This country guidance is currently under review. In view of the recent significant changes, notably the Taliban takeover, assessments within this document may no longer be valid. When examining the international protection needs of applicants from Afghanistan, please consider the most up-to-date country of origin information available.
This profile includes people who belong to the Hazara ethnicity. Mostly, persons of Hazara ethnicity are of Shia religion and the two profiles should be read in conjunction.
The majority of the Hazara population inhabits the Hazarajat. Hazara are also well represented in most cities, including Kabul.
The Hazara ethnicity can usually be recognised by their physical appearance.
Since the fall of the Taliban regime, the Hazara have improved their position in society. The Afghan Constitution includes the Hazara as one of the people that comprise the nation of Afghanistan and Hazara occupy various positions in government administration. There is no information on mistreatment by the State [COI query on Hazaras, Shias, 1.1, 1.2].
Attacks by insurgent groups can mainly be attributed to ISKP, who consider Hazara / Shia legitimate targets. These attacks have significantly affected the Hazara population in 2018 and, to a lesser extent, in 2019 and the first months of 2020. Attacks by ISKP targeted places where Hazara/Shia gather, such as religious commemorations, weddings, and sites (e.g. hospitals) in Hazara-dominated neighbourhoods in large cities, including Kabul and Herat. Such attacks could be related to their religion (see the profile 2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili). Among other reasons, the ISKP also reportedly targets the Hazara due to their perceived closeness and support for Iran and the fight against the Islamic State in Syria [COI query on Hazaras, Shias, 1.3, 1.4; Anti-government elements, 3.3, 3.6.1].
There are instances of Hazara civilians being abducted or killed while travelling along the roads by other insurgent groups such as the Taliban. In reported incidents where Hazara road passengers were singled out and killed or abducted, other reasons could often be identified, such as non-political communal disputes or the individual being an ANSF member, having a job in the government or the NGO sector, etc., linking these incidents to other profiles such as 2.1 Members of the security forces and pro-government militias, 2.2. Government officials, including judges, prosecutors and judicial staff; and those perceived as supporting the government, 2.8. Humanitarian workers and healthcare professionals [COI query on Hazaras, Shias, 1.3, 1.4; Anti-government elements, 3.6.1; 2.5; Security situation 2020, 1.2, 1.5.2, 2.1; Conflict targeting, 1.2.10].
The acts to which individuals under this profile could be exposed are of such severe nature that they would amount to persecution (e.g. killing, abduction, sectarian attacks).
Being a Hazara in itself would normally not lead to the level of risk required to establish well-founded fear of persecution. In most cases where a well-founded fear of persecution is substantiated, it would be related to circumstances falling under other profiles included in this guidance, such as the profiles on 2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili, 2.1 Members of the security forces and pro-government militias, 2.2 Government officials, including judges, prosecutors, and judicial staff; and those perceived as supporting the government, 2.8 Humanitarian workers and healthcare professionals, etc. The individual assessment should also take into account risk-impacting circumstances, such as the area of origin and area of work (depending on the actor of persecution), profession, political activism, etc.
Nexus to a reason for persecution
Available information indicates that persecution of this profile may be for reasons of (imputed) religion (see profile 2.17.2 Shia, including Ismaili), (imputed) political opinion (e.g. links to the government, perceived support for Iran), and/or race (ethnicity).