New judicial position on Afghanistan

The Swedish Migration Agency has adopted a new judicial position on Afghanistan, based on the Country Guidance of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). In connection with this, previous decisions on enforcement and decision halts are being withdrawn.

After the Taliban movement took control of the country this past summer, the security situation in Afghanistan changed.

– The change in Afghanistan occurred quickly and much about the future remains uncertain. It’s difficult to know how the Taliban will act and how the security situation will develop in the long run. The new judicial position is a response to the recent rapid changes and the uncertain situation, says Carl Bexelius, the Swedish Migration Agency Director of Legal Affairs.

The position contains guidance about which people are considered particularly vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, information about the fact that there is no effective protection from the country’s authorities, and information about the fact that internal displacement is not an option for people from Afghanistan, except in exceptional cases.

– There are more risk groups, more people are entitled to the re-examination of their case, and only in clearly exceptional cases will the possibility of internal displacement be considered, says Carl Bexelius.

The position is based on the guidance of the EASO

The position is based on the EASO’s Country Guidance on Afghanistan, which was released on 11 November. Country Guidance is the EU’s legal guidance in asylum cases and is a non-binding guide for Member States.

– The guidance of the EASO is a way of creating uniformity and good legal security in asylum examinations at the EU level. We’ve supplemented it with the parts that concern national legislation, for example the issue of a re-examination of the right to protection, says Carl Bexelius.

Read the EASO’s guidance on Afghanistan External link, opens in new window.

Re-examination

The altered human rights situation and the limited opportunities for internal displacement constitute such new circumstances that asylum seekers who have already received a deportation decision can be granted re-examination of their grounds for asylum.

– The Aliens Act contains a safety valve that allows people who have received a rejection decision to have their cases re-examined in the event of drastic changes in their country of origin that affect their situation. Recent developments in Afghanistan are a clear example of the kind of situation for which this law exists, says Carl Bexelius.

With the new legal guidance, the Swedish Migration Agency returns to the regular handling of Afghan asylum cases.

– It’s important to bear in mind that the deteriorating security situation will mean that more people, including those who have previously received deportation decisions, can receive protection in Sweden and the opportunity to stay in the country. But even based on the new assessment, there will still be people who receive a deportation decision, says Carl Bexelius.

Read the judicial position on Afghanistan (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.