First report published from fact-finding mission to Afghanistan: focus on overall situation in Kabul

18.10.2019 9.58
Press release

The newly published report from the Finnish Immigration Service’s fact-finding mission to Afghanistan deals with the general circumstances in Kabul. The fact-finding mission focused especially on gathering information about the situation of Afghan citizens who have returned or have been returned from European countries.

Researchers at the Country Information Unit of the Finnish Immigration Service visited Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on a fact-finding mission in April 2019. The purpose of the mission was to strengthen the researchers’ local contact and cooperation network. The researchers met, for instance, with representatives of national and international organisations and non-governmental organisations, authorities and other researchers.

Up-to-date country information is constantly being produced to support the asylum decision-making.

Conditions of returnees vary in Kabul

This year, the security situation in Kabul has been affected by negotiations between the Taliban movement and the United States, as well as by the presidential election held on 28 September 2019. There were fewer terror attacks in the city during the beginning of the year, but their number increased again as the election drew closer. In interviews conducted during the fact-finding mission, the security situation came up as the most important factor affecting the lives of people living in Kabul.

The conflict in Afghanistan as well as the economic situation have caused large-scale migration to Kabul, which is now one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Similarly to other inhabitants of Kabul, returnees primarily rely on their families and social networks for their everyday needs. However, families may have a negative attitude towards persons who are returned from Europe because of the failure associated with the return and the lost financial resources.

A key focus of the fact-finding mission was to investigate the living conditions of Hazaras in Kabul. Districts populated by the Hazaras have a strong sense of community, and the inhabitants themselves have independently organised their basic services. During the previous years, however, Hazara districts have been targeted by several terror attacks by ISIL.

The report from the fact-finding mission can be read on our website (in Finnish). The fact-finding missions are part of the FAKTA project, which has received EU funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

On our website you will also find an update published in September on the current security situation in Kabul (in Finnish).

Facts: Research-based information on the situation in countries to support decision-making

  • The Country Information Unit of the Finnish Immigration Service collects country of origin information, which is used to support decision-making particularly in the case of applications concerning international protection.
  • The previous fact-finding mission to Afghanistan took place in 2018.
  • Besides the fact-finding missions, information about countries is acquired in many other ways as well. Our sources include for instance the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), research institutes, and the country information services of other countries.
  • The Finnish Immigration Service always uses up-to-date country information when making decisions. The researchers at the Country Information Unit do not participate in the decision-making.
  • More information about our country information can be found in the information bank on our website.
  • Read more about the work of the country information researchers in our newsroom (in Finnish).

Further information for the media

  • General information on the FAKTA project: Satu Ruotsalainen, Project Manager,
    email: [email protected], tel. +358 295 433 037
  • Further details on country information concerning Afghanistan: Elisa Rekola, Researcher,
    email: [email protected], tel. +358 295 433 037