COI News

Important news from EASO and the world of COI

Our approach to COI news

The News section aims to inform users about recent COI publications or upcoming workshops/conferences. EASO selects information provided in the News section according to its relevance to the COI and asylum fields. EASO welcomes suggestions to insert a particular news (event, publication).

27 May 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Pakistan – Situation of Afghan refugees

On 27 May 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled "Pakistan: Situation of Afghan Refugees"

The newly released EASO COI 'Pakistan: Situation of Afghan refugees' report provides relevant information on the situation of registered and unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Afghanistan has a long history of protracted international displacement, and historically, there has always been movement of persons and groups across the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The developments in the recent history of Afghanistan have generated successive waves of displacement of Afghan refugees to Pakistan. According to sources interviewed for this report in February 2020, although there is no reliable data available on the population of Afghan refugees in the country, nearly three million Afghan refugees (registered and unregistered) are currently being hosted by Pakistan. The majority of Afghan refugees in Pakistan are children and adolescents who are born and raised in the country.

The report provides a brief historical overview of Afghan migration to Pakistan, it describes the legal status of Afghans living in Pakistan and its impact on their ability to access education, employment, health services, housing, financial and communication services, legal aid. Further, the report provides information on the attitude of the Government of Pakistan as well as on the general attitude of Pakistan's population towards Afghan refugees.

As of Mid-2019, the majority of registered Afghan refugees continued to be hosted by Pakistan (1.4 million), while Afghanistan remained the second largest country of origin of refugees in the world, with 2.7 million refugees in the first half of 2019.  Afghan continued to be the second most common citizenship of asylum applicants in the EU+ as of March 2020.

This report was drafted by a Country of Origin Information (COI) specialist from the Belgian Centre for Documentation and Research (Cedoca) in the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was reviewed by experts from France, Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless persons (OFPRA), Germany, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), and ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation.

The information presented in this report results from desk research of public specialised paper-based and electronic sources. In addition, it draws on interviews conducted by the COI specialist from Cedoca with international organisations and local actors during its fact-finding mission in February 2020 in Islamabad and Peshawar.

05 May 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Syria – Security situation (2020 update)

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled "Syria: Security situation (2020 update)".

This report is part of a series of Syria reports produced in 2019-2020. These reports cover actors of protection, internal mobility, key socio-economic indicators, and targeting of individuals. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Syrian applicants for international protection, and will be used in the development of a country guidance note on Syria.

In January 2020, Syrians lodged almost 8 000 applications, up by 22 % compared to the previous month. This is the highest number since the end of 2017, and the continuation of an upward trend observed as of the second half of 2019. As a result, Syrians accounted for 12 % of all applications lodged in the EU+; two thirds of such applications were lodged in just two EU+ countries. In the same month, some 5 610 first-instance decisions were issued to Syrian nationals in January, only slightly up from December (+ 10 %). The number of pending cases reached a new high: more than 51 800 Syrian applications were awaiting a first-instance decision at the end of January. It must be noted that, at the end of December 2019, the number of Syrian applications awaiting a decision at all instances (thus, including cases in appeal/review) was higher, and stood at 86 435 cases. The EU+ recognition rate for Syrian applicants continued to decline slightly, and stood at 83 % for decisions issued between August 2019 and January 2020, down by three percentage points from the previous semester.

The report, EASO COI Report: Syria – Security situation (2020 update), analyses the security situation in Syria, focusing in particular on the situation of the civilian population. It provides an overview of the armed conflicts in Syria, information on the main parties to the conflict and a governorate-level description of the security situation. The reference period is 2019 and the first two months of 2020.

The report was drafted by the EASO COI Sector together with researchers from the Swedish Migration Agency, Country of Origin Information, Section for Information Analysis, in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. The report was reviewed by the Netherlands, Office for Country Information and Language Analysis. Additionally, ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation, conducted an external review.

Additional information to complement this report can be found in the following EASO reports:

01 April 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Syria – Internally displaced persons, returnees and internal mobility

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled "Syria: Internally displaced persons, returnees_and_internal_mobility".

This report is part of a series of Syria reports produced in 2019-2020. These reports cover actors of protection, internal mobility, key socio-economic indicators, and targeting of individuals. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Syrian applicants for international protection, and will be used in the development of a country guidance note on Syria.

