Improving UK and EU country of origin Information products (2019-2022)

Paul Hamlyn Foundation is funding a three year project for ARC Foundation to review country information products published by the UK Home Office and the European Asylum Support Office and to advocate for improvements in the quality of these products in order to raise refugee determination standards in the UK and at the European level.

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Production of strategic country of origin information reports (2018-2021)

Together with our project partner Asylos, ARC Foundation will produce and publish a series of strategic research reports to fill crucial gaps in country of origin information and address systematic weaknesses in the refugee status determination process for children and young people in the UK most vulnerable to poor decision making as a result of a lack of country information. This project is being funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and we are grateful to the Dutch Council for Refugees and the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation for their support of this project.

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Comparative analysis of U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights reports (2016-2020)

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is funding ARC Foundation’s comparative analysis of the full content of five of the 2016 U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights reports compared to subsequent editions produced by the current U.S. administration’s first term in office. Omissions and improvements in the human rights situations will be analysed with respect to whether they are reflective of the situation on the ground.

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EASO (2018-2022)

ARC Foundation undertakes reviews of certain draft European Asylum Support Office country information products.

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COI research webinars

With our project partner Asylos we deliver COI research training sessions to OISC case workers, law centres and other beneficiaries in the UK.
The interactive COI research training course covers:

  • Introduction to Country of Origin Information (COI): what is it, when can it be used and what are its limits
  • Quality criteria for researching, selecting and presenting COI
  • How to develop a COI research strategy. Common pitfalls and challenges in conducting COI research and how to address these
  • Source assessments, useful sources and practical COI research techniques and how to present COI to decision-makers

These webinars are currently open to not for profit immigration advisers who are registered with Refugee Action in partnership with their  Front Line Immigration Advice Project.

Future free training webinars and face-to-face workshops are planned later in the year for a range of stakeholders supporting asylum seekers. For notification of future free COI trainings, join our mailing list. If you are UK based and you would like to discuss setting up an in-house training, email us at

COI Update

Published bi-monthly this newsletter provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK).

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COI Forum

The COI Forum is a free online tool for all Country Of Origin Information (COI) researchers and users of COI working in refugee status determination to share publications and ideas on COI research and sources, as well as to develop shared resources. The COI Forum is open to such organisations and individuals, subject to approval by the COI Forum moderators, but is a confidential private discussion group only for the use of its members.

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ARC provides

UNHCR (2013-2021)

ARC produces country of origin information reports and query responses for use in refugee status determination, driven by the COI needs of UNHCR.

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