Paradoxes of protection: The Afghan case

After 20 years of military occupation, the recent chaotic humanitarian evacuations from Afghanistan – and to a lesser extent, the relatively peaceful Taliban approach – have captured the world’s attention. These events give rise to a series of paradoxes that are important to discuss as they entail a radical shift in our understanding of protection.

In this NCHS webinar held on Monday 25 October 2021, an expert panel of speakers discussed the emergency rationale underpinning the narrative that the only sensible thing to do was “to leave asap”. This has led to questions about moral responsibility (now and in the long-term) for the humanitarian community and for countries involved in the military occupation.

This also raises questions about the knock-on effect of the humanitarian evacuations on resettlement as a durable solution and the further externalisation of migration and refugee policies through the temporary settlement of Afghans in third countries. In this webinar, panelists also examined consequences of the failure to manage the risk arising out of the unprecedented abandonment of digital bodies as military, political and humanitarian actors left digital devices and biometric data behind.

Speakers included:

The webinar was moderated by Antonio De Lauri (NCHS and Chr. Michelsen Institute).