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9 Taliban-run Afghanistan: the Politics of Closed Border and Protection

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on refugees and shifts in attitude toward uprooted Afghans during the period of Taliban-run Afghanistan. It reviews the conditions that led to the outbreak of armed conflict in 1979. It then analyzes policy shifts in aid circles as the crisis deepened throughout 2000 and the implications of this for vulnerable Afghans who remained in their places of origin or sought help elsewhere. The chapter is concerned with the contentious debate and opposing agendas surrounding the situation of refugees in the latter Taliban years, when refoulement policies and closed borders greatly restricted the right to asylum for many Afghans and polarized positions within the aid arena. It focuses on the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its attempts to find a compromise solution that illustrates the limited support available for the right to international protection.

Keywords: armed conflict; asylum; closed borders; refoulement policies; refugees; right to international protection; Taliban-run Afghanistan; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees



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