- Current Issues
- Country Background, Politics & Law
- Human Rights Issues
- Security, Humanitarian Issues and Protection Related Issues
|Social security||Internal displacement|
|Internal flight alternative||Third countries|
02.12.2005 - Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (formerly Global IDP Project)
Report on internal displacement (background, causes, patterns), physical security, freedom of movement, subsistence needs (health, nutrition and shelter), patterns of return/ resettlement and humanitarian access ("Afghanistan: Commitment to development key to return of remaining displaced people; A profile of the internal displacement situation") [#40111], [ID 2427]
28.02.2005 - Source: US Department of State
Freedom of movement for women restricted ("Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2004") [#29542], [ID 2428]
"The Constitution provides for these rights; however, certain laws limited citizens' movement. The passport law requires women to obtain permission from a male family member before having a passport application processed. In some areas of the country, women were forbidden by local custom or tradition to leave the home except in the company of a male relative. The law also prohibits women from traveling alone outside the country without a male relative, and male relatives must accompany women participating in Hajj. Additionally, sporadic fighting, brigandage and landmines hampered travel within the country. Despite these obstacles, many men and women continued to travel relatively freely, with buses using routes in most parts of the country. (Section 2.d)"
11.2004 - Source: Danish Immigration Service
Freedom of movement and the importance of a network ("The political conditions, the security and human rights situation in Afghanistan; Report on fact-finding mission to Kabul, Afghanistan 20 March – 2 April 2004") [#27424], [ID 2429]
"All sources consulted were of the opinion that it is difficult to settle down in any town in Afghanistan if one does not have a helping network. In addition various sources were of the opinion that people who are persecuted in one area have difficulty in obtaining protection elsewhere. In this relation many sources referred to a case where a Pakistani/Afghan couple had been exposed to persecution and threats from their own families due to their marriage. The couple had tried to settle in various places in Afghanistan, but they were finally forced to flee the country.
The IOM explained that Afghans from country districts are migrating to larger cities to look for work and housing. The source mentioned that apart from Kandahar, the population in the large towns is ethnically mixed. In spite of this it is rare that people try to settle down in towns where they do not have a network or where they have not lived earlier. The source was nevertheless of the opinion that the Afghan people are very mobile and do not have problems in settling down in a new place if possible.
The UNHCR explained that Kabul is the only town in Afghanistan where one can survive economically without having a network, but this requires a certain level of professional experience in order to get a job within a NGO or the like. The situation for single women however is complicated (see section 6.2.5).
The UNHCR found that an internal flight alternative is not possible in Afghanistan. The organization was of the opinion, that it is only possible to settle down in an area if there is a network that can assist in the establishment process and provide protection. One cannot use Kabul or any other city as an internal flight alternative if one has a conflict somewhere else in the country, because the networks of clans and the political networks are very closely linked up throughout Afghanistan, and the central government are not able to offer protection.
The UNHCR pointed out that women are dependent of a network in order to settle down in another place in the country. As a result, they do not have a real opportunity to move to another part of the country to avoid a forced marriage, etc. The UNHCR mentioned in this connection the case of the young Pakistani/Afghan couple that they are trying to resettle abroad. Further the UNHCR explained that it is necessary to have very good connections in order to return to the southern or southeastern Afghanistan in order to get the necessary protection against the Taliban.
The CCA declared that if one for any serious reason has got the negative attention of a warlord e.g. General Dostum, one will not be safe anywhere in Afghanistan not even in Kabul.
The Lawyers Union of Afghanistan stated that it depends entirely on a persons network as to whether one is protected. This is due to the fact that in case of a conflict people turn to the most powerful person in their local area with their problem.
The Vice Minister for Women Affairs explained, as did other sources, that women are completely dependent on their family’s network in order to obtain protection (see section 6.2) (p. 43/44)"
15.04.2003 - Source: European Council on Refugees and Exiles
ECRE: Internal flight alternative not an option ("Guidelines for the Treatment of Afghan Asylum Seekers & Refugees in Europe") [#12087], [ID 2430]
"For people facing persecution an internal flight option is not a viable alternative to granting asylum, as has been suggested by some governments. Considering the unsafe situation on the roads and general lawlessness and total lack of respect for human rights in our view this does not constitute effective protection."
07.03.2003 - Source: Danish Immigration Service
DIS: Possibility of ethnic groups settling in areas other than their areas of origin when they return ("The Political, Security and Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan: Report on fact-finding mission to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan and Islamabad, Pakistan; 22 September - 5 October 2002") [#11326], [ID 2431]
"The coordinator of UNAMA's Civil Affairs Branch advised that the support of the government would be required for any resettlement of ethnic groups in areas other than their areas of origin. In this connection the source was referring to the large group of Pashtun refugees who are currently living in the area around Kandahar and who do not wish to return to the northern areas. The crucial issue in connection with resettlement is the access to resources. There is widespread shortage of land and water in the rural areas in Afghanistan, which often leads to fighting about the scarce resources.
UNHCR, Kabul, said that Pashtuns from northern Afghanistan had attempted settlement in the Pashtun villages in other areas of the country, but that they had not been accepted by the local communities.
ICG also said, that it would be difficult to settle in an area other than a person's area of origin. This was the same for all ethnic groups - both when settling in areas, where they were in minority and when settling in other areas, where they belonged to the major ethnic group in that area. According to the source, the real problem is one of access to resources, especially water. If the resources were not scarce, there would be no fighting. The source compared the situation to that in the former Yugoslavia, emphasizing that contrary to the situation in Yugoslavia, ethnic groups in Afghanistan are generally more pragmatic, and they would not fight if there were sufficient resources.
See also the section on the social and economic situation, including access to resources (section 4.5.2)."
07.03.2003 - Source: Danish Immigration Service
DIS: Permission of ownership or access to land not granted to persons not originating from Mazar-i-Sharif ("The Political, Security and Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan: Report on fact-finding mission to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan and Islamabad, Pakistan; 22 September - 5 October 2002") [#11326], [ID 2432]
"In terms of access to land, the source mentioned that in order to obtain permission to establish a home, a person needs a guarantee from the village council to prove ownership of or permission to use the land. Only repatriated persons whose place of origin is Mazar-i-Sharif, will be able to obtain such permission; new arrivals who do not originally come from the area cannot get permission. Many repatriated people never get beyond Kabul. There are no repatriated people from other regions choosing to settle in Mazar-i-Sharif rather than in their area of origin."
10.09.2002 - Source: Danish Immigration Service
DIS: Freedom of movement ("Political Conditions, Security and Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan. Report on fact-finding mission to Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan and Kabul, Afghanistan, 5-19 May 2002") [#8548], [ID 2433]
"IV. 4 Freedom of movement
IV.4.1 Is there free movement between Kabul and the rest of the country
According to all the sources asked, there are no restrictions on movements in and out of Kabul, but there is an official curfew in Kabul from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.. The UN organisations operate with a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. with regard to the safety of UN personnel.
IV.4.2 Is there free movement in other areas of the country
The director for ACBAR stated that there are no official restrictions on the freedom of movement, but that there is bandit activity and local road-blocks caused by local acts of war.
The director for DACAAR also stated that there are no restrictions on the freedom of movement, and people now travel freely on the country roads. The main road that crosses the country is open throughout, from Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif and on to Herat – Kandahar – Jalalabad and now also between Jalalabad and Kabul. There are road-blocks in connection with local fighting - for example around Ghazni - but there are fewer road-blocks now than previously.
The director for CCA also stated that in general there is free movement and no military checkpoints where identity papers have to be produced, but that there may be road-blocks locally in connection with fighting.
(For more information on road-blocks in connection with regional fighting, refer to section III on security conditions)."
11.07.2002 - Source: UK Border Agency (Home Office)
UK Home Office: Internal flight alternative ("Afghanistan Bulletin 4/2002 (11 July 2002)") [#8659], [ID 2434]
"As detailed in bulletin 3/2002, it has been reported that in some areas of Afghanistan, where a particular ethnic group is a minority, they may encounter difficulties. However there is a general freedom of movement within Afghanistan, which allows individuals to move internally to areas where their ethnic group does not constitute a minority or experience any difficulties. In such circumstances it would not generally be unreasonable or unduly harsh for the individual to use this internal flight alternative. [Bulletin 3/2002 para 38 refers]"