In January 2020, Syrians lodged almost 8 000 applications, up by 22 % compared to the previous month. This is the highest number since the end of 2017, and the continuation of an upward trend observed as of the second half of 2019. As a result, Syrians accounted for 12 % of all applications lodged in the EU+; two thirds of such applications were lodged in just two EU+ countries. In the same month, some 5 610 first-instance decisions were issued to Syrian nationals in January, only slightly up from December (+ 10 %). The number of pending cases reached a new high: more than 51 800 Syrian applications were awaiting a first-instance decision at the end of January. It must be noted that, at the end of December 2019, the number of Syrian applications awaiting a decision at all instances (thus, including cases in appeal/review) was higher, and stood at 86 435 cases.

The EU+ recognition rate for Syrian applicants continued to decline slightly, and stood at 83 % for decisions issued between August 2019 and January 2020, down by three percentage points from the previous semester.

The report, EASO COI Report: Syria – Internally displaced persons, returnees and internal mobility, analyses the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returnees in Syria, the underlying factors and general patterns of displacement, and then focuses on the situation of IDPs in various areas of Syria: rebel-held areas, and several areas in the north. The report further provides an overview of legal issues and practical procedures and obstacles for returning, freedom of movement and internal mobility in Syria.

The report was drafted by Country of Origin Information (COI) researchers from the Swedish Migration Agency, Country of Origin Information, Section for Information Analysis, in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. The report was reviewed by the Danish Immigration Service (DIS). Additionally, ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation, conducted an external review.

Additional information to complement this report can be found in the following EASO reports:

Cover photo: © DFID - UK Department for International Development

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10 March 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Syria – Targeting of individuals

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report titled Syria: Targeting of individuals. This report is part of a series of Syria reports produced in 2019-2020. These reports cover actors of protection, internal mobility, key socio-economic indicators, and targeting of individuals. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Syrian asylum seekers and will be used in the development of a country guidance note on Syria.

Syrians continued to be the top citizenship applying for asylum in the EU+ uninterruptedly since 2013, although the number of applications lodged between January and November 2019 (some 65 600) was lower than in the same period in 2018 (about 69 900). Three in every four Syrian applications (almost 75 %) were lodged in four EU+ countries.

Syrian applicants also received more first-instance decisions than any other citizenship group. Since the beginning of 2019, Syrian applicants received some 72 200 decisions. Syria was also the country of origin whose nationals had the most cases pending at first instance in the EU+. At the end of November 2019, there were some 49 000 Syrian applications awaiting a first-instance decision, some 80 % of which were pending in just five EU+ countries.

The report, EASO COI Report: Syria – Targeting of individuals, provides relevant information regarding a range of categories of individuals in Syria targeted by different state and non-state actors, or by the wider society, for the purpose of international protection status determination, and in particular for use in EASO's country guidance development on Syria.

The report was co-drafted by Country of Origin Information (COI) researchers from Germany, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Country Analysis, together with the EASO COI sector in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology, and was reviewed by the Finnish Immigration Service, Legal Service and Country Information Unit. Additionally, ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation conducted an external review.

Additional information to complement this report can be found in the following EASO reports:

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13 February 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Syria – Socio-economic situation in Damascus City

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report titled Syria: Socio-economic situation in Damascus City. This report is part of a series of Syria reports produced in 2019-2020. These reports cover actors of protection, internal mobility, key socio-economic indicators, and targeting of individuals. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Syrian asylum seekers and will be used in the development of a country guidance note on Syria.

Syrians continued to be the top citizenship applying for asylum in the EU+ uninterruptedly since 2013, although the number of applications lodged between January and November 2019 (some 65 600) was lower than in the same period in 2018 (about 69 900). Three in every four Syrian applications (almost 75 %) were lodged in four EU+ countries.

Syrian applicants also received more first-instance decisions than any other citizenship group. Since the beginning of 2019, Syrian applicants received some 72 200 decisions. Syria was also the country of origin whose nationals had the most cases pending at first instance in the EU+. At the end of November 2019, there were some 49 000 Syrian applications awaiting a first-instance decision, some 80 % of which were pending in just five EU+ countries.

The report, EASO COI Report: Socio-economic situation in Damascus City, explores key socio-economic indicators for the Governorate of Damascus, such as housing, healthcare, and education, as well as issues such as freedom of movement.

The report was drafted by Country of Origin Information (COI) researchers from EASO, in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology, and was reviewed by the COI Department of the Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum. Additionally, ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation conducted an external review.

Additional information to complement this report can be found in the following EASO reports: