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).

25 November 2021

EASO publishes a COI report on Iraq: Key socio-economic indicators for Baghdad, Basrah and Sulaymaniyah

​Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report on Iraq. The report is titled Key socio-economic indicators for Baghdad, Basrah, and Sulaymaniyah. This report is a part of a series of Iraq reports that will be produced in 2021-2022. These reports cover the security situation, key socio-economic indicators in Baghdad, Basrah, and Sulaymaniyah, and targeting of individuals. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Iraqi asylum seekers and will be used to inform the update of the chapter on Internal Protection Alternative within the EASO Country Guidance on Iraq 2022 update.

The report, EASO COI Report – Iraq: Key socio-economic indicators should be read in conjunction with the other reports that will be published later.

Since June 2021, Iraqis have lodged increasingly more applications for international protection in the EU+. After their monthly applications had fluctuated between 1 300 and 1 700 from August 2020 to May 2021, Iraqis lodged around 1 800 applications in both June and July 2020, rising to some 2 300 in August and then 2 900 in September.[1] Over this period, Iraqis were consistently one of the 10 largest groups of applicants in the EU+. EU+ countries issued approximately 21 500 decisions at first instance on Iraqi applications between August 2020 and September 2021, and 41 % of the decisions granted refugee status or subsidiary protection (the recognition rate). The number of cases pending at first instance exhibited a decreasing tendency until May 2021 but has tended to increase in recent months and approached 15 700 cases at the end of September. The main receiving country for Iraqis has been Germany (accounting for more than half of all Iraqi applications from August 2020 to August 2021) followed by Greece, Austria and Belgium[2], but recently Iraqi applications have risen quickly also in Lithuania and Latvia as a result of the surge in irregular border crossings from Belarus.

The report, EASO COI Report – Iraq: Key socio-economic indicators provides information on key socio-economic indicators in Iraq focusing on the cities of Baghdad, Basrah, and Sulaymaniyah and highlights aspects of the legal and administrative requirements for Iraqis to enter and settle in the respective city, ID documents and access to basic services, the situation of IDPs and returnees, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report was drafted by the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) and was reviewed by the Country of Origin (COI) Unit of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The report can be downloaded from the EASO COI Portal on the following link.


[1] EASO Early warning and Preparedness System data, 15 November 2020. Recent data were missing for two EU+ countries.

[2] Eurostat [migr_asyappctzm], last update on 11 November 2021.


12 November 2021

EASO publishes new updated COI research guide: COI Research Guide on LGBTIQ (2021)

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a new COI research guide titled COI Research Guide on LGBTIQ. The guide should serve the needs of both experienced and less experienced COI researchers, as well as asylum caseworkers conducting COI research on the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer persons in countries of origin. Additionally, it may assist lawyers, legal aid providers and judges working in the asylum procedure.

Researching the situation of LGBTIQ persons in countries of origin can be challenging for several reasons, such as the variety of search terms, scarce sources, and lack of detailed/specific information for particular profiles. To address such research challenges, EASO's 2015 research guide on the situation of LGB persons was published[1], which initially focused on the main profiles of lesbian, gay and bisexual persons. Since 2015, more EU+ countries have indicated to the Agency an increase in applications from transgender and intersex persons, demonstrating a need to expand the Research Guide to additional profiles.

Differences with the 2015 COI Research Guide are: inclusion of gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics; an update of the terminology and glossary; an update of possible research questions to include different aspects of the situation of LGBTIQ persons, and an update of the sources in Annex II.

In April 2020, a working group of COI researchers from Denmark, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands, coordinated by EASO, updated the Annexed list of sources, while EASO COI sector staff updated the relevant content in the six chapters of the guide. The COI Research Guide was reviewed by COI researchers from France and Belgium and an external organisation, the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe). Finally, a round of consultations with COI stakeholders gathered comments from ACCORD, ARC, UNHCR, and France.

The guide should be consulted in conjunction with EASO's 2019 Country of Origin Information Report Methodology[2] which provides the general framework for COI methodology and quality standards.

 

Download the 2021 EASO Practical Guide COI Research Guide on LGBTIQ at the following link.



[1] EASO, Researching the situation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons (LGB) in countries of origin, April 2015, url

[2] EASO, COI Report Methodology, 2019, url

LGBTIQ.JPG


04 November 2021

In September and October 2021, Belgium's Cedoca-CGRS and the Danish Immigration Service (DIS) published COI reports on Morocco, Palestine and West Bank, Syria, Turkey and Yemen

​In September and October 2021, the Documentation and Research Department (Cedoca) of the Belgian Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS), and the Danish Immigration Service (DIS) had published COI reports in Dutch, French and English, on: Morocco, Palestinian territory and West Bank, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.

Cedoca-CGRS reports in French and Dutch can be downloaded on the following links:

COI Focus – Morocco – homosexuality (in French, covering the reporting period from 1 January 2019 to 31 July 2021)

COI Focus – Palestinian territory and West Bank (in French, covering the reporting period from 1 January to 30 September 2021)

COI Focus – Turkey – security situation (in French, covering the reporting period from 1 March to 21 October 2021)

COI Focus – Yemen – security situation (in Dutch, an update of the same title from 14 July 2020)

The Danish Immigration Service reports in English can be downloaded on the following links:

Syria – issues regarding return (in English, covering the reporting period from January 2020 to October 2021)

Syria – Palestinians in Damascus and Rural Damascus governorates (in English)

Syria – security and socio-economic situation in Tartous and Latakia governorates (in English, covering the reporting period from December 2020 to September 2021)


27 October 2021

EASO publishes a COI report on Pakistan: Security situation

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report titled "Pakistan security situation report (October 2021)". This report is an update to the previous EASO COI Report "Pakistan – Security Situation" published in October 2020.

In 2020 and during the first seven months of 2021, several armed militant groups, including Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, Al-Qaeda, Islamic State Khorasan Province and Haqqani Network have been reportedly present in Pakistan and continued to carry out attacks in the country. The groups frequently used targeted killings, different types of IEDs, suicide attacks, kidnappings, grenade blasts, rocket attacks and sabotage acts.

During the reporting period, there has been a significant increase in targeted killings, blasphemy cases, forced conversions, and hate speech targeting religious minorities including Ahmadis, Shi'a Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs in Pakistan. Militant groups continued to attack religious minorities in the country.

Pakistani security forces carried out 47 operations and raids against militants in 2020. During the same period, security operations and armed clashes were reported in all four provinces (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh). These operations resulted in the killing of 146 people including 129 militants and 17 security forces personnel. 

In 2020 and during the first half of 2021, 344 civilians were reportedly killed as a result of violence in Pakistan. 

Amid the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan in July 2021, Pakistan has sent army troops to replace the paramilitary forces alongside the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to secure the situation and avoid a new influx of Afghan refugees. Following the takeover by the Taliban of the capital Kabul on 15 August 2021, Pakistani officials have carefully expressed that they support a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan. At the beginning of September 2021, a Pakistani delegation led by Faiz Hameed, former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) visited Kabul and held a meeting with the Taliban.

The COI report was drafted by a Country of Origin Information (COI) specialist from Cedoca, the Belgian COI unit, in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology, and was reviewed by EASO together with ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation, the BAMF - Germany - Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and The Netherlands, Office for Country Information and Language Analysis, Ministry of Justice.

Further information on EASO Country of Origin Information activities, including on Pakistan, can be found on the EASO website.

Pakistan_Khyber_Pass_IMG_9639.jpg


20 September 2021

EASO publishes three COI reports on Somalia: Targeted profiles, Key socio-economic indicators and Security situation

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published three Country of Origin Information (COI) reports. The first report is titled Somalia: Targeted profiles, the second one Somalia: Key socio-economic indicators and the third one Somalia: Security situation. These reports are part of a series of four COI reports on Somalia that have been produced in 2021. They build upon the preceding EASO COI report on Somalia: Actors (July 2021).  They should be read in conjunction with one another. This series of COI reports provide relevant information on international protection status determination for Somali asylum seekers and will be used in the development of EASO country guidance note on Somalia.

After peaking in 2015, with 21 600 applications for international protection, Somali asylum applications have fluctuated in recent years. So far in 2021 (January-June), Somalis have lodged over 6 900 asylum applications in the EU+, according to data from the Early Warning and Preparedness System (EPS). This makes Somalia the seventh top country of origin of applicants in the EU+ (in 2020 Somalia was the 10th top country of origin). So far in 2021, the EU+ recognition rate for EU-regulated types of protection (at first instance) for Somalis was 58 %, which is in line with that of the previous year. At the end of June 2021, some 11 400 Somali applications were pending at first instance.

1st_cover_photo_Minibus_after_roadside_bomb_Somalia.jpg
The EASO COI report on Somalia: Targeted profiles provides in-depth information about following potentially targeted profiles: people recruited by and deserters from Al-Shabaab; women and girls; individual perceived as contravening religious laws/tenets; minorities and non-minority clans; individuals involved in blood feuds/clan disputes; individuals supporting or perceived as supporting the government, the international community, and/or as opposing Al-Shabaab; journalists; LGBTIQ.
This report was drafted by the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was peer-reviewed internally, and externally by Norway, Landinfo, Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre; and by international Somalia expert, scholar and author, Joakim Gundel.
The report can be downloaded from the EASO COI Portal.

2nd_cover_photo_Mogadishu.jpg

The EASO COI report on Somalia: Key socio-economic indicators provides background information and details on key socio-economic indicators in three Somali cities, namely Mogadishu, Garowe, and Hargeisa. These represent the main urban centres in Somalia, including Puntland and Somaliland. The reference period of the report is January 2020 – 30 June 2021.
This report was drafted by the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was peer-reviewed internally, and externally by Denmark, Ministry of Immigration and Integration, Danish Immigration Service (DIS), COI Unit; and Greece, General Secretariat for Migration Policy, Greek Asylum Service, Asylum Processes and Training Department.
The report can be downloaded from the EASO COI Portal.

3rd_cover_picture.jpg

The EASO COI report on Somalia: Security situation provides an overview of the main security trends and incidents at national level in the period January 2020 – 30 June 2021, as well as details on conflict dynamics, territorial control/influence, and armed actors at regional level. Finally, the report provides regional details about incidents, their impact on civilian life, internal displacement, and conflict related humanitarian issues.
This report was jointly written by the COI Sector of EASO, together with contributions from ACCORD (Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation) in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was peer-reviewed internally, and externally by The Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINBUZA), Country of Origin Information Unit; and by international Somalia expert, Ken Menkhaus, Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, North Carolina (US).
The report can be downloaded from the EASO COI Portal.