A large proportion of the asylum cases we consider concern applicants from Afghanistan. Fear of the Taliban is the most common reason for applying for asylum. Many of the cases concern unaccompanied minors.
Figures from the past two years show that we rarely reverse decisions. Some cases are rejected for reasons of credibility, meaning that we do not believe the applicant’s statement regarding his or her experiences in Afghanistan. When we consider whether a statement is credible, we make an overall assessment of the case. Among other things, we consider whether the statement is coherent, consistent and logical, and seem to describe a personal experience. We also consider the statement in relation to other information in the case, such as information about the country in question.
Most people who apply for protection say that they fear the Taliban or other insurgent groups because they have worked for foreign armed forces or the Afghan authorities. Some say that they are closely related to persons with such jobs. Others state that the Taliban are trying to recruit them by force. Many of those applying for protection belong to the ethnic group Hazara. They often state that they are at particular risk of attacks from the Taliban because they are Hazara.
Some applicants state that they may be killed because they are in conflict with other private individuals, for example family members or powerful men in the local community. The reason can be disagreement regarding e.g. marriage or property.
UNE first and foremost emphasises the applicants' own information about their identity. If they have given a credible statement regarding their identity, we will consider their identity to be substantiated.
The national ID document is tazkera. Around 60 per cent of the population have tazkeras. Due to widespread corruption and document forgery, we do not give weight to the information in such documents. The same applies to most other Afghan documents.
The Embassy of Afghanistan in Oslo issues passports. Many Afghans obtain a passport while staying in Norway. We believe that people who hold passports are probably Afghan citizens, but it is uncertain whether the information in the passport is correct.
Afghan documents are not very reliable, but we nevertheless want applicants to submit any ID documents they have. A passport issued by the embassy in Oslo can help to substantiate who they are.
In addition to the applicants’ statements, we always consider whether the area they come from is so dangerous that they need protection. We call this an assessment of the security situation. Both international case law and decisions made by several of UNE’s Grand Boards show that there is a high threshold for granting a permit on the basis of the security situation in a country. In order to grant a permit on this basis, the general level of violence must be so high that any person will face a real danger simply by being in the area. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has stated several times that this will only be relevant in extremely violent and turbulent situations.
In the cases that we consider, most asylum seekers come from areas where the security situation is stable enough for them not to be entitled to protection. In these areas, there may be frequent armed attacks and clashes between the parties involved in the conflict without this reaching the threshold for granting a permit. In order to grant a permit on this basis, the general level of violence must be so high that any person will face a real danger simply by being in the area. In most areas of Afghanistan, there have not been reports of systematic abuse against the civilian population or military activity at a level that threatens the life and health of anyone staying in the area.
In some cases where the applicant is from an area where the security situation is unclarified, we refer the applicant to internal flight to larger cities, such as Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat, where the security situation is stable enough for the applicant to travel there.
I tillegg til det søkerne forklarer, vurderer vi alltid om det er så farlig på stedet de kommer fra, at de trenger beskyttelse. Dette kaller vi vurderingen av sikkerhetssituasjonen. Både internasjonal rettspraksis og avgjørelser fra flere stornemnder i UNE, viser at terskelen for å gi en tillatelse på grunn av sikkerhetssituasjonen i et land, er høy.
For å gi en tillatelse må det generelle voldsnivået være slik at enhver person utsettes for en reell fare bare ved å være til stede i området. Den europeiske menneskerettighetsdomstolen (EMD) har flere ganger uttrykt at dette bare vil være aktuelt i ekstreme tilfeller av voldelige og urolige situasjoner.
I sakene som vi behandler, kommer de fleste asylsøkerne fra områder der sikkerhetssituasjonen er stabil nok til at de ikke har krav på beskyttelse. I disse områdene kan det være hyppige væpnede angrep og sammenstøt mellom partene i konflikten, uten at dette når opp til terskelen for å gi en tillatelse.
For å gi en tillatelse må det generelle voldsnivået være slik at enhver person utsettes for en reell fare bare ved å være tilstede i området. I de fleste områder av Afghanistan er det ikke rapportert om systematiske overgrep mot sivile eller militær aktivitet på et slikt nivå at det truer liv og helse til enhver som oppholder seg i området.
I noen saker der søkeren er fra områder hvor sikkerhetssituasjonen er uavklart, henviser vi søkeren til internflukt til større byer, som Kabul, Mazar-i Sharif og Herat, der sikkerhetssituasjonen er stabil nok til at søkeren kan reise dit.
We rarely grant protection in cases where the UDI has refused an application. Some are granted permits on humanitarian grounds. This is usually because of serious health problems or children's attachment to Norway.
We use many different sources. Much of the information we use has been collected by Landinfo, a unit that prepares reports on topics that are important to the UDI and UNE. Recommendations from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) (external link) are also important. We read reports from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) (external link) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) (external link) and analyses from the Afghanistan Analysts Network (external link), among others. We also keep up-to-date with reports in the media and from other organisations.
Many Afghan asylum seekers state that they are minors. Most of them are young boys. If there is doubt about whether an applicant is actually a minor, the UDI requests an age examination. The UDI often believes that the applicants are not in fact minors. In such cases, determining the applicant's age will be important, since it often has a bearing on the outcome of the case.