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).

19 September 2018

Lifos report: Syria - citizenship and official documents

The present report outlines, firstly, the overall tendencies within the Syrian context that influence the integrity of the authorities charged with issuing official documents - both negatively (ongoing economic breakdown, enhanced incentives for using bribes, high degree of decentralization) and positively (a continued ambition of providing government services, controlling population movements and maintaining security). Secondly, the Syrian citizenship law and its implementation (including statelessness) are outlined. The subsequent sections describe the different types of official Syrian documents: those related to civil law (such as marriage and death certificates), identity cards, passports/travel documents and various military documents. Each of these sections encapsulates 1) the process to acquire the relevant document, 2) the design of the document, and 3) the impact of the ongoing crisis on the authenticity of the concerned document type.​

The report can be downloaded at

17 August 2018

EASO publishes a Country of Origin Information (COI) report on the situation for Chechens in the Russian Federation

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘The situation for Chechens in Russia’. The report provides an overview of the situation of Chechens living in Russia, outside of the North Caucasus.

The report examines a variety of sources and focuses on different topics such as legal requirements, the criminal justice system, socio-economic circumstances, and the role of the authorities, together with closer examination of the situation for a number of specific groups of people, the report presents an up-to-date account of the current situation for Chechens living in Russia.

The report gives an overview of the main topics relevant for asylum authorities in Europe. A general overview of the Chechen communities in Russia outside of the North Caucasus region is provided, including the size and location of the communities and specific information on the largest communities. Legal requirements relating to procedures for renewing internal passports, obtaining external passports, and registering for residence is included in the report from both a procedural and a practical perspective, in order to highlight potential disparities between legislation and practice.

The housing, education, work, and health care situation for Chechens is also examined. Each topic is intersected with residence registration, how the system works in practice in Russia, and how specifically the access for Chechens is in each area.

A number of  sub-demographic profiles are also presented in the report, namely on women, LGBT persons, children, Chechens eligible for military service, and human rights activists and dissidents. The reception of Chechens returnees is also examined in a separate chapter.

Lastly, the ccriminal justice system is discussed through topics such as identity checks, criminal cases against Chechens, legal remedies, and access to lawyers, among other matters. Included is also a summary of available information regarding Chechen authorities’ potential information exchange with Russian federal authorities, as well as the role of the Chechen community in providing information to the Chechen authorities and the Chechen authorities’ cooperation with the federal authorities.

The report was co-drafted by Country of Origin Information (COI) specialists from the COI units and asylum offices in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and the Netherlands in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. The report was reviewed by COI Specialists from Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, and Poland

The report can be downloaded at 

30 May 2018

EASO publishes a Country of Origin Information (COI) report on the Security Situation in Afghanistan

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report entitled ‘Afghanistan Security situation - Update’. The report is an update of the EASO COI Report Afghanistan Security Situation, published in December 2017. It provides an update of some of the information found to be time-sensitive, while still referring to the December 2017 report for more long-term, contextual information.

In 2017, Afghanistan ranked third in the top countries of origin of applications received by EU+ countries with more than 47 000 asylum applications. In the first four months of 2018, more than 12 000 applications have been lodged in the EU+ by Afghans, thus remaining in third position in the overall applications to date. In addition, Afghan applications constitute an important backlog in EU+ countries. At the end of April 2018, more than 32,000 applications from Afghan nationals were awaiting a first instance decision in the EU+.

The ‘Afghanistan Security situation - Update’ provides a description of the security situation in general in Afghanistan, as well as the situation in each of the 34 provinces and Kabul City. In these provincial chapters, a subchapter is dedicated to the actors in the conflict in this province. A second subchapter describes the recent security trends and the impact on the civilian population.

The terms of reference of this report were defined based on information needs identified by asylum policy experts in EU+ countries and UNHCR. The report presents information until 31 March 2018.
The report is drafted in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. It was based on information provided by the Country of Origin Information (COI) department from the Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, completed with information added by the EASO COI sector. The report was reviewed and commented upon by COI researchers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Slovakia and Sweden.

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:

13 March 2018

EASO publishes a COI Meeting Report on Syria

On 30 November and 1 December 2017, EASO organised a COI meeting on Syria with invited external experts. 

On 30 November and 1 December, EASO organised a meeting for the members of EASO’s Syria COI specialists network. These are COI specialists and researchers who focus on Syria and the region. The meeting was attended by COI research specialists from 20 EU+ countries. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate discussions among COI researchers on key issues in Syria, to update each other on recent information needs and new national products, and to discuss future joint activities. Norway and Sweden also discussed recent fact-finding missions. External experts and organisations gave presentations on recent developments and specific topics requested. This meeting report presents information from the external expert presentations and ‘question and answer’ sessions.

  • Security situation in Syria 
  • Government security forces and pro-government militias in the conflict
  • Family law in Syria
  • The situation in Kurdish areas
  • UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines on the International Protection Needs of Members of Religious Minorities from Pakistan

07 March 2018

EASO publishes a COI Meeting Report on Pakistan

On 16 and 17 October 2017, EASO organised a Practical Cooperation Conference on Pakistan 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 Pakistan, 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 many EU+ countries, Italian members of courts and tribunals, EU institutions, UNHCR and IOM.

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

This Conference Report includes reworked transcripts of the presentations.

  • Overview of the current political and security situation in Pakistan
  • Sectarian politics
  • Private conflicts
  • Fact Finding Mission to Pakistan
  • Religious minorities
  • Security situation in  different regions and emerging trends
  • Insurgent politics
  • Main patterns and drivers of migration
  • Political life in Pakistan
  • The situation in Karachi
  • UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines on the International Protection Needs of Members of Religious Minorities from Pakistan
The report can be downloaded at: