5. Internal protection alternative



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.

Last updated: December 2020

This chapter looks into the topic of internal protection alternative (IPA). It analyses the situation in Afghanistan in relation to the requirements of Article 8 QD:

Article 8 of the Qualification Directive

Internal protection

  1. As part of the assessment of the application for international protection, Member States may determine that an applicant is not in need of international protection if in a part of the country of origin, he or she:
    1. a) has no well-founded fear of being persecuted or is not at real risk of suffering serious harm; or
    2. b) has access to protection against persecution or serious harm as defined in Article 7;
and he or she can safely and legally travel to and gain admittance to that part of the country and can reasonably be expected to settle there.
  1. In examining whether an applicant has a well-founded fear of being persecuted or is at real risk of suffering serious harm, or has access to protection against persecution or serious harm in a part of the country of origin in accordance with paragraph 1, Member States shall at the time of taking the decision on the application have regard to the general circumstances prevailing in that part of the country and to the personal circumstances of the applicant in accordance with Article 4. To that end, Member States shall ensure that precise and up-to-date information is obtained from relevant sources, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the European Asylum Support Office.

It should be noted that the provision of Article 8 QD is an optional one. Therefore, the relevance of this chapter to the practice in Member States will depend on the transposition of Article 8 QD and/or the concept of IPA in national legislation and its implementation in practice.

In national legislation and practice, IPA may also be referred to as ‘internal flight alternative’, ‘internal relocation’, etc.

The contents of this chapter include:

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