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).

21 December 2017

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

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled 'Somalia security situation'. The report is the third EASO COI report on Somalia, and provides an update of the EASO COI report on Somalia security situation, published in February 2016.

In the first ten months of 2017, nationals from Somalia lodged close to 12 000 applications in the EU+, ranking 14th among the most common citizenships of origin of applicants. While the number of Somali applications awaiting a first-instance decision has decreased by 57% in the past 12 months, from more than 27 000 in October 2016 to close to 11 600 at the end of October 2017, Somalia still represented a significant decision-making backlog and ranked 13th in terms of pending cases at  first-instance in the EU+.

The report provides an overview of the security situation in Somalia, information relevant for the protection status determination of Somali applicants for international protection. The first part of the report provides a general description of the security situation in Somalia, covering the following topics: a brief overview of the political and economic situation; actors in the conflict (state's armed forces, international forces and armed groups); the impact of the violence on the state ability to secure law and order, with descriptions of the Judiciary, detention conditions and death penalty; the impact of the violence on the civilian population, and the impact of the current drought.

In the second part, the report describes the security situation in different regions in Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu. These chapters provide a general overview of the region, followed by the major violent incidents. The report outlines the actors in each region and the areas of control or influence by each of these actors. Finally, the report provides information on the impact of the violence on the population. The reference period for the security report runs from January 2016 until 31 August 2017.

This new report is to a large extent based on a joint fact-finding mission report by the Austrian Bundesamt für Fremdwesen und Asyl/Staatendokumentation and the Swiss Staatssekretariat für Migration, as well as a joint fact-finding mission report by the Danish Immigration Service and the Danish Refugee Council. Findings from these fact-finding missions were combined with desk research. A researcher from Denmark participated in the drafting process of this report jointly with EASO. In accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology, the report was reviewed by experts from Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands and Norway, 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 downloaded from https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/EASO_Somalia_security_situation_2017.pdf.

20 December 2017

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

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has today published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘Bangladesh – Country Overview’. The report provides an overview of the situation in Bangladesh, relevant for the international protection status determination of Bangladeshi applicants.

In the first ten months of 2017, Bangladeshi nationals lodged more than 18 000 applications in the EU+, ranking eighth among the most common citizenships of origin of applicants.  Moreover, the number of Bangladeshi applications awaiting a first-instance decision has increased by 44 % in the past 12 months, to close to 18 000 at the end of October 2017.  This constitutes one of the largest decision-making backlogs of all countries of origin at EU+ level, ranking seventh.  

The report was produced in the framework of the EASO Operating Plan to Italy (December 2016). It was drafted by two deployed COI specialists from Bulgaria and the United Kingdom together with two members of the Italian COI unit. In accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology, the report was reviewed by COI experts from the Czech Republic, Norway, Slovenia, and the Slovak Republic. 

The terms of reference of this report were defined by EASO and the drafting team, based on information needs identified by the Italian National Asylum Commission (NAC) and COI experts in EU+ countries. 

In this ‘Country Overview’ report, EASO aims to provide information on a wide range of topics of particular relevance for international protection status determination (Refugee Status and Subsidiary Protection) for Bangladeshi applicants. 

The report provides general country information about the geography, demography and economy in Bangladesh, as well as state structures, political system and parties. Formal and informal justice systems, criminal law and the security sector is also included. A number of non-state armed groups are described as well as recent terrorist attacks. The report also includes chapters on the freedoms of expression and religion, as well as the situation for the main minority ethnic groups, women and LGBT persons. Freedom of movement, trafficking, land disputes, personal loans and debts, and the situation for the Rohingya refugees from Burma closes the report. 

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.


13 December 2017

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

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘The Gambia – Country Focus. The report provides an overview of selected topics on The Gambia, relevant for the determination of international protection status of Gambian applicants. Between January and September 2017, EU+ countries  received 10,715 applications from The Gambia. 

The EASO COI Country Focus report on The Gambia provides general background information on The Gambia, namely on geography, population, ethnic and religious groups, political and the judicial systems, together with the human rights situation in the country during the administration of Yayah Jammeh. The report also provides input on the latest developments under the new Gambian administration lead by President Adama Barrow, particularly concerning human rights.

The Gambia – Country Focus report was drafted by the Country of Origin Information (COI) unit of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and reviewed by EASO and COI researchers from national asylum authorities represented in EASO’s West-Africa COI Network - Belgium, The Netherlands and Norway. In addition, an external review was carried out by Dr. David  Perfect, Visiting Professor at the University of Chester-UK, researcher on The Gambia’s politics and history since the 1980s, and author of numerous publications on the country. 

This report was drafted and reviewed in accordance with EASO’s COI Report Methodology and Mandate. In line with this methodology, country information from a broad variety of sources is provided, while refraining from making any assessments or policy conclusions. 

See report on https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/coi-report-gambia.pdf

12 December 2017

EASO publishes two Country of Origin Information (COI) reports on the targeting of individuals in Afghanistan.

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published two Country of Origin Information (COI) Reports entitled 'Individuals targeted by armed actors in the conflict' and 'Individuals targeted under societal and legal norms'. In 2016, Afghanistan ranked second in the top countries of origin in EU+ countries, with more than 175,000 applicants. In the first ten months of 2017, more than 40 000 applications have been lodged in the EU+ by Afghans, ranking third (in the overall applications to date).  In addition, the Afghan applications constitute the largest backlog of all countries of origin. At the end of October 2017, there were more than 64,000 asylum applications from Afghan nationals in the EU+ pending at first instance.  

The reports were drafted by COI researchers from EASO in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. The report was reviewed by COI researchers from Sweden and UNHCR. In addition, a review of the report was carried out by Afghanistan expert Neamat Nojumi and the Human Rights Service of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The terms of reference of these reports were defined based on information needs identified by asylum policy experts in EU+ countries and UNHCR.

Both reports discuss the situation and treatment of individuals by different actors in the conflict and in society. The report Individuals targeted by armed actors in the conflict deals with the modus operandi, methods and targeting strategies used by armed actors, both on the side of the insurgents as on the side of the government, in the context of the conflict and the possibilities for individuals to escape such targeting. The report Individuals targeted under societal and legal norms is focused on socio-legal structures and actors in society and how such elements treat issues such as crime, gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices, disputes, transgressions of social norms, and the possibility for individuals to avoid targeting. Special attention is paid to the situation of women throughout both reports, and a separate chapter covers certain issues affecting children.

Earlier this year, EASO already published a COI Report, titled Afghanistan – Key socio-economic indicators, state protection, and mobility in Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat City (August 2017). An update of the EASO COI Report Afghanistan – Security Situation (November 2016) is expected shortly.

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 reports can be found at: https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/Afghanistan_targeting_conflict.pdf, and https://coi.easo.europa.eu/administration/easo/PLib/Afghanistan_targeting_society.pdf

09 November 2017

EASO publishes a query response on the Ukrainian asylum system

This response to a query on the asylum system in Ukraine includes information on asylum procedures and potential weaknesses, reception and accommodation for applicants/refugees, and the general climate towards asylum seekers/refugees in Ukraine. 

The response has been compiled according to the EASO COI Query User Guide, the Common EU Guidelines for Processing COI and the EASO COI Report Methodology. The information provided has been researched, evaluated and processed with utmost care within a limited time frame. Note that only limited information on the topic has been found. The final answer is based on information provided by COI experts from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and EASO.