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).

20 November 2020

The Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration publishes a report on the health system in Somalia

The Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration has published a report on the health system in Somalia. The purpose of the report is to present updated and reliable information on availability and accessibility aspects of medicines and specialised treatment. The report focuses on South Central Somalia which means that information about the health system in Somaliland and Puntland is only included where such information will put the situation in South Central into perspective. The report is based on data collected inside Somalia from selected health facilities, on interviews over Skype or telephone with key health sector actors as well as on written material. The report can be downloaded on this link.

16 November 2020

CGRS-Cedoca publishes a COI Focus report on Iran and treatment of returnees by national authorities

The Belgian Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS) has recently published COI report on ‘treatment of returnees by their national authorities’ in Iran. The report, which concerns the period from 1 November 2018 to 1 March 2020, has been written by the Documentation and Research Department (Cedoca), and was translated by the Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre – Landinfo on 30 March 2020. The report can be downloaded on this link

11 November 2020

EASO publishes a COI chronology of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a chronology of the armed conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The chronology lists major events between 27 September 2020, when the conflict started, and 10 November 2020, when the cease-fire agreement was announced by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation, and focuses on the impact of the conflict on the civilian population. 

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

30 October 2020

EASO publishes a COI report on Iraq: Security situation

Today, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) Report on the security situation in Iraq. This report is the last of a series of Iraq reports  produced in 2020, covering – besides the security situation – also key socio-economic indicators and the targeting of individuals of different profiles. The reports provide information relevant for international protection status determination for Iraqi applicants and will be used to update the EASO Country Guidance on Iraq 2020.

The report, Iraq: Security situation, should be read in conjunction with the other reports on Iraq published in 2020.

Iraqi applications for international protection in the EU+ have been decreasing since 2016. Nevertheless, Iraqi nationals ranked fifth among the most common citizenships in the EU+ in 2019 with over 30 000 applications. In the first quarter of 2020, Iraqis lodged some 6 100 applications, fewer than in the first quarter of 2019. Subsequently, the number decreased even more as asylum authorities in EU+ countries implemented restrictive measures to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, in the first six months of 2020, Iraqi nationals lodged just under 8 500 applications in EU+ countries, almost half compared to the same period in 2019. Nevertheless, Iraq kept the fifth position among the most common countries of origin. In the first six months of 2020, approximately 11 900 first-instance decisions were issued on Iraqi applicants, with a recognition rate for EU-regulated types of protection at 38 %. The number of pending cases at first instance has gradually decreased over the last six months, so that in the end of June 2020 there were some 15 800 cases awaiting a decision.  Germany has been the main destination country for Iraqi applicants: from April 2019 to March 2020 almost half of all Iraqi applications in the EU+ were lodged in Germany.

Iraq: Security situation provides information about relevant security trends at national and governorate levels for the period 1 January 2019 – 31 July 2020. It covers the recent conflicts in Iraq, including a short overview of existing political tensions, as well as the international context that the political and security situation has unfolded in. It also includes the presence and capacity of the armed forces and the role they play in the security situation. Recent security trends are described, including the number of casualties and security incidents, examples of representative security incidents, and the impact of the security situation on the civilian population including remaining explosives in former conflict areas, and road security. An account is given of IDP and returnee movements in the period, as well as the state of mobility within the country.

The report was co-drafted by EASO and Belgium, Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, Cedoca (Centre for Documentation and Research), in accordance with the EASO COI Report Methodology. Respective parts of this report were reviewed by Denmark, Ministry of Immigration and Integration, The Danish Immigration Service; Finland, Finnish Immigration Service; and France, Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), Information, Documentation and Research Division; ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation, and ARC, the Asylum Research Centre.

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

30 October 2020

EASO publishes a COI report: Pakistan – Security Situation

On 30 October 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a Country of Origin Information (COI) report entitled: Pakistan Security situation.

The newly released report provides information on the security situation in Pakistan, which is relevant for the assessment of international protection status determination, including refugee status and subsidiary protection.

With just over 26 500 applications in 2019 and almost 12 000 from January to September 2020, Pakistan was the sixth most important country of origin for asylum applicants in the EU+ in both years. However, compared to the same period in 2019, the number of Pakistani applications between January and September 2020 decreased by 37 % due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related emergency measures. At the end of September 2020, close to 19 200 Pakistani cases were awaiting a first-instance decision, down from almost 21 200 cases at the end of 2019. The recognition rate for Pakistani nationals has been relatively low, with just 8 % receiving some form of EU-regulated protection between January and September 2020, down from 10 % during the same period in 2019.

The security situation in Pakistan has been influenced by both internal and external security issues. The main internal security challenges consist of political and economic instability, ethnic and sectarian conflicts, religious extremism and militancy; while external security challenges are linked to the relationship of Pakistan with neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan and India. Militant violence in the country is mainly caused by the separatist insurgency in Balochistan and the instability in the north-west of the country resulting from the 2001 toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The report is divided in two parts: the first part provides a general description on the security situation in Pakistan; the second part explains the security situation per province in more detail, including information on population, background of the conflict, actors active; as well as quantitative and qualitative information on recent security trends and impact of violence on the civilian population.

This report was drafted by a 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 Austria (Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, Country of Origin Information Department), Poland (Country of Origin Information Unit, Department for Refugee Procedures, Office for Foreigners) and ACCORD, the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation.