Tuesday, 17 July 2012

EASO's COI Report, & Report Methodology

On 10th July, Dr. Robert K. Visser, Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), presented the Agency's first Country of Origin information (COI) Report entitled 'Afghanistan: Taliban Strategies - Recruitment'.

"We hope and expect that this report will contribute to the quality of asylum decision making," said Dr. Visser during the Brussels press conference.  "We have done our utmost best to create for a nuanced and fair picture and hope Member States will recognize its worth and use the report in the assessment of asylum decision making."

Dr. Visser also provided the audience with a summary of the 2 main conclusions resulting from the Afghanistan report on Taliban recruitment strategies: in most cases Taliban recruitment is local and both the recruited person and the recruiter know each other; and forced recruitment is exceptional. 

When asked, Dr. Visser added that the newer Member States will be the first to use this COI report on Afghanistan in their asylum assessing.  Moreover, he said, states lacking capacity to draw up their own COI reports have also shown an interest.  Regarding other Member States,  Visser commented that it will be ultimately up to decision makers, practitioners and judges to decide what status this first European COI report will actually have...recalling a few comments we made in an earlier post on EASO's COI reports.

What to expect next?  It seems like EASO's second COI report will also be on Afghanistan., with discussions still open on which country will follow.

Together with the Afghanistan report, Visser also presented EASO's 'COI Report Methodology'.  The document reflects EASO's intentions to standardise its COI production, and although really a document for internal use by EASO staff its publication is a positive step in the direction of transparency of openness of procedures and decision-making.   

If there are any COI experts/organisations who would like to comment on EASO's first report, or on its methodology please do get in touch with us.

The two documents can be found here.

A very big thanks from our end to Tineke Dannenberg for attending the press conference on our behalf, as we were not able to travel to Brussels.

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