Reasonableness to settle

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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.

GUIDANCE NOTE
Last updated: December 2020

According to Article 8 QD, IPA can only apply if the applicant ‘can reasonably be expected to settle’ in the proposed area of internal protection.

In applying the reasonableness test, it should be examined whether the basic needs of the applicant would be satisfied, such as food, shelter and hygiene. Additionally, due consideration has to be given to the opportunity for the person to ensure his or her own and his or her family’s subsistence and to the availability of basic healthcare.

General situation

The following elements should be examined based on available country of origin information:
 
■ the situation with regard to food security;
■ the availability of basic infrastructure and services, such as:
■ shelter and housing;
basic healthcare;
■ hygiene, including water and sanitation;
■ the availability of basic subsistence that ensures access to food, hygiene and shelter, such as through employment, existing financial means, support by a network or humanitarian aid.

The general situation in the area in consideration should be examined in light of the criteria described above, and not in comparison with standards in Europe or other areas in the country of origin.

The general circumstances prevailing in the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, assessed in relation to the factors above, do not preclude the reasonableness to settle in the cities. The assessment should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant. A person’s ability to navigate the above circumstances will mostly depend on access to a support network or financial means. The impact of COVID-19 on the economic situation, as well as on the healthcare system, should also be considered.

 

 

Individual circumstances

In addition to the general situation in the area of potential IPA, the assessment whether it is reasonable for the applicant to settle in that part of the country should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant, such as:
 
age
■ gender
state of health (illness or disabilities)
ethnicity and linguistic background
religion
documentation
local knowledge
professional and educational background and financial means
support network
etc.

The individual considerations could relate to certain vulnerabilities of the applicant as well as to available coping mechanisms, which would have an impact when determining to what extent it would be reasonable for the applicant to settle in a particular area. It should be noted that these factors are not absolute, and they would often intersect in the case of the particular applicant, leading to different conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA.

 

Conclusions on reasonableness

For those applicants who meet the ‘safety’ and ‘travel and admittance’ requirements under Article 8(1) QD, the availability of IPA in Kabul, Herat or Mazar-e Sharif will depend on the assessment of the reasonableness to settle there.

The general conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA for particular profiles of applicants are based on an assessment of the general situation in cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, and the individual circumstances of such applicants.

It could be substantiated that IPA in the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, may be reasonable for single able-bodied men, and for married couples of working age without children and with no additional vulnerabilities (where sufficient basic subsistence can be ensured for the couple). Although the situation related to settling in the three cities entails certain hardships, such applicants may be able to ensure their basic subsistence, housing, shelter and hygiene, and access to basic healthcare, taking into account their individual circumstances. The existence of a support network could assist the applicant in accessing the means to ensure one’s subsistence.

In the case of families with children, IPA would in general not be reasonable, where the family lacks sufficient financial means or a support network in the respective part of Afghanistan. The situation of children should also be taken into account, with their best interests as a primary consideration.

In general, where there is a lack of sufficient financial means or a support network in the respective part of Afghanistan, IPA would also not be reasonable for applicants with severe illnesses or disabilities and for elderly people.

For applicants who were born and/or lived outside Afghanistan for a very long period of time, IPA may not be reasonable if they do not have a support network which would assist them in accessing means of basic subsistence.

In general, IPA would also not be reasonable for women without a male support network and children without a support network in the respective part of Afghanistan.



 

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