5.4. Travel and admittance

 ⚠ 

    

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.

COMMON ANALYSIS
Last updated: December 2020

As a next step, case officers have to establish whether an applicant can:

Figure 15. Travel and admittance as requirements for IPA.
  

The respective elements are explained below, along with conclusions based on available information:

    ✓ Safely travel – there should be a safe route, which the applicant can practically travel through                     without undue difficulty, so that he or she can access the area of IPA without  serious risks.

In this regard, the assessment of the travel route from the airport to the city is part of the safe travel criterion and has to be assessed carefully based on relevant COI [54] See Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.1, 3.4; Security situation 2020, 1.6, 2.1.1, 2.5.1].

 Kabul city: The airport of Kabul (KBL) is part of the urban area of Kabul city, located 16 km from the city centre. This airport operates domestic and international flights.
 
One security incident in November 2019 was reported in the vicinity of the airport, causing civilian casualties.

 Mazar-e Sharif: The airport of Mazar-e Sharif (MZR) lies 8 km east of the city in the district of Marmul. This airport operates domestic and international flights.

No examples of incidents were reported for the airport in Mazar-e Sharif.

 Herat: The airport of Herat (HEA) lies about 10 km west of the city in the district of Gozara. This airport operates domestic and international flights.

The road connecting Herat to the airport is routinely controlled by security forces. However, in recent years there have been reports of activity by criminal networks, who are often connected to insurgents.

Based on available COI, it is concluded that, in general, a person can access the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif without serious risk.

Legally travel – there should be no legal obstacles that prevent the applicant from travelling to the safe area.

There are no legal restrictions on travel within Afghanistan. The government does not generally restrict the right of movement of individuals within the borders of the country, but security forces and anti-government elements may operate illegal checkpoints and extort money and goods from travellers. At government checkpoints, appropriate identification is generally sufficient to permit passage and other sources report that there is no ‘systematic requirement for documents to travel within Afghanistan’ [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.2].

Based on available COI, it is concluded that there are no general legal or administrative restrictions for Afghans to travel in Afghanistan, including into the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif.

  Gain admittance to – the applicant should be allowed to access the safe area by the actor(s) who control it.

There are no legal restrictions on admittance and residence inside Afghanistan [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.2]. The cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif are under the control of the government [Security situation 2020, 2.15, 2.13, 2.5]. It is, therefore, concluded that the criterion of gaining admittance would be generally satisfied with regard to the three cities.

The individual circumstances of the applicant should also be taken into account when assessing whether he or she can safely and legally travel and gain admittance to a part of the country.

Careful examination is required especially in cases of women. Social restrictions constrain women’s ability to travel on their own and women’s freedom of movement is limited by the requirement of male consent or male chaperone. There is variation in women’s freedom of movement and dress code across the country. For example, in Kandahar women are rarely seen alone in public, but this is more common in Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.3].

P2649#yIS1 Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
 
It should be noted that the Afghan State has introduced temporary measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, for example by imposing lockdowns in various cities. Flight connections have also been subject to recent changes [Key socio-economic indicators 2020, 3.1, 3.2].
New developments might change the situation significantly. Therefore, the impact on travel and admittance should be assessed in light of the most up-to-date COI available.
 
For those applicants who meet the ‘safety’ criterion, the assessment of the availability of IPA should proceed with an assessment of the requirements of safety and legality of travel and of gaining admittance.
No general impediments related to safety and legality of travel and to gaining admittance are identified with regard to the three cities. However, the individual circumstances of the applicant as well as the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions should be duly taken into account.

 


 

 

[54] ECtHR, Sufi and Elmi, paras. 268, 269, 271. [back to text]
Download PDF