Denmark - The Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 17 January 2017

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
17-01-2017
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
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Headnote: 

The applicant, a minor, an Afghan citizen, ethnic Pashtun and a Sunni Muslim from Chahar Dara district in Kunduz Province, feared if returned to Afghanistan he would be killed or forcibly recruited by the Taliban.

The Board notes that the applicant is 15 years old, Pashtun, illiterate and the eldest son of the family where the father was killed in 2015. Further, the Board notes that according to country of origin information it is credible that the Taliban recruits young men and boys in Chahar Dara.

With reference to the applicant being a minor and without a network the Board did not find the internal flight alternative relevant or reasonable.

The Board hereafter found that the applicant had rendered probable that if returned to Afghanistan he would risk suffering serious harm covered by the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2) and granted the applicant subsidiary protection under this article.

Facts: 

The applicant, born in 2001, is an Afghan citizen, ethnic Pashtun and a Sunni Muslim from Chahar Dara district in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. He entered Denmark in February 2016 and applied for refugee status. He stated that he feared if returned to Afghanistan he would be killed or forcibly recruited by the Taliban. In support of his application the applicant referred to the ongoing war between Government forces and the Taliban in Chahar Dara and that his father was killed 10 days before he left the country. Further, that a boy of his age and several other boys had been apprehended by the Taliban to be used as soldiers or suicide bombers.

The Danish Immigration Service rejected the asylum application in October 2016.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Refugee Appeals Board found the applicant sufficient mature to undergo the asylum process.

The account of the applicant has been established by the Board.

The Board did not find that the general conditions in Kunduz can justify granting the applicant asylum. However, it is apparent from country of origin information that the Taleban is in control of essential parts of the Chahar Dara District where the applicant originates. In the Landinfo report of 2 November 2016 on Afghanistan the Chahar Dara District is described as the Taliban “hotbed” in the province and that the Taliban has established a parallel shadow administration.

Regarding the use of child soldiers, the Board cites the following from the EASO Country of Origin report on Afghanistan, Recruitment by Armed Groups of September 2016: (p. 125) “On 28 September 2015, in a large-scale attack, the Taliban, with child soldiers in its ranks, overran the city of Kunduz, took control of most areas, freed hundreds of prisoners from the jail, seized key buildings and advanced on the airport”. Same report p. 23: “On 30 September 2015 Al Jazeera reported that the Taliban was going from door to door in Kunduz demanding young boys as recruits from families”. Thus, the Board notes that according to country of origin information it is credible that the Taliban recruits young men and boys in Chahar Dara.

The Board notes that the applicant is 15 years old, Pashtun, illiterate and the eldest son of the family where the father was killed in 2015.

Based on this the Board found that the applicant had rendered probable that he, if returned to Chahar Dara, would risk against his will being forced to join the Taleban.

With reference to the applicant being a minor and without a network the Board did not find it relevant or reasonable to refer him to seek protection in another part of Afghanistan (internal flight alternative).

The Board hereafter found that the applicant had rendered probable that if returned to Afghanistan he would risk suffering serious harm covered by the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2).

Outcome: 

The applicant was granted subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2) .

Other sources cited: 

Landinfo Report of 2 November 2016 on Afghanistan: Security Situation in Kunduz Province.

EASO Country of Origin Information Report, Afghanistan, Recruitment by Armed Groups, September 2016.