwithkillings,inothercasestheassault
islimitedtobeatingsornothinghappens.
Whenaskedwhetherpeoplewouldseekprotectionwiththepoliceinsuchcases,AIHRCstated
thatpeoplewoulddoso,buttheprotectionprovidedbythepolicehasnotbeeneffectiveuntil
now.Asanexample,AIHRCmentionedthataweekearlieronepersonwaskilledafterreceivinga
warningdespitethefactthathewenttothepoliceandaskedforprotection.
UNHCRinformedthedelegationthattheTaliban,especiallysince2009,hashadthecapacityto
intimidatepeoplebywarningthem:weknowwhoyouareandwhereyouwork.UNHCR
explainedthattheuseofnightletterstointimidatepeopleworkingfortheAfghangovernment
andWesternersisverywidespread.Inruralareas,theuseofnightlettersismostwidespread
whereasthepatternofintimidationinKabulisdifferentandwouldmostlikelybeintheformof
phonecallsratherthannightletters.
UNHCRstatedthattheintimidationbytheTalibanwillmostlyberepeateduntilthevictimis
silencedbyobeyingorders.Incasesofcontinuedrefusaltoheedthewarnings(forexample
continuedcollaborationwithstateauthorities),intimidationcanpotentiallyleadtophysical
elimination.AccordingtoUNHCR,theintimidationwilloftenalsoincludethefamilymembersof
thevictim.
Accordingtoaninternationalorganization,theuseofnightlettersandthreatsbytheTalibanis
quitecommon,butthisisnotaphenomenonlimitedtotheTalibanasuseofthreatsingeneralare
verycommoninAfghanistan.
IPCBcommentedthatnightlettersareafairlywellknownoccurrence.Themessageofthese
lettersisoftenthatthereceivershouldstopsupportingthegovernment.
Concerningprevalenceofnightletters,CPAUconfirmedthatnightlettersarecommon.The
messagescontainedintheseletterscouldforinstancebeurgingpeopletostopgoingtoschoolor
toworkandleavetheirjobs.Ifthemessagescontinue,theymighthaveseriousconsequences
suchasphysicalelimination,abductionforransom,physicalbeatingandtorture,etc.
However,CPAUaddedthatitisquiteeasytofabricateaTalibannightletterandpeople
sometimesevenpretendtobetheTalibanandthreateneachotherbynightlettersorSMS
messagesfordifferentreasons.Thatiswhywhenpeoplereceiveathreateningmessageontheir
phone,theygotothemobilecompanytotracethenumberandidentityofthepersonwhohas
sentthemessagetofindoutwhetherthethreatisreal.
CPAUpointedoutthatpeopleusuallydonotgotothepolice,noteveninKabul,whenthey
receivenightlettersoranyotherthreateningmessagebecausethepolicewouldnormallynot
takeanyactioninthesecases.
Whenaskedwhethernightlettersareusedasameansofposingthreats,AAWUstatedthatnight
lettersexist,butthattheTalibaninKabulandotherbigcitiesoftensendwarningsbycellphones
withtemporarySIMcards.

31

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AccordingtoaninternationalNGO,therearetwotypesofnightletters.Oneisgenuine(fromthe
Talibanorotheroppositiongroups)andalwaysentailfollowup(consequences).Theotherisnot
genuineanditmostlyoriginatesfromapersonaldispute.Itmayincreasepeoplesattention,but
thethreatsarenormallynotfollowedthroughasitisnotsupportedbyanorganizedgroup.
ConcerningtheprevalenceoftheTalibansuseofnightletterstowarnorintimidatepeople,an
independentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulstatedthatthesituationisdifferentindifferent
areas.InKandahar,forexample,nightlettersarewidelyusedandpeoplewouldnormallyexpecta
warningofthreeletters.However,itwaspointedoutbytheindependentpolicyresearch
organizationthatphysicalassaultsandmurdersarealsocarriedoutwithoutwarningsinadvance
bynightletters.Astheorganizationexplained,peoplemaybeinvitedtoattendaTalibancourt
todefendthemselves.Forthatpurpose,lettersmayalsohavethephonenumberofaTaliban
judge.However,thistypeofinvitationmayalsobeseenbypeopleasameansofintimidation.
Thesamesourcehasincreasinglyseencaseswherepeoplewhohavehadenoughofthreatshave
soldtheirpropertiesinthecountrysideandmovedtobigcities.
IOMstatedthatnightlettersarethemainwayofthreateningpeopleandthattheselettersare
veryprevalent.Mostoften,nightletterswillthreatenpeoplewithkidnappingoffamilymembers
orwithkilling.Overthelasttwoyears,theselettershavebecomemoreandmoreprevalentinthe
countrysidebutnotinKabul,accordingtoIOM.Askedwhattheconsequencesofreceivingaletter
wouldbe,IOMstatedthatitcouldbekilling.IOMhadastaffmemberwhohadreceivedawarning
andhegotkilledafterwards.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulinformedthedelegationthatnightlettershave
previouslybeenaprevalenttoolforintimidationusedbytheTalibanorotherinsurgentnetworks.
However,theinsurgentshaverecentlystartedavailingthemselvesofthemediaandembracing
thenewtechnologysuchasInternet,Facebookandmobilephonesinordertomake
manifestationsandthreatsagainstindividuals.Mobilemessagesarenow,accordingtothe
researchinstitute,oneofthemoreprevalenttoolsusedtointimidatepeople.
AccordingtotheindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,theconsequencesofignoringa
threateningmessagecouldbeassaults,kidnappingsandhijackings.Usually,whenthethreat
comesbymobile,thisisanattempttointimidate.However,itwasaddedthattherearealso
threatsbycriminalsusingthenameoftheTaliban.Thishappensparticularlyinthemajorcities
wheretheTalibanarenotverystrongbutcriminalnetworksare.
UNAMAconsiderednightlettersasthebiggestsourceofintimidation,andstatedthatitisa
commontacticusedbytheTalibaninmostareasincludingtheprovincesintheSouth,SouthEast
andtheWestandeveninKabul.AccordingtoUNAMA,peopleareusuallywarnedbyseveralnight
letters.Somenightlettersarealsopostedatthedoorofthelocalmosque.UNAMAstatedthat
someoftheirstaffmembershavebeentakenoutofthecountryduetothreatstakentothe
extremelimitsinnightletters.
UNAMAinformedthedelegationthatnightlettersareoftenusedintheareaswheretheTaliban
triestogetafoothold,forinstanceinJalalabad.

32

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

4.4.SituationforformermembersoftheTaliban
RegardingthesituationforformerTalibanmembers,UNHCRinformedthedelegationthatthe
governmenthashadareintegrationschemeinplace.However,theimpactofthisschemeisnot
wellknown.
AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulinformedthedelegationthatsomeformer
midlevelmembersoftheTalibanarenowlivinginKabulwithoutanyproblems.The
representativefromtheindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulpersonallyknewa
formermidrankingTalibwhoisnowstayinginKabulandhasajobinthepublicsector.This
personhasbeenthreatened(attemptedblackmail)toworkfortheinsurgency,andhedoesnot
returntohishomeprovince.Otherformermemberslikeordinaryfootsoldierswouldnothave
anyproblemsaslongastheystayawayfromtheirareaoforigin,accordingtothesamesource.
WhenaskedwhetherformermembersoftheTalibanareatriskofbeingtargetedbytheTaliban,
CPAUstatedthatimmediatelyafterleavingtheTaliban,theformermemberstendtomoveto
othercountries,forexampleIranorPakistan,forwork,andiftheycomebacktoAfghanistan,they
maybeemployedbythegovernmentinthesecurityforceslikethepolice.ItwasaddedbyCPAU
thatiftheseexTalibangobacktotheirplaceoforigin,theywillbeathighriskofbeingtargeted.
However,iftheymovetoKabul,theywillbesafebecausetheTalibanwouldusuallynotmakeita
prioritytokillformerlowprofilemembersinKabul.TheTalibanwouldprefertosavetheir
resourcesinKabultotargethighprofilefiguresratherthantheirformerlowprofilemembers.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulcommentedthatthesituationforaformermemberof
theTalibanwoulddependonhispositionwithinthegroup.Ifaformerlowlevelfighterdecidesto
quitthegroup,hemightbeabletostayandfindhimselfajobinbigcitiessuchasKabul.The
Talibandoesnothaveaunifiedstructureandisnotstrongenoughtogoafterformercombatants.
AstheindependentresearchinstituteinKabulexpressedit:ATalibancommanderinUruzgancan
donothinginKabul.
TheindependentresearchinstituteinKabuladdedthatthesituationforaformerTalibanmember
wouldalsodependonhispersonalnetworkwiththelocalcommander,whichmeansthebetter
relationthelessthreatened,butinmostcasesitwouldnotbeaTalibanstrategytotrackdown
lowprofileformermembers.Accordingtothesamesource,mostoftheformerTalibanmembers
arelivinginbigcities,andtheyareprotectedbythegovernment.ThoseTalibanmembers,who
stopfightingandnegotiatewiththegovernmentorwhosurrendertheirarms,canbeprovided
housingandsometimesmoney,andthereisagovernmentprogrammefortheformerTaliban
memberstoreintegratethemintothesociety.

33

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

5. Dishonoringthefamilyorbreakingsocialnormswithregardtomarriageand
relationshipsbetweenmenandwomen

AAWUinformedthedelegationthathavingarelationshipoutsidemarriageisaseriousproblemin
Afghanistanasarelationshipbetweenayoungmanandayoungwomanisexclusivelyforthe
purposeofmarriage.AAWUfurtheraddedthataccordingtothetraditioninAfghanistan,young
menandwomenarenotallowedtohaveanyrelationshipwithouttheconsentoftheparents.
Whenaskedhowwidespreadsexualrelationsoutsidemarriageareamongyoungpeople,AAWU
statedthatifitexistsitisveryhidden,forwhichreasonAAWUcouldnotgiveanyestimateon
that.Ifthefamilyofawomandiscoversthatsheishavingarelationtoaman,thelifeofboththe
womanandthemanmaybeindanger.
AnAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthatloverelationsarenotwidespreadintheruralareas.Thisis
duetotheseriousconsequenceswhichsuchrelationscanhavefortheyoungmenandwomenin
ruralareas.InKabul,onecancomeacrossloverelationswhichwillendupinmarriagewiththe
consentoftheparents.
TheAfghanlawpractitionerpointedoutthatthereisacontradictioninAfghanistanslegalsystem
whichontheonehandpermitsyoungpeopletogetmarriedwithwhomtheywant,butonthe
otherhandputstheminprisoniftheyrunawaytobeabletomarryeachother.Thelaw
practitionerreferredtoarticle425oftheAfghanPenalCode.15
AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulmentionedthattherearecaseswhere
youngcouples,whohaverunawayfromtheirhomes,havebeenarrestedandputinprison.The
independentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulexplainedthatifagirlinanhonourcaseends
upinshelter,itmeansthatthegirlhasbeenthreatenedbybothherownandthemalesfamily.
InAfghanistanarelationshipbetweenayoungmanandayoungwomanbeforeoroutside
marriageisaseriousviolationofthehonorofthefamilies,andespeciallythefamilyoftheyoung
women,accordingtoLUA.Whethertherelationshipissexualorjustafriendlyrelation,the
womansfamilymaythreatentomurderboththeirowndaughterandtheboyandhisfamily.
Threatsmaystartwithindividualthreatsagainsttheboybutmaylateralsoincludethreats
betweenthefamilies.Ifthegirlsfatherisawarlord,threatshaveseriousconsequencesandifthe
relationalsoisofsexualnatureitcouldevenendangerthelivesofthecouple.LUAemphasized
thattherearemanyhonorrelatedcasesinAfghanistan,andinsomecasesboththeyoungwoman
andmanhavebeenkilled.Insomeareas,thesecasesaresettledbystoningwithoutanycourt
beinginvolved.
AccordingtoanindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,almostallmarriagesinAfghanistanare
arrangedmarriages,andahighpercentageofpeoplemarrytheircousins.Theindependent

15

AccordingtotheAfghanPenalCodethisarticlereads:Thepersonwhocarriesofagirl,whoissixteenyearsorover,atherown
willfromherparentsresidenceforthepurposeoflawfullymarryingher,shallnotbedeemedashavingcommittedanactof
kidnapping.accessedon22March2012athttp://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4c58395a2.pdf

34

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

researchinstituteinKabulfurtheremphasizedthatthecultureinAfghanistanissuchthatitis
almostimpossibletohaverelationsoutsideorbeforemarriage.Thefamilyofayounggirlwill
mobilizeanetworkaroundhertoprotectherandtoensurethatshewillnotbeabletoenterany
relationship.
MOWAstatedthatyoungmenandwomen,whoarebreakingsocialnormswithregardto
marriage,includingrejectingaforcedmarriage,arefacinghugeproblemsinAfghanistan.Among
thecasesofviolenceagainstwomenwhichhavebeenreportedtoMOWAfromprovincesinthe
firstthreequartersofAfghanyear1390(20112012),131arecasesrelatedtoforcedmarriages.
MOWAexplainedthattoavoidaforcedmarriageyoungmenandwomenrunawayfromhome.
MoWAstatedthataccordingtothelaw,itisnotacrimetorunawayfromhome,butmanyyoung
malesandfemaleswhorunawayfromtheirhomesendupinprison.MWAhaslauncheda
campaigntoraiseawarenessaboutthisissue.

5.1.Consequencesforyoungmen
Askedabouttheconsequencesforyoungmenwhohavehadarelationtoayoungwomanoutside
marriage,UNHCRstatedthatthesituationwouldbeverydangerousforhimaswellasforhis
family.Ifthereisapowerfulpersoninthegirlsfamilywhosereputationandhonourisatstake,
theriskisevenhigher.UNHCRaddedthattherearemanyyoungreturneesfromIranorEuropean
countries,especiallygirlsandwomen,whohavenotbeenabletoadapttothemoretraditional
Afghansocietyandwhoendupinsuchdishonouringconflictsorimmolatingthemselves.
AccordingtoanindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul,whenthehonourrelated
conflictsarenotsolvedinapeacefulway,itismostlyyoungwomenwhotendtobethevictimof
honourkillingscomparedtoyoungmalesforwhomitiseasiertoleavetheareaandreside
somewhereelse.ThepolicyresearchorganizationinKabulstatedthatwomenaregenerallyina
muchmorevulnerablepositionwithregardtosettlingdownontheirowninKabulorelsewhere,
incomparisonwithmenwhocanmoveonandstayinotherplaces.Thesourceaddedthatitis
veryunusualforwomentolivebythemselvesandalmostimpossibleformostwomennottobe
livingwiththeirownorhusbandsfamily.
AnAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthatbasedonitsexperience,itismostlywomenwhofacegrave
problemswithregardtodishonouringthefamilybecauseyoungmenoftenhavethepossibilityto
leavetheareaorthecountryandresideinotherplaces.
AIHRCemphasizedthatyoungmencouldbeatriskiftheyinflictdamagetoafamilyshonourby
havingarelationshipwithagirlfromthatfamilybeforemarriage.Youngmenwillinsuchcases
onlyhavetheirownfamilytoprotectthem.
AIHRCaddedthatthegirlsfamilywouldoftensolvetheissuebymarriage.However,familieswith
ahighstatuswillnotacceptamarriagebetweentheirdaughterandayoungmanofalower
status.Iftherelationshipincludesmixedethnicparties,itwillbeevenmorecomplicated.The
consequencesfortheyoungmaninvolvedwouldoftenbekilling,mutilationofhisbody,harsh

35

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

beatingorsometimesimprisonmentwithallegationsofkidnappingthedaughter.AIHRCgavean
examplewithayoungcouplewhohadfledtoPakistan,butwerepersuadedbytheirfamiliesto
comeback.Aftertheirreturn,theyoungmanwaschargedwithkidnappingandwasputinprison,
andhehasbeeninprisonforthelasttwoyears.
AskedifayoungmanfromthecountrysidewouldbesafeinKabulafterhavingbeeninvolvedina
dishonouringcase,AIHRCinformedthedelegationthathewillfacetheriskofbeingtrackeddown
bythegirlsfamily,especiallyifitisaninfluentialfamily,ashonourisanimportantissueinthe
Afghansociety.Ingeneral,themoreinfluentialthegirlsfamilyis,thehigherrisktheyoungman
willface.
AIHRCaddedhoweverthatmostdishonouringcaseswillcalmdownbytime,forexampleaftera
coupleofyears,anditisparticularlywithinthisperiodthattheyoungmanwillbeatrisk.
Thereactionofthefamilieswill,accordingtoAAWU,dependontheirsocialandeducational
background:ifthewomancomesfromaneducatedfamily,theywillinthefirststepsenda
warningtothemantostopseeingthewoman,andtheywillnotallowtheyoungwomantogoout
(toschoolortouniversity).Incasetherelationcontinues,theywilltrytofrightentheyoungman
bysendingsomebodytobeathimup.However,ifthewomansfamilybelongstoanilliterate
family,itmayendupkillingtheman.AAWUaddedthatfanaticfamilieswouldevenkillother
membersoftheyoungmansfamily,ortheyoungmansfamilywouldhavetocompensatethe
otherfamilywithagirlwhomayendupservingasaslaveforthewomansfamily.
AskedaboutwhetherayoungmanwhofleeshisareaandgoestoKabulbecausehehasbeen
threatenedbythefamilyofawomanwithwhomhehashadsexualrelationwillbesafeinKabul,
AAWUrepliedthatashehascauseddamagetothehonourofthewomansfamilyandhonouris
animportantissueinAfghanistan,thewomansfamilywillmakeanattempttofindhimthrough
theethnicnetwork.AsKabulhasahugepopulationwithdifferentpeoplefromdifferentpartsof
Afghanistan,itmightbedifficult,butthefamilywillnevergiveup.Ontheotherhand,evenifthe
familycannotfindhim,theyoungmanwillalwaysliveinfearofbeingfoundanditwillbedifficult
forhimtosearchforjobsetc.
AccordingtoMoWA,ifayoungmanisthreatenedbythefamilyofayoungwomanwithwhomhe
hashadarelationinhisareaoforiginandhefleestoKabul,thewomansfamilywouldsometimes
beabletofindhiminKabul.

5.2.Possibilitiesformenandwomentoseekprotectioninsuchcases
Whenaskedaboutthepossibilitytoseekprotectioninsheltersinhonourrelatedcases,anAfghan
lawpractitionerrepliedthatthequalityofwomensheltersinAfghanistanisgood.Howeveritwas
addedthattherearewomensheltersonlyinmajorcitieslikeKabul,Herat,andMazareSharif,
andonefindsnosheltersintheruralareasofAfghanistan.
AnAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthatthereisnoshelterfortheyoungmenwhofaceserious
problemsinconnectionwithdishonouringthefamily.

36

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AccordingtoUNHCR,therehavebeencasesinAfghanistanwherethegirlhasbeenkilledbyher
ownfamilyorthegirlhasbeenputinprotectivedetention16inaprisonorinshelter.Awoman
cannotleavetheshelterifsheisnotgoingtoobeyandfollowtheordersofherfamilybecausea
womanalone,withoutanykindoffamilysupport,willnotbeabletosurviveinAfghanistan.
AccordingtoUNHCR,therearenofacilitiesandnosafehousesformen.17However,whileitisvery
difficultforayoungwomantoleaveherareaoforiginorthecountryonherown,itiseasierfora
youngmantodoso.
Askediftherewouldbeanypossibilitiestoseekprotectionfortheyoungmeninhonourrelated
cases,AAWUrepliedthattherearenosheltersforyoungmentogotoinsuchcases.
Concerningprotectionofyoungmenwhoarebreakingsocialnormswithregardtomarriage,
MoWAstatedthattherearenoshelterstoprotectyoungmeninsuchcases.AccordingtoMoWA,
menwhoareforcedintotheirfirstmarriagesometimesendupmarryingasecondtimeasthefirst
marriagehasnotbeenbasedontheirwillandtheywanttogetmarriedbytheirownchoicelater.
Concerningwomensshelters,MoWAstatedthatthereare12sheltersalloverAfghanistan:three
inKabul,twoinHerat,twoinMazareSharif,oneinBamyan,oneinKapisa,oneinFaryab,onein
Parwan,andoneinNingarhar.ThesesheltersarerunbyNGOs,butMoWAintendstoopenitsown
sheltersthroughoutthecountry.Sofar,twosheltersinKabulandHeartareplannedthisyear.
AccordingtoMoWA,therearenosheltersinsmalltowns.

5.3.Possibilitiesforsettlingdisputes
AccordingtoUNHCR,thecaseswhereayoungmanhashadarelationtoayoungwomanoutside
marriagearenormallysettledbetweenthefamiliesandthestatedoesnotintervene.
AccordingtoanindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul,conflictsinconnectionwith
relationshipoutsidemarriageorlovemarriagesareoftenconfinedandsettledwithintheaffected
familiesanddonotinvolvethebroadercommunity.
AccordingtotheindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul,itisnoteveryfamilywho
wantskillingasasolutiontoanhonourrelatedconflict,anditisatthesametimenoteveryfamily
whoiscapableofprotectingitsmembersfromanhonourrelatedkilling.Thesamesourceadded
thatalthoughtherearepeacefulsettlementstoanhonourrelatedconflictsuchasmarriageor
exchangeofmoney,itisnotalwaysthatfamiliessucceedinresolvingtheconflictthroughsuch
solutions.
AnAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthatitisahugeproblemforayoungmantobreaktheculture
andhavearelationtoayoungwomanoutsidemarriage.TheAfghanlawpractitionerassessed
thatabout90%ofsuchcasesarenotbroughtforthecourtasthefamiliesnormallyprefertokeep
silentandhandlethesecasesthemselves.Bybringingacasewhichinvolvesrelationoutside
16
17

UNHCREligibilityGuidelinesforassessingtheinternationalprotectionneedsofasylumseekersfromAfghanistan(page24)
Amalechildwhenhereachestheageof13,shouldleavetheshelter

37

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

marriageforthecourtandtherebydisclosingthenewstothepublic,thefamiliesriskcausing
damagestotheirreputation.Instead,familiescansolvesuchcasesindifferentways.Oneofthe
solutionscouldbethatthefamilyofthegirlforcestheyoungmantogetmarriedwiththegirl.

AsfarastheAfghanlawpractitionerhasexperienced,fewcasesinvolvingloverelationsendup
withthemarriageoftheyoungmanandwomanandmostmarriagesarearrangedmarriagesin
Afghanistan.

TheAfghanlawpractitioneraddedthatanothersolutioncouldbethatthefamilyofthegirl
demandsthatanothergirlinthemansfamilysometimesaminorshouldgetmarriedwitha
maninthegirlsfamily.Ifnoneofthesesolutionswereapossibility,itwillcausekillingtheyoung
malebythegirlsfamilyandthefamilymightalsochoosetokilltheirowndaughter.InKabul,
somepeopletendtosolvetheproblembymarriage,butinthecountrysidekillingisquite
probabletotakeplace.

AccordingtotheAfghanlawpractitioner,ifayoungmanandwomanwhohaverunawayfrom
theirhomesarearrestedbythepolice,theircaseisbroughttotheprosecutionforaccusingthem
forcommittingacrime.Ifitisbroughtforafamilycourt,thecourtwillthencallthefamiliesofthe
arresteesandaskthemonwhatgroundstheyopposethemarriageofthearrestees,andifthe
familiesdonothavealegallylegitimatereasonfortheiropposition,thecourtwillaskthefamilies
ofthemanandwomantogetthemanandthewomanmarried.Iftheirfamilydenies,thecourt
willgetthemmarried.
TheAfghanlawpractitionerexplainedthataproblemwhichyoungpeople,whohaverunaway,
oftenfacewhentheircaseisbroughtforaprovincialcourtisthattheirfamiliescouldinfluencethe
courtcaseandmightfalselyclaimthattheyoungcouplehavecommittedotherwrongdoingssuch
asstealingthefamiliesjewelleriesormoneybeforerunningaway.
TheAfghanlawpractitionerexplainedthatfamilycourtsarefoundinallkeyprovinces,butnotall
familycourtsarewellequipped.However,inthebigcitieslikeKabul,HeratandMazareSharif,
familycourtsarewellfunctioning,particularlyinKabulwhichhasthebestfamilycourtin
Afghanistan.Peopleinotherprovincespreferiftheyfindthemselvesinaterriblesituationtheir
casestobetransferredtoandprocessedbythecourtinKabul.Thisisthoughonlypossiblebythe
permissionoftheSupremeCourtorthroughchangeofthepermanentresidenceofthedefendant.
TheAfghanlawpractitionermentionedthattherearesomenationalandinternationalcivilrights
organisationsinAfghanistanwhohelpyoungpeoplewhoareimprisonedbecauseofrunning
away.Inthesecases,theyoungcouplemayreceivelegaladvicefromlegalaidorganizationsfree
ofcharge.Thelegaladvisersalsoassisttheyoungcouple,particularlythewoman,inthecourtifit
isnecessary.
Whenaskedwhetherayoungmanandwomanwhohaverunawayfromtheirhomescangotoa
Mullahandgetmarriedwithoutthepermissionoftheirfamilies,theAfghanlawpractitioner
statedthataMullahinmostcaseswouldaskthemtobringwitnesseswhocanconfirmwhothey
areandthatwillmostoftenbetheirfamilies.

38

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AccordingtoLUA,somehonorrelatedcasesmaybesolvedbynegotiationandcounseling
betweenthefamilies.OneoftheLUAdefenselawyersmentionedthatshehashadmanycases
involvingyoungcoupleswhofledtogether.Aftertakingthecasetothecourtandaftertheyoung
couplehasmarriedtheycanstartanewlife,buttheymayreceivecontinuousthreatsfromtheir
families.
AccordingtoanindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,intherarecaseswhereayoungmanand
womanhavehadrelationsoutsideorbeforemarriage,thefamilyofthegirlmayaskformoney
fromthemansfamily,andifthefamilyofthegirlisarichfamily,thecompensationaskedwillbe
veryhigh.Intheworstcases,theremayalsobehonorkillingswherethefamilywillkilltheirown
daughter.
TheindependentresearchinstituteinKabulstatedthatifayoungmanandwomanmarryeach
otheragainstthewillofthewomansfamily,theymaybeabletoescapetheareaandsettlein
otherplaces,buttheyusuallycannotgobacktotheirfamiliesunlessakindofeconomic
compensationispaidtothewomansfamily.
Askediftherewouldbemorepeacefulwaystosettlesuchdisputes,AAWUexplainedthatifthe
familyofawomandoesnotchoosekillingorotherphysicalassaultasasolution,thereareusually
twooptions:thatthetwofamiliesinsecretnegotiateonthematterorthecaseisbroughtforthe
shura/jirga.Sometimesthesolutioninsuchcaseswouldbethattheyoungmanmustmarrythe
womaniftherelationshipisofsexualnature.Thissolutionisparticularlyusedbyfamilieswitha
goodsocialandeducationalbackground.
MoWAinformedthedelegationthatithasadirectorofwomensaffairsandtwolegalmanagersin
everyprovince.Thesemanagersmaybecontactedbyyoungwomenwhofaceproblems,including
honourrelatedviolence.IfagirlwhohasfledherfamilycomestoMoWAandasksforhelp,the
firststepMoWAwilltakeistocallandholdanumberofmeetingswithherfamily.Thedirectorof
womensaffairswillleadthesemeetings.Ifnosolutionisfoundandthegirlsfamilydoesnot
makeafirmpromisethattheywillnotcauseheranyharmorifthegirlherselfdoesnotwanttogo
backtoherfamily,MoWAwillsendthegirltoashelter.MoWApointedout,however,thatit
prefersasmuchaspossibletofindasolutiontogetherwiththewomansfamilyandnottosend
womentoshelters.MoWAmentionedthatduetotheAfghancultureitisgenerallydifficultfor
familiestotakebackagirlwhohasbeeninashelter.
AccordingtoMoWA,ifayoungmanhashadarelationtoayoungwoman,hewouldinmostcases
beforcedtomarryherifhis/herfamilydiscoversthat.Whenaskedhowoftensuchcasesare
solvedbyviolenceagainsttheyoungmanorhisfamily,MoWAstatedthatviolence(killing)isthe
outcomeinaverysmallnumberofcases.

39

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

6. Landdisputes
AccordingtoLUA,landdisputesareoneofthemajorproblemsinAfghanistan.Theproblemdates
backinhistoryandisnotlimitedtothelasttenyears.Partoftheproblemisthatthereisno
systematicregistrationoflandinAfghanistan.Anotherpartoftheproblemisthatmanypeople
havefledAfghanistanduringthelatest2030years,whichmeansthatsomelandhasbeenleft
withoutanowner,orothershaveseizedandusedtheland.Inruralareas,wheremanypeople
havefledthecountry,thelandhasbeenoccupiedbylocalpowerfulpeople.
Landdisputesarisewhenpeoplearereturningtotheirlandaftermanyyearsandwanttoclaim
thelandback.Duringtheirabsence,otherpeoplehaveformanyyearshadalifebasedonthe
cultivationofthisland,whichthenwillcreateaconflictwhentheyreturn.ManyformerIDPsand
refugeesreturningfromabroadfacethisproblem,accordingtoLUA.
LUAemphasizedthatinAfghanistan,andparticularlyintheruralareas,ownershipandheritageof
landisfirstandforemostbasedontraditionandmemoriesofthelocalpeople.Thereareoftenno
recordsaslandisnotregistered,andmostpeopledonothaveatitledeedtotheirland.Forthe
samereason,itisdifficulttosolvelanddisputesbybringingthecasetothecourt.
AccordingtoDRC,themainreasonbehindmanylanddisputesinAfghanistanisthatdifferent
regimeshaveallocatedthesameplotoflandtodifferentpersons.Whenforexamplepeoplewho
fledthecountryduringthecommunistregimeortheruleofTalibanhavecomebacktotheir
homes,theyhaverealisedthattheirlandhasbeenallocatedintheirabsencetootherpersons
whonowclaimtobetheowneroftheland.
AccordingtoCPAU,mostconflictsintheruralareasinAfghanistanarerelatedtolandandwater.
Forexample6070%oftheconflictsintheNorthernprovincesaredisputesoverlandandwater.A
greatnumberoftheselanddisputeshavearisenbecauseoftheclaimsfromthepeoplewhoafter
manyyearsofresidenceabroadprimarilyinPakistanhavereturnedtotheirplaceoforiginand
realisedthattheirlandhasbeenseizedandusedbyothers.Mostofthesedisputesariseamong
neighboursandfamilies.AccordingtoCPAUitisnotageneraltrendthatpowerfulpeoplehave
grabbedlandduringtheabsenceoftheoriginalowners.Whenaskedtowhatextentlanddisputes
eruptamongfamilymembers,CPAUstatedthatthemajorityoflanddisputesarefamilyconflicts
overinheritance,forinstancetwobrothersstartingafightovertheinheritanceoftheirfathers
landafterhisdeath.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulinformedthedelegationthatasmanypeoplehavefled
thecountryinrecentdecades,theirlandhasbeenleftwithoutowners,andmanylocallypowerful
familiesmayhaveexploitedthesituationandgrabbedpeoplesorgovernmentland.Provingland
ownershipinAfghanistaniscomplexandmultifaceted,andtherearealsocasesoffakeland
documentsbeingprepared.Theresearchinstituteknewofatleastonecasewherethefake
documentswerereputedlypreparedbycorruptgovernmentofficials.Thisis,accordingtothe
source,oneofthemainreasonsbehindalargenumberoflanddisputesinAfghanistantoday.

40

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AccordingtoAIHRC,landdisputesoccuralloverthecountryandamongallethnicgroups.
However,therehavebeenlesslanddisputesinAfghanistaninrecentyears.Landdisputesremain
thoughaveryhotissueintheAfghansocietyaccordingtoAIHRC.

6.1Settlinglanddisputes
Aninternationalorganizationexplainedthatdisputes,includinglanddisputes,aretraditionally
settledbylocalshuras/elderswhoaremorereliedonbythepopulationthantheformaljustice
system.Besides,theyaremuchfasterandmuchcheaperthantheformalsystem.Lawyerscost
moneyandonemayalsohavetopaybribestojudges.Thatisthereasonwhymostpeopleprefer
tosettleconflictsbytheSharialawwhichtheyconsidertobeabetterwaytosolvetheconflicts
comparedtothejudiciary.Conflictswithinthecommunitiesarenotsoexposedandthatmayalso
beareasontosettledisputeslocally.
LUAexplainedthattherearetwowaysofsolvinglanddisputes.Thetraditionalwayisbringingthe
casetothelocalshura/jirga.Inthiscase,theeldersintheareawillbasetheirdecisiononwhatcan
berememberedabouttheownershipofthelandinthepast.Thiswayofconflictresolutionis
mostprevalentinruralareas.Theotherwaytosolvelanddisputesisbybringingthecasetothe
court.However,accordingtoLUA,peoplepreferthetraditionalwayofsolvingconflictsduetothe
corruptionanddisfunctionalityoftheformalcourtsystem.LUAexplainedthatitwilltake
minimumoneyeartosolvetheconflictthroughthecourt.Besides,peopledonotbelieveinthe
systemandexpectthecasetobehandledinfavoroftheinfluentialpartytotheconflictwhocan
bribethejudges.However,inurbanareas,peopledohavetitledeedstotheirland,andcases
regardinglanddisputesaresolvedbyusingtheformalcourtsystem.
Askedwhetherapowerfulpartytoaconflictmayinfluencetheoutcomeofthedecisionofthe
shura/jirga,LUArepliedthatifoneofthepartiesisapowerfulandinfluentialperson,ithas
definitelyanimpactonthedecisioninfavorofthemorepowerfulpeople.
LUAemphasizedthatthereisnoruleoflawinAfghanistan,andthewaypeoplegetaccesstoland
andpropertyisbyusingtheirpower.Threatsarenotlimitedtotheindividual,butcouldinclude
thewholefamily.AccordingtoLUA,therearemanycasesinAfghanistanwherethewholefamilyis
threatenedduetolanddisputes.Threatsaresometimesrealizedandmayresultinmurder.LUA
said,however,thattheycouldnotestimatehowwidespreadthisphenomenonis.
AccordingtoanindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,alllandtransactionsfallunderthe
purviewoftheSupremeCourt.However,asthereisnoagreednationalsurvey(cadastralsystem)
inthecountryandasthetransferofownershipisnotlinkedtoanydetailedsurveydocumentor
centralizedrepositoryoflandrecords,everysinglelandtransactionhasthepotentialtobecomea
disputedtransaction.
TheindependentresearchinstituteinKabulexplainedthatduetocorruption,thereisnostraight
forwardlegalwaytosettlethelanddisputesasthecourtsystemisnotworkingatall.Attheend,
theresultwillusuallydependontheamountofbribetheindividualwillbeabletopaythejudges.
AlsointheMinistryofLand,titledeedsanddocumentsmaybefakedduetocorruption.

41

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AnAfghanlawpractitionerstatedthattherearetwomainwaysofsolvingalanddispute:thelegal
systemwherethepartiescantaketheircasetothecourt,orthetraditionalcommunitybased
systemthroughtheshura/jirga.AstheAfghanlawpractitionerexplained,mostoftheland
disputesaresettledbytheshura/jirga.TheAfghanlawpractitionerreferredtoAfghanistanHuman
DevelopmentReport200718inwhichitisdocumentedthat80%ofthecasesinAfghanistanare
resolvedbytheshura/jirgaandonly20%ofcasesarebroughtforthecourt.Headdedthatifone
ofthepartiesinalanddisputeisarichorinfluentialperson,hewillmostprobablywinthecase.
Thisappliesbothtolandcourtsaswellastotheshura/jirga,ashewillinanycasebribethejudges.
Whenaskedwhetherlanddisputesarealwaysbroughtbeforetheshura/jirgawhentheyarise,the
Afghanlawpractitionerstatedthatitisnotalwaysthecaseandthatthepartiesthemselveshave
totaketheinitiativetobringthecasebeforetheshura/jirga.
CPAUstatedthatsomelanddisputesaresettledthroughthelocallandregistrationofficesthatare
inpossessionofdocumentsprovingtheownershipofaparticularlandinthelocalarea.However,
duetothefactthatfewlandregistrationofficesareorganisedandfunctionproperlyandthat
thereisalackofactivecourtsinmostofthedistricts,mostlanddisputesaresettledthroughthe
shura/jirga.CPAUexplainedthatdecisionsmadebytheshura/jirgaareunanimousanddecisive.If
suchdecisionsarenotadheredto,theindividualwillexperienceasocialboycottbyhistribe.
Ifoneofthepartiestoalanddisputeisaninfluentialpowerfulperson,hewillaccordingtoCPAU,
usuallyattempttoputtheotherpartyunderpressurethroughthreatsandevenbysending
someonetobeattheotherpartyup,whileheatsametimewilltrytoinfluencetheshura/jirgaby
hismoneyandposition.Theultimateintentionofthepowerfulpersonwill,however,betoreacha
solutionbasedonconsensuswhichmoreorlessisacceptedbytheotherparty,andkillingwould
hencebetheverylastresort.AccordingtoCPAU,ingeneral,theshura/jirgasdecisionsonland
disputestendtobeneutral.Besides,thedecisionsusuallyapplyforatemporaryperiodoftwoto
threeyears.Thismeansthatthedecisioncouldchangewithapowerchangeintheregionand
couldturnintoaviolentconflict.Thedecisionoftheshura/jirgaisthereforenotnecessarilya
permanentsolution.
CPAUfounditimprobablethatapowerfulpartytoalanddisputewouldtrytotrackdownthe
otherpartyinotherareasofAfghanistaninordertoeliminatehim.AsCPAUexplained,mostof
thekillingswhichhavebeencarriedoutinconnectionwithlanddisputes,havetakenplace
spontaneouslyonthespot,andinaveryfewcasesthekillinghasbeenaplannedactioncarried
outinotherplaces.
AIHRCpointedoutthatconflictsrelatedtolandoftencausebigfeudsandhugefighting,
particularlybetweenfamilieswhomaykilleachotherforland,aslandisamatterofhonourand
pride.Somedisputesaresettledlocallybytheshura/jirgaorbycourts,butifthecaseistakento
court,peoplemightenduppayingthreetimesmorethevalueoftheland.Ifthedisputeoverland

18

UNDPandKabulUniversity,AfghanistanHumanDevelopmentReport2007,BridgingModernityandTradition:RuleofLawand
theSearchforJustice,2007,accessedon22March2012at
http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/nationalreports/asiathepacific/afghanistan/afghanistan_2007_en.pdf

42

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

isnotsolvedneitherbytheshura/jirgaorthecourt,therewillbecontinuousclashesbetween
tribesandfamilies.Ifsomeoneishavingaconflictwithalocalcommanderorarichperson,the
commanderortherichpersonwillverylikelywinthecaseinonewayoranother,accordingto
AIHRC.
AAWUstatedthatlanddisputesbelongtothemostcontroversialsubjectsinAfghanistan.
AccordingtoAAWU,ifsomeonehasalanddisputewithaninfluentialpersonsuchasa
commander,hewillprobablyfacetheriskofbeingassaultedorevenkilled.Besides,landcourtsas
wellastheshuras/jirgasareusuallyundertheinfluenceofinfluentialandpowerfulpersons,and
thegovernmentalinstitutionsarecorrupted,forwhichreasonthecasecannotbesettledthrough
thesechannels.Morever,ifapersonwantstobringhislandcaseforacourt,hemayevenhaveto
spend23timesthepriceofthelandtobeabletohavehisproblemsolved,whichismainlydueto
adeeprootedcorruptioninthesystem.
AAWUstatedthatlanddisputessometimesendinviolence,evenwithinfamilies.Asanexample
AAWUmentionedthatitsometimeshappensthatoneofthebrothersinafamilygoestothecity
tostudyoremigrateabroadwhileanotherbrotherstaysinthevillageandworksonthefamilys
land.Aftersomeyears,whenthebrotherwholefttheareacomesbackandclaimsashareofthe
land,adisputemayarisebetweenthebrothersanditmayevenleadtooneofthembeingkilled
bytheother.Insuchdisputes,whichalsoarisebetweenunclesandnephews,thelocalpeople
usuallysupportthemostpowerfulpartytothedispute,accordingtoAAWU.

6.2.Regionaldifferencesinsettlinglanddisputes
AccordingtoCPAU,veryfewlanddisputesendinviolence.However,itwasaddedthatthe
situationisdifferentindifferentprovinces.InprovincesintheNorthsuchasBadakhshan,Takhar,
Kunduz,Jowjan,Sarepol,Balkh,Baghlan,andFaryab,landdisputesrarelyleadtoviolentclashes
betweentheconflictingparties.ThesituationintheSouthisverydifferentwhereevenminor
disputeswillendinviolenceasmanypeoplecarryweapons.InsomepartsoftheSouth,itis
commonthatlocalcommandersgrablandandwomenaregivenasacompensationforland.CPAU
furtherexplainedthatthisalsohastobeseeninacontextwhereeverypieceoflandintheSouth
maybeusedforpoppycultivation.CPAUaddedthatintheSouth,thereareexamplesthatthe
wholefamilyhasbeenkilledevenbabiesbecauseoflanddisputes.However,CPAUfurther
explainedthatintheSouthernprovinces,thejirgasarenotregularlyfunctioningastheTalibanare
runningtheirowncourtsineverydistrictanddecisionsaremadeonthespot.
ThesituationinGhazniprovincehasbeenaffectedbydroughtinthelastcoupleofyears,and
thereisonlylimitedagriculturallandforuse.Theareaismostlydividedintosmallorchardswhich
arenotdemarcated.In2007,CPAUmadeaninvestigationandfoundthatthemajorityofland
disputesinJaghoriandMalistandistrictsinGhazniendedpeacefully.Thisispartlyduetothefact
thattheeducationallevelofpeopleinthosetwodistrictsofGhazniishighcomparedtoother
provinces,accordingtoCPAU.InJaghori,forexample,therearemorethan50highschoolsfrom
wheremanyyoungpeoplegraduateeveryyear.Duetoashortageoflandandalackofjob

43

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

opportunities,alargenumberofthesegraduatesleavetheareaandmovetoKabulorseek
abroad.
AninternationalorganizationmentionedarecentcasewhereafamilyfromJalalabadhadtraced
downa14yearoldgirlinKabul.ThegirlwasrapedasarevengeforalanddisputeinJalalabad.
LosingfaceisabigprobleminAfghanistan,accordingtotheinternationalorganization.
TheAfghanlawpractitionerexplainedthatthenumberoflanddisputeswhichendinviolence
havedecreasedinthepast15years,anddisputeshaveincreasinglybeensolvedpeacefullybythe
shura/jirgaandbytheformallegalsystemifthecaseisbroughtforthecourt.Accordingtothelaw
practitioner,landdisputeswithviolentresultsmostlyprevailinprovinceswhicharecontrolledby
Taliban,likeKandahar,GhazniandNorthernprovinces.Ifnopeacefulsolutionsarefound,land
disputesmightendinkillings.Ifsomebodywaskilledbyoneoftheparties,thewholefamilies
wouldbeinvolvedandthreatened.Itwasstatedthatlanddisputesalsosometimesaresettled
throughexchangeofyounggirls/daughtersbetweenthepartiesoftheconflict.Itmeansfor
examplethatifoneofthepartieshaskilledsomeonefromtheotherpartysfamily,theconflict
couldbesolvedbythemurderersfamilyofferingagirlformarriagetoamanfromtheother
family.

6.3.Situationaftersettlingthedispute
UNHCRinformedthedelegationthatifalandconflicthasbeensettledbyalocaljirga,andthe
injuredfamilydoesnotagreetothesolution,theconflictmaycontinuetocreateproblems.Evenif
thefamilyagreesanddoesnotclaimtheirlandbackimmediately,theymaystillbeatarget
becausethereisariskthattheywillclaimbacktheirlandatalaterstage.Thisisparticularlythe
casewheremalemembersofthefamily(heirs)arealivewhocouldclaimthelandback.Thiskind
of(blood)feudwhichcouldextendtothewholefamilyortribewithanactiveriskofrevengewas
acharacteristicofthePashtunsbutithasnowtouchedalltheotherethnicgroupsinAfghanistan,
accordingtoUNHCR.
Whenaskedwhetherapersonwhohaslosthislandinalanddisputewouldstillriskbeingharmed
bytheotherpartytotheconflictwhomaywanttoeliminatehimtoputapermanentendtothe
conflict,CPAUstatedthathewouldprobablynotfacesuchprobleminthecommunity.According
toCPAU,theshura/jirgaisasociallycoherentandsociallywellfoundedinstitutionwhose
decisionsgenerallyarerespectedbyeveryoneinthecommunity,includingthepartiestothe
conflict.Besides,itoftentakesseveraldaysbeforeashura/jirgaarrivesatadecisiononaland
disputeanditisprimarilybecausetheshura/jirgaintendstoadoptasolutionthatisacceptedby
allparties.
Ifanindividualgivesuporrenounceshislandduetoalanddispute,itwillnotbeanoptionforhim
tostayoninthevillage,accordingtoanindependentresearchinstituteinKabul.Firstofall,the
personwillnotbeabletomakealivingandsurviveinthevillagewithoutland.Secondly,losinga
disputeistantamounttolosingfacewhichisanimportantissueinAfghanistan.

44

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Iftheinjuredpartytoalanddisputedoesnotacceptthedecisionoftheshura/jirga,itcouldresult
inthreatsandevenmurder,LUAstated.Insomecasesthethreatenedpersonwouldhavetoflee
thecountry.AskedifitwouldbepossibletofindprotectioninKabulorothercities(Mazarand
Herat),LUAstatedthattheproblemwouldstillexist.LUAexplainedthatthepersonwhohas
causedtheconflictandwhohasgainedownershipofthelandmightwanttoeliminatetheother
partinordertomakesurethathewillnotclaimthelandback.Unlessthethreatenedpersonhas
personalrelationstotheauthoritiesortotheNationalSecurity,hewouldalwayshavetolivewith
thisthreat.
LUAfurtherexplainedthatiftheperson/thefamilyrenouncetheirland,itwillstillbeaproblem
forthemtostayintheareaastheconflictwillstillbelatent,andthepossibilitythatthefamilywill
claimtheirlandbackisalwaysthere.Inaddition,fortheinjuredpartitisalsoaquestionof
economy,asthefamilywouldnotbeabletosurviveinthevillageiftheycannotcultivatetheir
land.
AIHRCstatedthatifafamilyrenouncetheland,itwouldbeanexceptionifthecommanderwould
goafterthefamily,andalocalcommanderwoulddefinitelynottracedownthefamilyinKabul,
althoughitwouldbepossible.
AAWUstatedthatifapersonhasalanddisputewithamorepowerfulperson,andherenounces
thelandduetoadecisiontakenbythelandcourtortheshura/jirga,hewillnotfaceanydangerof
beingharmedbytheotherparty,ifhestaysinhisplaceoforigin.AAWUpointedout,however,
thatthepersonwouldhavenoincometosurviveinthevillage,ifhenolongerownsanyland.

45

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

7. KuchiHazaraconflict
AIHRCemphasizedthattheKuchiHazaraconflictisaverysensitiveissueasitisaconflictbetween
twoethnicgroupsanditisaconflictwhichhasrootsbackin1887afterthemassacreofHazaras
andtheKingspolicytocontainthem.Theconflicteruptedeachyearfrom2007upto2010,butin
2011therehavebeenfewerdisputes.
AccordingtoAIHRC,theconflicthasbeendestructiveinHisaIAwaliBihsud,MarkaziBihsudand
DayMirdaddistrictsinWardakprovinceandNawurdistrictinGhazni.Villageshavebeenburned
and2,000Hazarafamilieshaveleftthearea.MostofthefamilieshavesettledinKabul,somehave
movedtoMazar,whileothershaveleftthecountry.
AccordingtoAIHRC,therehavebeenallegationsthattheTalibanhavesupportedtheKuchis,butit
hasnotbeendocumented.However,itisafactthattheKuchishavebeenarmed.
UNHCRstatedthattheconflictbetweenKuchisandHazarasisinprincipleageographically
isolatedconflictbetweentwocommunitiesoverlocalresources.Thelastincidentswerein2010,
andin2011therewerenoviolentattacksreported.However,theconflictremainsunresolved.
UNHCRemphasizedthatitisaconflictbetweencommunitiesinalocalareawhichshouldnotlead
topersonalpersecutionofindividualsoutsidethegeographicalboundariesoftheinvolveddistricts
inWardakandGhazniprovince(i.e.HisaiAwaliBihsudandMarkaziBihsudinWardakandNawur
districtinGhazni).UNHCRreferredtotheUNEPreportforfurtherinformation.19
CSHROstatedthatthebiggestchallengeinthecentralregion(MaydanWardakarea)todayisthe
disputebetweentheHazarasandKuchis.AccordingtoCSHRO,theKuchisarearmedandthey
haveattackedpeoplewiththesupportofTaliban.KuchishavecauseddisputesinthetwoBehsud
districtsinWardakprovinceandinNawurdistrictinGhazniinrecentyears.
AccordingtoCSHRO,theKuchiHazaradisputeisaseasonalconflictwhicharisesinthespringeach
yearwhereherdsmenneedpasturesintheinvolveddistricts.CSHROmentionedthatwhilethere
wereviolentclashesbetweenHazarasandKuchisin2010,nomajorclashestookplacein2011.As
aresultofthe2010clashes,alargenumberofhouseswereburned,manyfamilieslosttheir
properties,andmanyHazarasmovedtoneighbouringdistrictsinBamyan.
WhenaskedwhetherKuchiswouldtrytotrackdownaHazarawithwhomtheyhavebeenin
conflictinWardakorGhazni,ifhefleestootherareas,CSHROrepliedthatKuchisarenotcapable
ofdoingso,anditisonlypossibleintheinvolveddistricts.CSHROexplainedthatHazarasarenot
concentratedinonespecificpartofKabul,anditwouldthereforebequitedifficulttotrackdowna
specificHazarainKabul.
AccordingtoCSHRO,ifaHazarahasaconflictwithaKuchiinhisareaoforigin,andhefleeshis
areaandmovestobigcitieslikeKabul,HeratorMazareSharif,hewillnotfaceanysecurity

19LizAldenWily,RecommendedStrategyforConflictResolutionofCompetingHighPastureClaimsofSettledandNomadic
CommunitiesinAfghanistan,UnitedNationsEnvironmentProgramme(UNEP),Kabul2009,accessedon1April2012at:
http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/afg_tech/theme_01/afg_rangeland_EN.pdf

46

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

problemalthoughhewillstillfacethechallengeoffindingajob.ManyHazarasfromtheaffected
districtshavemovedeithertootherdistrictsinBamyanortoKabulwheretheystaywiththeir
familyandrelativesandtheydonotgobacktotheirplaceoforigin.OnlyoldHazarapeopleare
leftintheaffecteddistricts.
WhenaskedtowhatextendHazarasinKabulhaveaccesstothelabourmarket,CSHROstatedthat
therearenotmanyjobopportunitiesinKabulanditisaconsiderablechallengeformanyto
sustaintheirlivelihood.AlargenumberofHazarasarelowpaiddaylabourersorworkin
construction.AccordingtoCSHRO,everymorningonecanseemanyHazaradaylabourersinKabul
waitingforsomeonetocomeandofferthemanoccasionaljob.Asanexampleofoccasionaljobs,
CSHROmentionedthatagreatmajorityofthosebeinghiredinthewinterseasontosweepthe
snowofftheroofsandinpeopleshousesareHazaras.
CSHROmentionedthatHazarasaccesstothelabourmarketislimitedwithregardtopublic
offices,embassiesandinternationalorganization,andthatthereareveryfewHazaraemployees
intheseorganizations.ThisisdespitethefactthatalargenumberofHazarasareeducatedpeople,
andonegenerallyfindsmanyHazarasreceivingeducationinKabulUniversityandother
educationalinstitutionsinthecity.
AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulconsideredtheHazaraKuchidisputeasa
conflictwhichislimitedtoacertainperiodoftime(thespringseason)andacertaingeographic
area.Therewerevillageburningslastyearandtheconflictisunresolved.Thesourcefoundit
unlikelythatKuchiswouldthreatenorpersecuteHazarasinKabulbecauseofafightinWardakor
Ghazni.20
BasedonexperiencefromoneofitsprojectaimingatsettlingtheconflictbetweenHazarasand
Kuchis21,CPAUstatedthattheviolentclashesbetweenHazarasandKuchisinrecentyearshave
beenapoliticallyprovokedconflictwhoserootsmustbefoundinotherplaces(forexamplein
Kabul)thanintheinvolveddistricts.AccordingtoCPAU,whathappensbetweenHazarasand
Kuchisisareflectionofwhathappensnationally,andtheconflictisbeingusedasatool.Every
timethereisanelectionatthenationallevel,onecanexpectthattheconflictwilleruptbecausein
theireagernessforvotesthepoliticianssidewithoneortheotherpartiestotheconflict.
CPAUexplainedthatnoclasheshavebeenreportedbetweenKuchisandHazarasthroughout2011
simplybecausenoelectionhastakenplaceduringtheyear.Itwasaddedthatthedisputebetween
HazarasandKuchishasbeenalongstandinghistoricalconflict,butitisonlywithinthelast45
yearsthattheconflicthasturnedintoviolencebecauseithasbeenpoliticisedandeachsidehas

20

AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabulfurtherreferredtoinformationfromFabrizioFoschini,Whocaresabout
theKuchiHazaraconflict,nowadays?,AfghanAnalystsNetwork.23062011,Accessedathttp://aan
afghanistan.com/index.asp?id=1823,on29March2012
21

KhibarRassul,FracturedRelationships,UnderstandingConflictbetweenNomadicandSettledCommunitiesinWardak's
Pastureland,CPAU,October2010,accessedathttp://www.cpau.org.af/images/downloads/CPAU%20Report%20
%20Fractured%20Relationships.pdf

47

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

beenarmed.WhiletheTaliban,forinstance,hasfoughtontheKuchiside,Pakistansideswiththe
KuchisandIransupportsHazaras.
CPAUexplainedthatthedisputebetweenHazarasandKuchisisaconflictwhicharisesinacertain
season(spring)inageographicallylimitedarea.CPAUfounditthereforequiteimprobablethata
KuchioraHazaratriestoseekoutandtakerevengeonsomeonefromtheotherpartyinother
placesthaninthedistrictswherethedisputehaserupted.AccordingtoCPAU,ifaKuchiwhohas
killedaHazarareturnstotheareawherethemurderedpersonsfamilylive,theHazarafamilywill
possiblytrytotakerevengeandtodefendthemselves.Ontheotherhand,onecanhardlyfinda
KuchiwhogoestoKabulorotherareasandtriestotrackdownaHazarawhohaskilledamember
ofhisfamily.AsCPAUexplained,Kuchisareusedtolosingfamilymembersandrelativesintheir
fragilenomadiclife,andlosingafamilymemberwillnotimmediatelyprovokeasenseofrevenge
amongKuchis.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulexplainedthattheconflictbetweenlocalHazarasin
thetwoBehsuddistrictsofWardakprovinceandthePashtunomads(Kuchis)hasbeenpoliticized
inKabulasaninfluentialpoliticallobbyofrepresentativesfromthetwoethnicgroupshasshifted
theconflicttothenationalrealmsofpolitics.
ConcerningtheHazaraKuchiconflict,AAWUstatedthatnosolutionshavebeenfoundsofar,and
itishighlypossiblethatclasheswillbreakoutagaininthefuture.AccordingtoAAWU,theconflict
hasalsobeenprovokedfromoutsideAfghanistan,asIranandPakistangainpoliticaladvantage
fromtheconflictandsidewithHazarasandKuchisrespectively.
AAWUpointedoutthatthedisputebetweenHazarasandKuchisdoesnotonlyeruptinthespring
butalsoinothertimesoftheyearwhenanimalsaregrassing.AAWUaddedthatalthoughthe
conflictforthemomentislimitedtotwoprovinces(GhazniandWardak),onecanexpectdisputes
toariseinotherplacestowhereKuchismove.
AAWUstatedthatiftheHazaraswhohavelefttheareaduetotheclashescomebackagainand
claimtheirlandback,clasheswillverylikelyariseagain.Ontheotherhand,AAWUfoundit
unlikelythattheHazaraswouldfaceanydangerfromKuchisiftheymovedtootherareas.
AAWUconcludedthatafundamentalsolutionisrequiredtosolvethisdisputewhichisnotonlya
disputebetweennomadsandthelocalHazaracommunity,butalsoaconflictwhichinvolves
politiciansinKabul.

7.1MediationEfforts
CSHROexplainedthatthecommissionappointedbyPresidentKarzaitofindasolutiontothe
HazaraKuchidisputehasbeentonoavail.Accordingtoarticle14intheConstitution22,the
22

TheConstitutionofAfghanistan,January32004,ArticleFourteen,Todevelopagricultureandanimalhusbandry,improve
economic,socialandlivingconditionsoffarmers,herdersandsettlersaswellasimprovethenomadslivelihood,thestate,withinits
financialmeans,shalldesignandimplementeffectiveprogrammestoprovidehousinganddistributepublicestatestodeserving
citizens,thestateshalladoptnecessarymeasuresinaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthelawwithinfinancialpossibilities.

48

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

governmentistoprovideKuchiswithland,butnoseriousinitiativehasbeentakenbythe
governmentsofartorealizeit.ThisismainlybecauseboththegovernmentandtheTalibangain
politicaladvantagefromtheconflictandthereisnorealinterestinfindingasolution.Itwasadded
thattheTalibanandsometimesthegovernmentsidewithKuchis.
CPAUstatedsimilarlythatthecommissionappointedbyPresidentKarzaiin2007tofindasolution
totheHazaraKuchidisputehassofarnotcomeupwithanyusefulproposalwhichisacceptedby
alltheparties.Thecommissionitselfisheadedbysomeone(WahidUllahSabawoon)whotendsto
sidewithKuchis,accordingtoCPAU.
CPAUaddedthoughthatbyofferinglandtoagroupofKuchisintheoutskirtsofKabul,the
governmenthasmadeanefforttomakeKuchissettledown,butthisefforthasfailedcompletely
becausetheKuchisinthesecaseshavesoldthelandandmovedon.Duetoacontinuouslackof
solutiontotheconflict,CPAUexpectsthattheviolentclashesbetweenKuchisandHazaraswill
eruptagaininfuture.
AccordingtoanindependentresearchinstituteinKabul,thegovernmenthasbeenpromisinga
solutiontotheKuchiproblemsforyearsnow,sayingthatlandwouldbeallocatedtothenomads
tohelpthemsettlingdown,butthishasbeentonoavail.Theresearchinstitutefurther
emphasizedthatagovernmentcommissionestablishedbyKarzaitoresolvethedisputehasbeen
widelyseenasanartificialcommissionandhasnotyieldedanyresults.
AIHRCmentionedthataCommissionestablishedbyKarzaiin2007hasnotbeensuccessfulin
mediatingtheconflict.

AccessedatUNHRCRefworld:http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,LEGAL,,LEGISLATION,AFG,,404d8a594,0.html,on21.03.
2012

49

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

8. Documents
AllsourcesagreedthatitispossibletoobtainalltypesofforgeddocumentsinAfghanistan.
UNHCRinformedthedelegation,withreferencetoTheGuardiannewspaperarticleof18January
2012BoomtimeforAfghanistan'speoplesmugglers23,thatvarioustypesofforgeddocuments
arewidespreadinAfghanistan.
Astothepossibilityofbuyingfalsedocuments,aninternationalorganizationconfirmedthatmany
thingscanbeforgedand/orbought.Forexample,ifyouwanttohaveadrivinglicense,itis
cheapertogothroughtheofficialchannels,butmostpeopleprefertobuyafalseone,forwhich
youpaytriplebutyougetthedocumentwithinanhour.Forgedlettersofemploymentwith
foreignorganizationsorISAFareprobablypossibletobuyinKabul,accordingtothesource.
IOMsaidthatitisacommonpracticetoforgedocumentsinAfghanistan.IOMhascomeacross
manysuchdocumentsovertheyears.HowpeoplegetthedocumentsisnotknowntoIOM,but
thereseemtobeplentyofopportunitiestogetforgedIDdocuments,includingtazkerasand
drivinglicense.
CPAUstatedthatitispossibletoobtainalltypesoffalsedocumentsinAfghanistan,includingID
cards,birthcertificates,drivinglicenses,marriagecertificates,nightlettersfromTaliban,andeven
newspaperarticles.However,CPAUaddedthatsinceitisexpensiveandrisky(riskofbeingcaught
upbylocalpolice)toobtainthesedocumentsinAfghanistan,peopletendtoorderthemfrom
agenciesinPakistanwhoproduceandsendthemtoAfghanistan.CPAUmentionedthatthereisa
street/marketinthecityofPeshawarinPakistancalledGhessehKhani(meaningstorytelling:
ed.)wherealargenumberoffalsedocumentsusedbyAfghansstemfrom.CPAUalsoknewof
agencieswhoofficiallycallthemselvestravelagentsandwhokeepofficesprovidingasylum
storiesanddocumentsneededtoverifythestoriesasapackagetoAfghanswhointendtoseek
asylumintheWesterncountries.
Whenaskedwhetheritispossibletobuyoriginaldocumentsthatcanbeusedtoproveanasylum
case,CPAUstatedthatthispossibilityexists.CPAUmentionedasanexamplethatthereare
journalistswhoarepaidtopublisharticlesandstoriesaboutapersoninlessknownnewspapers
whichthencanbeusedbythatpersoninanasylumcase.TheCPAUrepresentativeaddedthathe
personallywasawareofajournalistwhohadperformedsuchtasks.
LUAinformedthedelegationthatfalsedocumentsinAfghanistanareproducedinPakistan,
particularlyinthetribalareasandinPeshawar,andthatanydocumentcanbeobtainedfrom
there,includingeducationpaperswithvariousdegreesfromuniversitiesintheUSA.Accordingto
LUA,theneededknowledge,equipmentortechniquestoproducefalsedocumentsdonotexistin
Afghanistan.

23

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/18/afghanistanpeoplesmugglerstalibaneurope,accessedon28March2012

50

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

AccordingtoanindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul,itispossibletoobtainalltypes
offorgeddocuments,notonlyinKabul,butalloverAfghanistan.
Askedaboutthepossibilityofbuyingfalsedocuments,IPCBsaidthatitiscertainlypossible.
However,IPCBdidnothaveanyindicationofhowwidespreadfalsedocumentsare.
UNAMAassumedthatalltypesofforgeddocumentscanbeobtainedintheblackmarketin
Afghanistan.
AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabulinformedthedelegationthatdocumentsingeneralare
problematicinAfghanistan.Veryfewthingsareregisteredandmarriages,birthsanddeathsarein
generalnotregisteredinAfghanistan.Thereisablackmarketforbuyingandsellingdocuments.
TheresearchinstitutementionedthatmanyAfghandocumentsstemfromPeshawarinPakistan,
andevenuniversitydegreescanbeboughtthere.

8.1.Passports
UNHCRsaidthatregardingpassports,therehasrecentlybeenablackmarketforsaleofAfghani
passports.UNHCRexplainedthatgenuineAfghanpassportsareprintedintheUK,butdueto
technicalproblemstherehasbeenalackofpassportsoverthepastoneyear.Itiswellknownthat
passportshavebeensoldontheblackmarket.
Passportsare,accordingtoIOM,lesslikelytobesubjecttoforgery.Overthelast4years,IOMhas
onlycomeacrossonecasewithaforgedpassport.
Aninternationalorganizationstatedthatpassportsaremostlikelytobemoreregulatedand
obtainedviaofficialchannels.

51

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Organizations,authoritiesandpersonsconsulted

AfghanIndependentHumanRightCommission(AIHRC),M.MusaMahmodi,Executive
Director
TheAfghanistanIndependentHumanRightsCommissionwasestablishedpursuanttothe
BonnAgreement(5December2001)andonthebasisofthedecreeoftheChairmanofthe
InterimAdministration,June6,2002,andresolution134/48oftheUnitedNationsGeneral
Assemblyin1993andtheParisprinciplesandonthebasisofarticle58oftheConstitution
ofIslamicRepublicofAfghanistan.TheCommissionisperformingitsactivitiesintheareas
ofpromotion,protectionandmonitoringofhumanrightsinAfghanistan.
http://www.aihrc.org.af/

AnAfghanlawpractitioner

AnindependentpolicyresearchorganizationinKabul

AnindependentresearchinstituteinKabul

AninternationalNGO

Aninternationalorganisation

AllAfghanWomensUnion(AAWU),SuraiaPerlika,GeneralDirector
AAWUwasestablishedin1992bySuraiaPerlika.AAWUaimsatempowermentofAfghan
womenthroughdifferentactivities,includinglobbying,advocacyengagingwomenin
politicallife,coursesinliteracy,tailoring,embroideryandcarpetweavingetc.
http://blog.worldcitizenship.org/wparchive/706
http://word.worldcitizenship.org/wparchive/1176

CooperationforPeaceAndUnity(CPAU),IdreesZaman,ManagingDirector
CPAUisanAfghanledresearchorganizationwhichaimstostrengthenthecapacityof
Afghanstoconductqualityresearchatacompetitivelevel.ItalsoseekstoempowerAfghan
civilsocietytotakealeadershiproleinresearch,advocacyandpolicyformulation.
http://www.cpau.org.af/

CivilSocietyandHumanRightsOrganization(CSHRO),M.NaimNazari,DirectorandWazir
AhmadKhorami,DeputyDirector
TheCivilSocietyandHumanRightsnetworkconsistsof58Afghanorganizationswhichare
activeinthepromotionofhumanrights.Thememberorganizationshavesofaralltheir
mainofficesinKabulbuthaverepresentativesalsoinotherregionsofAfghanistan.Besides
itsmemberorganizations,CSHRNworkstogetherwithoveronehundredpartner
organizationsindifferentregionsofAfghanistan.

52

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

http://www.cshrn.af/CSHRN_English/Documents%20of%20CSHRN/About%20Us/About%2
0Us.htm

DanishRefugeeCouncil(DRC),KirstenNielsen,ProjectManagerLivelihood,andDragan
Alavanja,ProtectionOfficer

InternationalOrganizationforMigration(IOM),EniraKrdzalic,HeadofResettlementand
AVRUnit

InternationalPoliceCoordinationBoard(IPCB),ColonelD.N.Boot,DeputyHead
TheIPCBcoordinates,prioritizes,anddirectstheinternationalpolicereformeffortsinthe
widerRuleofLaw(RoL)context,providingsupportfortheAfghanMinistryoftheInterior
(MoI)inthedevelopmentofpolicies,strategies,andplansintheareasofpolicereformand
policejusticecooperationinaccordancewiththeIPCBMandate.TheIPCBassiststhe
GovernmentoftheIslamicRepublicofAfghanistan(GIRoA)inacommonefforttoreform
theAfghanNationalPolice(ANP)intoacredible,respected,professional,increasingly
governmentfundedpoliceservicethatiscommittedtotheruleoflaw,supportiveofthe
governmentofAfghanistananditspeople,andactsconsistentlywithestablishedprinciples
ofinternationallaw.TheroleoftheIPCBSecretariatistoguide,facilitateandcoordinate
theactivitiesoftheIPCBanditsassociatedbodies.Membernations:Australia,Canada,
Denmark,France,Germany,Italy,Japan,TheNetherlands,Norway,Turkey,United
Kingdom(UK),andtheUnitedStatesofAmerica(USA).
http://www.ipcbafghanistan.com

LawyersUnionofAfghanistan(LUA);Mr.GhayurSecretaryGeneral/ActingPresidentof
LUA,Prof.WaliMohammadNaseh,DeputyofLawyersUnionofAfghanistan,Zarmina
NajamStanikzai,DeputyofLawyersUnionofAfghanistan,AbdulQayumSaiel,Research
andTrainingOrganisationofAfghanistan,FaridehAshrafZadehandGhamarSafi,members
oftheleadingboard.
LawyersUnionofAfghanistan(LUA)hasbeenestablishedbyAfghanlawyersin1985in
Kabul.Thisorganizationisalegalentityoflawyersandresearchersthatworkswiththe
rightsandfreedomofcitizens,buildingthepeaceandstrengtheningtheruleoflawprocess
throughusingadvocacyandpublicawareness.Aftertheadoptionofanewconstitutionin
Afghanistan,LUAapprovedanewcharterwhichcreatedtheframeworkforimplementing
theactivitiesoftheorganization,includingamongothersruleoflaw,humanrights,and
womenandjuvenilerights.Theorganizationisanindependentcivil,nongovernmental,
nonpolitical,andnonprofitableorganization.Theorganizationhasmorethan3800
membersoutofwhich30%arewomenandthreewomenareattheleadingboard.

MinistryofRefugeesandRepatriation(MoRR);DirectorofPlanningAbdulBariRostace,
ChiefofStaffBaisNoorJasoorandReintegrationAdvisortoMinisterDr.NilofarHesari
TheMoRR,basedonitsstrategicgoals,triestoprovidetheAfghanrepatriatesandIDPs
opportunityofsettlingandtogetinitialreintegrationsupport,includinglegalsupport,

53

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

employmentopportunityandprofessionaltechnicaltrainingintheirplaceiforigin.
http://morr.gov.af/en

MinistryofWomensAffairs(MoWA),ProfessorSayedaMojganMustafavi,Technicaland
PolicyDeputyMinister
MoWAsmissionis,inaccordancewiththeAfghanGovernmentspoliticalandsocialpolicy,
toensureandextendwomensrightsandrespectforruleoflawintheirlifeinAfghanistan.
Theministrycomprisesninecentralmanagementbodiesand34womensaffairs
managementunitsindifferentprovinces.
http://mowa.gov.af/fa/page/1332

UnitedNationsAssistanceMissioninAfghanistan(UNAMA),RepresentativeoftheUN
HighCommissionerforHumanRights(OHCHR),GeorgetteGagnon,Director,HumanRights
Unit.

UnitedNationsHighCommissionerforRefugees(UNHCR),AlessandraMorelli,Deputy
Representative,UNHCR,AfghanistanandJasmineKetabchiProtectionOfficer,UNHCR,RA
Kabul.

54

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Bibliography

Boone,Jon&NooruddinBakhshi,BoomtimeforAfghanistan'speoplesmugglers,Guardian,18
January2012
ClarkKate,TheEmperorsNewClothes:TheleakedNATOreportontheTaliban,TheAfghan
AnalystsNetwork,2.2.2012
FoschiniFabrizio,WhocaresabouttheKuchiHazaraconflict,nowadays?TheAfghanAnalysts
Network,23062011.
KhibarRassul,FracturedRelationships,UnderstandingConflictbetweenNomadicandSettled
CommunitiesinWardak'sPastureland,CooperationforPeaceandUnity,October2010.
UNAssistanceMissioninAfghanistanandUNHCHR,Afghanistan,AnnualReport2011,Protection
ofCiviliansinArmedConflict,Kabul,Afghanistan,February2012.
UNDevelopmentProgrammeAfghanistan,PolicePerceptionSurvey2011,TheAfghan
Perspective,Kabul2011
UNDevelopmentProgrammeandKabulUniversity,AfghanistanHumanDevelopmentReport
2007,BridgingModernityandTradition:RuleofLawandtheSearchforJustice,2007.

UNEnvironmentProgramme,RecommendedStrategyforConflictResolutionofCompetingHigh
PastureClaimsofSettledandNomadicCommunitiesinAfghanistan,UnitedNationsEnvironment
Programme,Kabul2009
UNHighCommissionerforRefugees,UNHCREligibilityGuidelinesforAssessingtheInternational
ProtectionNeedsofAsylumSeekersfromAfghanistan,17December2010,
TheWorldBankandUNHighCommissionerforRefugees,ResearchStudyonIDPsinurban
settingsAfghanistan,Kabul,May2011

55

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

ANNEX1:TERMSOFREFERENCE

TORforDanishFactFindingMissiontoAfghanistan2012
1. Internalflightalternative(IFA)
2. AssociationoremploymentwithUS.military/internationalforces/ISAF
3. AssociationoremploymentwithInternationalorganizations,WesternCompaniesandthe
Afghangovernment
4. TheTaliban
5. Dishonouringthefamily,breakingsocialnorms
6. Landdisputeswithfamilymembers
7. TheconflictbetweenKuchisandHazaras
8. Possibilitiesforbuyingfalsedocuments

Ad1)Internalflightalternative(IFA)

PresenceandactivitiesoftheTalibanandotherinsurgentgroupsinKabulandothermajor
cities
o TypeofconflictinplaceoforiginwhichwouldcausereactionbytheTalibanand
otherinsurgentgroupsinKabulandothermajorcities(conflictwiththeTalibanor
otherinsurgentgroups,landandhonourrelateddisputes,conflictwith
commanders,commoncriminality)
o Profilestargeted(low/highprofile)

Possibilitytoseekprotectionfromtheauthorities(thepolice,thejudiciary)inconnection
withconflictsinplaceoforiginsuchas:
o ConflictwiththeTalibanorotherinsurgentgroups
o Landandhonourrelateddisputes
o Conflictswithcommanders(includingconflictrelatedtoland,marriageandformer
armedconflicts)
o Commoncriminality

Othersupportmechanismsincl.socialnetworks,relatives,ethnicgroupsinKabulandother
majorcities,includingimportanceofnothavinghadapreviousresidenceintheseareas

56

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Accesstobasicrightsincludinghousing,employment,healthcare,foodsecurityand
educationinKabulandothermajorcitiescomparedtothegeneralsituationinthecountry

Theimpactofethnicity,religion,sex,age,economicsituation,educationandplaceoforigin
ontheaccesstobasicrightsmentionedabove

Ad2)AssociationoremploymentwithUS.military/internationalforces/ISAF

IndividualsassociatedwithorservingtheUS.Military;

o Whichtypeoflocalstaffisrecruitedandhowaretherecruitmentprocedures?(incl.
interpreters,servicestaff,maintenanceworkersandothers)
o Professions(interpreters,servicestaff,maintenanceworkersetc.)targetedbythe
insurgentgroups
o Approval/recruitmentprocedures,securitychecks,andregistering,including
photosandfingerprinting.Isitpossibletohaveservedthemilitarywithouthaving
anyregistration?
o Accesstoandresidenceinthebases,includingissuingofIDcardsWillsuch
individualsbegivenanyformofassistanceor,ifneeded,protectionbythe
Americansorhelptoberelocatedtoanothercountry?
o Afterleavingtheservice,cantheyobtainanydocumentation(servicecertificate)
regardingtheirserviceintheUSMilitary?Existenceofstandarddocumentationfor
completedservice?
o DoeslocalAfghanmilitarypersonnelatanytimewearAmericanuniformsor
markings?
o Consequencesforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remote,during
employment/afterleavingservice)

IndividualsassociatedwithorservingISAF

o Whichtypeoflocalstaffisrecruitedandhowaretherecruitmentprocedures?(incl.
interpreters,servicestaff,maintenanceworkersandothers)Istheprocedure
uniform,ordoesitvarydependingonwhichcountrytheforcesareserving?
o Professions(interpreters,servicestaff,maintenanceworkersetc.)targetedbythe
insurgentgroups
o Consequencesforindividualssupportingorworkingwithinternationalforces/ISAF

57

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

o Consequencesforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remoteduring
employment/afterleavingservice)
o Accesstoandresidenceinthebases,includingissuingofIDcards

Ad3)AssociationoremploymentwithInternationalorganizations,Westerncompaniesandthe
Afghangovernment

Professionstargetedbytheinsurgentgroups

Internationalorganizations/Westerncompaniestargeted

Consequencesforindividualsassociatedwithorworkingforinternational
organizations/Westerncompanies

Consequencesforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remote,duringemployment/after
leaving)

ConsequencesforindividualsassociatedwithorworkingfortheAfghangovernment,
includingpoliceandsecurityforces

Consequencesforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remote,duringemployment/after
leaving)ConsequencesforindividualsassociatedwithorworkingforWestern
companies/Afghancompanies

Consequencesforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remote,duringemployment/after
leaving)

Ad4)TheTaliban

RecruitmentbytheTaliban

o Methodsofrecruitmentincludingexistenceofforcedrecruitment
o Profileoftherecruited(sex,ageethnicgroup),numberofrecruitedpr.family
o Consequencesofrefusingrecruitment

Trainingofandprofileofsuicidebombers;

o Profileofsuicidebombers(sex,ageethnicgroup)
o Lengthoftrainingofsuicidebombers(fewdays/coupleofweeks/longer)
o Waysandplacesoftraining(camps,individual/grouptrainingetc.)andpossiblerole
ofKoranschools/madrassas

Existenceandconsequencesconnectedwithnightletters

58

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

o Prevalenceoftheuseofnightletters
o Assaultsfollowingnightletters

SituationforformermembersoftheTaliban

Ad5)Dishonouringthefamily/breakingsocialnorms

Consequencesformenofdishonouringthefamilyorbreakingsocialnormswithregardto
marriageand/orextramaritalrelationshipbetweenmenandwomen(fromhisownandthe
womansfamily)

Possibilitiesformenandwomentoseekprotectioninsuchcases(protectionbythelocal
police,sheltersetc.)

Possibilitiesforsettlingdisputeslocallybetweenthecoupleandtheirfamiliesinsuchcases
(eldercouncils,families)

Ad6)Landdisputeswithfamilymembers

Occurrenceindifferentregions/ethnicities/amongstthepoorerruralpopulation/minimum
sizeofthedisputedland

Possibilitiestoseekprotectionfromthelocalauthoritiesinsuchcases(protectionbythe
localpolice,judiciaryetc.)
Possibilitiesforsettlingdisputeslocallyinsuchcases(eldercouncils,families)
Continuedriskafterrenouncingthelandifstayin/leavingtheregion
Riskforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remote),duringthedispute/afterrenouncing
theland)
ImportanceofadherencetoTaliban/commanderetc.

Ad7)TheconflictbetweenKuchisandHazaras

UpdateonpresentmediationeffortsintheconflictbetweenKuchisandHazarasinWardak
province

ScaleofsupportfromtheTalibantoKuchis

Thedistrictsinvolved

Personalpersecutionifinvolvementintheconflictorgeneralrisk

59

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

Geographicalboundariesoftheconflict(continuedriskifleavingthearea)

Riskforfamilymembers(male/female,close/remote)

Ad8)Possibilitiesforbuyingfalsedocuments

Nightletters

LettersofappointmentfromtheUSMilitary,ISAF,theAfghangovernment,Western
companies/AfghancompaniesworkingfortheUSMilitary,ISAF,theAfghansecurity
forces/governmentetc.

IDcardsfromtheUSMilitary,ISAF,theAfghansecurityforces,theGovernment

Marriagecertificates

PossibilityofbuyingfalsedocumentsotherplacesthanKabul

60

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

ANNEX2:MAPOFAFGHANISTAN

61

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

ANNEX3:MAPOFWARDAKANDGHAZNI

62

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

ANNEX4:PRESIDENTIALDECREENO.104

Unofficialtranslation

No:104
Date:15/09/1384(06December2005)

Decree
PresidentoftheIslamicRepublicofAfghanistan
OnLandDistributionforHousingtoEligibleReturneesandIDPs

ArticleOne:
ThisDecreeisissuedonthebasisoftheCouncilofMinistersapprovalno.30,dated16/08/1384
andforthepurposeofdistributingintactanduncultivatedgovernmentlandtoaddressthe
housingneedsofeligiblereturneeandIDPcompatriots.

ArticleTwo:
1)Aneligiblereturneeisapersonwhomeetsthefollowingcriteria:
a)PossessesaTazkera(nationalIDcard)fromhis/herrespectiveprovince.
b)PossessesaVoluntaryRepatriationForm(VRF)orothervaliddocumentsthatconfirmhis/her
returntothecountryorfrominternaldisplacementtotheareaoforiginandpermanent
residence.
c)Doesnotownlandorahouseunderhis/hername;thenameofaspouseorminorchildin
Afghanistan.

2)AneligibleIDPisapersonwhomeetsthefollowingcriteria:
a)PossessesaTazkerafromhis/herrespectiveprovince.
b)Possessesdocumentsconfirminghis/herinternaldisplacement.
c)Doesnotownlandorahouseunderhis/hername;thenameofaspouseorminorchildin
Afghanistan.

63

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

ArticleThree:
Intheprovinceswheregovernmentlandisnotavailablefordistribution,eligiblereturneesand
IDPswillbeprovidedlandinaneighbouringprovince(havingthecapacityforabsorption)bythe
respectiveCommissionfollowingtheapprovaloftherecipientinhis/herprovince.

ArticleFour:
SpontaneousreturneesandIDPswillbeconsideredaseligiblebeneficiariesafterpresentingthe
relevantdocumentstoandapprovalbytherelevantCommission.

ArticleFive:
EachreturneeandIDPfamilycanonlyrepresentthemselvesandcannotrepresentothers.

ArticleSix:
Duringtheverificationprocess,priorityforthedistributionofplotswillbegiventoreturneesand
IDPswhoaredisabled,widowedandtothosefamilieswithoutaheadofhousehold.

ArticleSeven:
Inordertodeterminebeneficiariesandtoensurethefairdistributionoflandplots,Commissions
willbeformedinKabulandotherprovinces.Theywillbecomposedasfollows:

CentralCommission(Kabul):
1DeputyMinister,MinistryofRefugeesandRepatriation,toserveasChairperson,
2DeputyMinister(LandManagement),MinistryofAgriculture,AnimalHusbandryandFood,to
serveasMember,
3RepresentativeoftheMinistryofUrbanDevelopmentandHousing,toserveasMember,
4RepresentativeoftheMinistryofMinesandIndustries,toserveasMember,
5RepresentativeoftheGeneralDepartmentofGeodesyandCartography,toserveasMember,
6RepresentativeofKabulMunicipality,toserveasMember,
7RepresentativeoftheAfghanIndependentHumanRightsCommission,toserveasMember,
8DirectoroftheResettlementDepartment,MinistryofRefugeesandRepatriation,toserveas
MemberandSecretary.

ProvincialCommission:
1DeputyGovernor,toserveasChairperson,
2ProvincialMayor,toserveasMember,
3DirectorofProvincialDepartmentofAgriculture,AnimalHusbandryandFood,toserveas
Member,
4RepresentativeoftheMinistryUrbanDevelopmentandHousing,toserveasMember,
5DirectorofProvincialDepartmentofRuralRehabilitationandDevelopment,toserveas
Member,
6RepresentativeoftheAfghanIndependentHumanRightsCommission,toserveasMember,
7RepresentativeoftheGeneralDepartmentofGeodesyandCartography,toserveasMember,
8RepresentativeoftheMinistryofMinesandIndustries,toserveMember,

64

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

9DirectoroftheProvincialDepartmentofRefugeesandRepatriation,toserveasMemberand
Secretary.

ArticleEight:
TheCommissions,underArticleSevenofthisDecree,areresponsibleforthedeterminationof
beneficiaries;establishingtheboundariesofthelandidentifiedbytheMinistryofAgriculture,
AnimalHusbandryandFood;andfortakingappropriatedecisionswithregardtolanddistribution
andtheestablishmentofthesettlements.

ArticleNine:
1)TheMinistryofAgriculture,AnimalHusbandryandFoodisresponsibleforidentifyingthe
appropriateamountoflandinhighaltitudeanduncultivatedsitesandforputtingthosesitesat
thedisposaloftheMinistryofRefugeesandRepatriationinKabulaswellasintheprovinces
accordingtotheexistingregulations.
2)TheMinistryofUrbanDevelopmentandHousingisresponsibleforprovidingmapsofthesites
andplansofthelandreferredtounderPara(1)ofthisarticleforthedevelopmentofrequired
urbanservices.

ArticleTen:
1)TheCommissions,underArticleSevenofthisDecree,havethefollowingresponsibilities:
a)Verificationofbeneficiariesandthedistributionofland,
b)Assessmentofthepotentialforfuturedevelopmentandexpansionoftheapprovedprojectsto
thelevelofadministrativeunitsandpresentingproposalstothecompetentauthorities,
c)Creatingpartnershipswithnationalandinternationalorganisationstoseektheirsupportforthe
developmentofhousingforreturneesandtheprovisionofothersocialservices,
d)PromotingjointeffortsamongtherelevantauthoritiesinKabulandintheprovinces.
2)MoneycollectedthroughthedistributionoftheplotswillbemanagedbytheMinistryof
Financeandspentonsocialservicesforthesettlementsunderthesupervisionoftherespective
Commissions.

ArticleEleven:
1.ThosereceivinglandthroughtherelevantCommissionshavethefollowingobligations:
a)Topaythespecifiedfee.
b)Toconstructahouseontheplotoflandinkeepingwiththeprovisionsoftherelevantlegal
documents.
c)Nottonotselltheplotoflandforaperiodoftenyears.
2.IfitisprovedthatabeneficiaryunderPara(1)ofthisarticlehasreceivedaplotoflandin
contradictiontotheprovisionsofthisDecree,thelandwillrepossessed,distributedtoanother
beneficiary,andtheindividualprosecuted.
3.TheMunicipalityisresponsibleforprovidingappropriatehousingschemeswhichcorrespondto
theeconomicconditionsoftheplotownersandforthelandscapingofthenewsettlements.

65

AFGHANISTANCountryofOriginInformationforUseintheAsylumDeterminationProcess

ArticleTwelve:
ThepricefortheresidentialplotsoflandunderthisDecreewillbefixedbasedontheproposalsof
theCommissionsinKabulandtheprovincesandapprovedbytheCouncilofMinisters.

ArticleThirteen:
BeneficiariesreceivinglandbasedontheprovisionsofthisDecreewill,inthefirstphase,beissued
temporaryownershipdeedsbytherespectiveCommissions.Permanentownershipdeedswillbe
issuedbytherespectivemunicipalitiesafter5years.

ArticleFourteen:
Uncultivatedlandusedforforestry,miningorotherpublicinfrastructureprojectsdoesnotqualify
fordistribution.

ArticleFifteen:
Wheresiteshavebeeninauguratedbeforetheenactmentofthisdecreeandhavegonethrough
thenecessarylegalprocedures,landdistributionwillcontinue.

ArticleSixteen:
TheimplementationoftheprovisionsofthisDecreeistheresponsibilityoftheMinistryof
RefugeesandRepatriation.

ArticleSeventeen:
ThisDecreeistobeenactedandpublishedintheofficialgazettefollowingitssigning.

HamidKarzai
PresidentoftheIslamicRepublicofAfghanistanRepublicofAfghanistan
Source:
http://morr.gov.af/Content/Media/Documents/Presidentialdecree1042182011104211155533253
25.pdf

66