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).

23 August 2017

EASO publishes a Country of Origin Information (COI) report on key socio-economic indicators, state protection, and mobility in Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat City in Afghanistan

European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled 'Afghanistan Key socio-economic indicators, state protection, and mobility in Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat City'.

In 2016, Afghanistan ranked second in the top countries of origin in EU+ countries, with more than 175,000 applicants. In the first seven months of 2017, more than 28.000 applications have been lodged in the EU+ by Afghans, still ranking second.   In addition, the Afghan applications constitute the largest backlog of all countries of origin. At the end of July 2017, there were more than 93,000 asylum applications from Afghan nationals in the EU+ pending at first instance. 

The report provides a general description of the socio-economic situation in three cities in Afghanistan – Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat – covering the following topics: economic growth; employment; poverty; food security; access to education; health care; housing; and coping strategies. The report also looks into actors of protection, focussing both on different branches of the Afghan National Security Forces and the formal justice system. Finally, travel into these three cities is researched by looking into restrictions or requirements on travel in Afghanistan and ways of travelling by domestic air traffic.

Special attention is paid to the fate of women and displaced people – IDPs and returnees – throughout the report and a seperate chapter is dedicated to children.

The report was co-drafted by a COI researcher from the national asylum authority of Poland and COI researchers from EASO in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. The report was reviewed by COI researchers from Belgium, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, EASO, and UNHCR. In addition, a review of the report was carried out by Afghanistan expert Antonio Giustozzi, Samuel Hall Consulting, and the Asylum Research Consultancy.

The terms of reference of this report were defined by EASO based information needs identified by asylum policy experts in EU+ countries and UNHCR.

It is EASO's intention to continue to produce such reports on important countries of origin and to update them regularly in order to raise and harmonise COI standards in the EU and to further support the practical implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

The report can be downloaded at: https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/EASO_COI_Afghanistan_IPA_August2017.pdf

22 August 2017

EASO publishes a COI Meeting Report on Nigeria

The report provides a summary of the presentations by experts and discussions during the Practical Cooperation meeting on Nigeria in Rome (12-13 June 2017)  

Background 

On 12 and 13 June 2017, EASO organised a Practical Cooperation meeting on Nigeria in Rome, in the framework of EASO's Operating Plan in Italy.

Following the need expressed by the Italian National Asylum Commission and other EU+ countries for accurate information on specific topics on Nigeria, and in view of a more harmonised approach to Country of Origin Information (COI) and decision practice in the EU+, EASO brought together around 100 participants, including COI specialists, caseworkers and decision-makers from most EU+ countries, together with EU institutions, as well as UNHCR and IOM.

EASO invited the guest speakers mentioned in the Acknowledgement section of this report, to share their expertise and field knowledge on Nigeria on selected topics and recent developments in the country.

This Meeting Report includes transcripts of the presentations and subsequent questions and answers (Q&A).

 

Content

  • Drivers, patterns, and perception of migration: Focus on Nigeria
  • UNHCR's role in refugee status determination and initial considerations on current protection issues in Nigeria
  • EASO COI Report – Nigeria Country Focus
  • Analysis of the Security Situation in Nigeria in view of Article 15(c) of the Qualification Directive
  • Armed groups and security situation on the Niger Delta
  • Justice system and Rule of Law in Nigeria
  • UNHCR COI research and country guidance on Nigeria
  • The Office of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
  • Migration and trafficking into the European sex industry – the case of Nigerian Edo women and girls
  • The situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) in Nigeria
  • Ritual killings, cults and chieftaincy
  • Question and Answers with Experts

 

The report can be downloaded at: https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/NigeriaPCMeetingReportAugust2017.pdf

04 August 2017

EASO publishes a Country of Origin Information (COI) report on the security situation in Pakistan

European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled 'Pakistan security situation'. The report is the second update of the security chapter of the EASO COI report on Pakistan, Country Overview, published in August 2015, first updated in July 2016, and provides information relevant for the protection status determination of Pakistani asylum seekers.

In 2016, Pakistan ranked  in the top 5 of countries of origin in the EU+ countries, with a total number of more than 50,000 applicants. By the end of 2016, more than 50,000 cases remained pending. Throughout 2017, the country maintained this ranking in the top countries of origin and the total number of Pakistani applicants has been steadily increasing.

The EASO COI Report 'Pakistan security situation' provides a general description of the security situation in Pakistan, covering the following topics: a brief background on the conflict in the country; actors in the conflict; an overview of recent security trends; the impact of the violence on the civilian population; and the impact of the violence on the state ability to secure law and order. The second part of the report provides a geographical overview of the security situation and a more detailed description of the different regions in Pakistan. In each regional chapter, a short description of the region is given, followed by a description of the security trends, the actors in the region and the impact of the violence on the population.

The main findings of the report include the continuation of airstrikes and ground operations by the Pakistani military forces against militant groups in different provinces in 2016. The military operation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, Zarb-e-Azb, which started in 2014, ended early 2017. A new operation, called Radd-Ul-Fasaad, was launched in different regions of the country. At the same time, militant or terrorist attacks continued to occur, as well as targeted killings. The situation at Pakistan's borders with India and Afghanistan was tense. Overall, sources report a decrease in total numbers of violent incidents and casualties throughout 2016 and 2017.

The report was drafted by the Belgian Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (Cedoca, Centre for Documentation and Research) in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was also reviewed by experts from the Norwegian COI unit Landinfo, the Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) and EASO, in order to ensure the highest quality.

It is EASO's intention to continue to produce such reports on important countries of origin and to update them on a regular basis in order to raise and harmonise COI standards in the EU and to further support the practical implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

The Report can be downladed at:

https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/PakistanSecuritySituation2017.pdf

26 July 2017

EASO publishes a COI Meeting Report on Iraq

The report provides a summary of the presentations by experts and discussions during the Practical Cooperation meeting on Iraq in Brussels (25-26 April 2017).

Background

On 25 and 26 April 2017, EASO organised a Practical Cooperation meeting on Iraq in Brussels, in which asylum policy-makers, decision-makers, and COI researchers from 18 EU+ countries came together to discuss issues in the Iraqi asylum caseload, to update each other on recent information needs and new national products, and to discuss future joint activities. External experts and organisations mentioned in the acknowledgement section of this report gave presentations on recent developments in Iraq and the Kurdistan region.

This meeting report presents information from the presentations, followed by questions by the audience and answers from the experts.

Content

Security Developments in Iraq (Gareth Stansfield)
Shia Militias (Joost Hiltermann, International Crisis Group)
The situation of Sunnis, particularly in Mosul (Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch)
Security and Political Developments in the KRI (Gareth Stansfield)
IFA/IPA in Iraq (UNHCR)
Minorities and Vulnerable Groups (Mark Lattimer)
Question and Answers with Experts

The report can be downloaded at:

05 June 2017

EASO publishes a Country of Origin Information (COI) report on Nigeria

The report provides an overview of selected topics in Nigeria, relevant for the international protection status determination of Nigerian applicants.

This is the second COI report on Nigeria published by EASO. In October 2014, EASO published a COI report on Sex Trafficking of women.

In 2016, Nigeria ranked 5th in the top countries of origin in the EU+ countries, with a total of 48,705 applicants. This is a 46 % increase compared to 2015. In April 2017, Nigeria was the third-ranked country of origin in Europe.

In this report EASO provides information focusing on 'selected topics' of particular relevance for international protection status determination (Refugee Status and Subsidiary Protection) for Nigerian applicants. It is not meant to be a general description of the human rights situation in the country, nor a comprehensive overview of all topics at stake in international protection status determination.

Input from EU+ countries suggests that a majority of Nigerian applicants for international protection originate from the southern part of the country, and a large part of them from Edo state, a relatively small state representing a similarly small fraction of the Nigerian population. Therefore, information related to the south of Nigeria and in particular Edo State, is given particular attention in this country focus report.

Key topics

The first chapter of the report provides background information about the legal and administrative system, ethnic groups and political situation in Nigeria. This chapter also discusses the general human rights situation, covering issues related to Boko Haram, vigilantism, ethnic-religious violence, corruption, and abuse of power by security forces. The second chapter presents the security situation in the country's six regions and thematic security issues such as conflicts between 'indigenes' and 'settlers' and between nomads and farmers. The third chapter covers the judiciary, sources of Nigerian legislation and the functioning of law enforcement. Chapter 4 is devoted to gender-related issues, such as the widespread domestic violence of which mainly women are victims, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) the prevalence of which is steadily decreasing, and child and forced marriages largely occurring in northern Nigeria. Trafficking of Human Beings (THB) is discussed only briefly as this topic is covered comprehensively in the abovementioned Sex Trafficking of Women report. Chapter 5 is dedicated to the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) persons, and their treatment by society and authorities, and discusses the impact of the recent legislation prohibiting same sex marriages. The sixth chapter gives an overview of the main religions in Nigeria, and highlights several types of violence and conflicts linked to religion. Finally, Chapter 7 focuses on human rights issues related to secret societies (such as the Ogboni), university cults (violence, recruitment and the possible consequences of refusing such a cult), the occurrence of ritual killings, and chieftaincy succession issues.

Background

This report was written in the framework of the EASO Operating Plan to Italy, Measure ITA 5: "Professional development activities and study visits". Two COI specialists from Norway and The Netherlands were deployed to an EASO Asylum Support Team, to support the Italian COI unit in drafting a report on selected topics in Nigeria. The report was written in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was reviewed by COI experts from Denmark, Portugal, the Republic of Slovenia and Switzerland in order to ensure the highest quality. The drafting of this report was finalised on 8 May 2017.

EASO will continue to produce such reports on important countries of origin and update them regularly in order to raise and harmonise COI standards in the EU and to further support the practical implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

The report can be downloaded at: https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/EASO_Country_Focus_Nigeria_June2017.pdf