2012 Photo Contest, Portraits, 2nd prize

Afghan police recruits


Ton Koene

for <em>De Volkskrant</em>

10 February, 2011

New Afghan police recruits at the German police training center in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

About the photographer

Ton Koene

Ton Koene (48) holds a degree in humanitarian practice from Oxford University. After graduating in 1989, he worked for sixteen years for Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), primarily...

Background story

Kunduz, Afghanistan

A new recruit at a police training center run by Germany, in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Young men recruited into the Afghan police force are often from rural areas where education is poor, and are largely illiterate. Many join the police solely for financial reasons—a police officer earns about €130 a month—but their loyalty to the government is thin. Harsh working conditions, and the risk of being killed by the Taliban, lead to many leaving the force before their contract ends.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/125 sec
Focal length
70 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

This image is collected in