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).

14 August 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Afghanistan, Key socio-economic indicators. Focus on Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat City

On 14 August 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled 'Afghanistan: Key socio-economic indicators. Focus on Kabul City, Mazar-e Sharif and Herat City'

During 2016, EASO initiated a pilot project to facilitate Member States' cooperation on the development of country guidance notes on Afghanistan. In the context of this project, the need for updated information was identified on topics of relevance for the consideration of Internal Protection Alternative (IPA) in Afghanistan, with a focus on the cities of Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif. This choice of focus was also kept for the 2020 update of Country Guidance on Afghanistan.

After providing some background information on these three cities, the 2020 EASO COI report Afghanistan, Key socio-economic indicators looks into several socio-economic indicators, including poverty, food security, housing, access to employment, education and healthcare, freedom of movement. The information is provided for the country, and where available for the three cities separately. Additional attention is paid to specific vulnerable groups such as IDPs, returnees, women and children.

The report was drafted by EASO COI Sector in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was reviewed by experts from Denmark, Danish Immigration Service and by ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation.

At the end of 2019, with 2.7 million refugees, Afghanistan was the third largest country of origin of refugees in the world. Afghan continued to be the second most common citizenship of asylum applicants in the EU+ as of June 2020.

This report is part of a series of EASO COI reports on Afghanistan due to be published in 2020.

COVER_AFG_Socio-Eon_Report_23724083280_6f9c61c74e_o.jpg

10 August 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Afghanistan, Anti-Government Elements (AGEs)

On 10 August 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled 'Afghanistan, Anti-Government Elements (AGEs)'

The report provides an overview of the main Anti-Government Elements (AGEs) in Afghanistan, primarily the Taliban and Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), with a focus on describing their modus operandi, structure and activities with respect to targeted killings and attacks on particular profiles.

The Taliban is an AGE that has been active in Afghanistan for decades. The Taliban leadership ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when it was removed from power by US and international forces. The group has continued to conduct an insurgency following its removal. Since 2001, the Taliban have preserved some key principles including a strict interpretation of sharia law in areas under their control. On 29 February 2020, in Doha, the US and the Taliban signed an 'Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan', after 18 years of war. Despite the agreement with the US, the Taliban have continued their attacks against the Afghan government forces in particular.

Other AGEs operating in Afghanistan and described in this report include Al Qaeda, Haqqani Network and foreign armed groups.

The report was drafted by EASO COI Sector in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was reviewed by experts from Denmark, Danish Immigration Service, The Netherlands, Office for Country Information and Language Analysis, Ministry of Justice and by ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation.

With 2.7 million refugees as of the end of 2019, Afghanistan was the third largest country of origin of refugees in the world. Afghan continued to be the second most common citizenship of asylum applicants in the EU+ as of May 2020. The EU+ recognition rate for decisions issued to Afghan applicants dropped to 36 % in May, a considerable decrease from the 46 % in the first quarter of 2020 and lower than in Q4 2019 (50 %).

This report is part of a series of EASO COI reports on Afghanistan due to be published in 2020, which provide relevant information regarding topics such as customary law and informal dispute resolution, state actors, security situation and armed conflict developments, key-socio economic indicators.


21 July 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Afghanistan, Criminal law, customary justice and informal dispute resolution

On 21 July 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report titled ‘Afghanistan: Criminal law, customary justice and informal dispute resolution’

The newly released report Afghanistan: Criminal law, customary justice and informal dispute resolution provides an overview of the pluralistic legal system of codified and uncodified, formal and informal (customary) norms which govern Afghan society. The report also focuses on the topic of land dispute as one of the main sources of conflict in Afghanistan, providing information on formal and informal mechanism of dispute resolution, including Taliban’s involvement in resolving land disputes. Finally, it describes the practices of blood feuds and revenge killing, including customary blood feud resolution and compensation, and prosecution by the state.

In Afghanistan, justice is administered on the basis of a mixture of overlapping and sometimes contradictory legal codes, which include the 2004 Constitution, international law, statutory law, sharia law, and customary (informal, traditional) law. Many disputes, ranging from disagreements over land to criminal acts, are settled outside of the formal court system, in informal institution such as local jirgas and shuras. Punishment is largely based on the concept of retribution and the type of punishment can differ significantly, but typically it is decided in a manner that is equal to how the perpetrator injured the victim. In territories under their control, the Taliban continued to operate a parallel judicial system, based on a strict interpretation of sharia. In the past years, Taliban courts have become significantly widespread and they are also reported to reach far beyond Taliban-held areas.

The report was drafted by EASO COI Sector in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was reviewed by experts from The Netherlands, Office for Country Information and Language Analysis, Ministry of Justice.

At the end of 2019, with 2.7 million refugees, Afghanistan was the third largest country of origin of refugees in the world. Afghan continued to be the second most common citizenship of asylum applicants in the EU+ as of May 2020.

The EASO COI report: Afghanistan, Criminal law, customary justice and informal dispute resolution is the first in a series of reports on Afghanistan due to be published between July and September 2020.

COVER_Photo_4280828189_9abfe743bd_o_Shura_AFG_Justice_report_2020.jpg

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: