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 delivered in 2019 and 2020 COI research training sessions to OISC case workers, law centres and other beneficiaries in the UK, targeting not for profit immigration advisers who are registered with Refugee Action in partnership with their Front Line Immigration Advice Project.
On the occasion of our 10th anniversary, ARC Foundation is thrilled to announce a joint Anniversary Project with Asylos, which aims to improve asylum decision-making by raising the quality of country information. For this purpose we developed and teach a research training curriculum to legal representatives in the UK, who use these skills to better substantiate their clients’ asylum claims. The next basic training webinars Researching and Using Country of Origin Information will take place on 18th November, 2nd December 2020 and 13th January 2021 and the thematic webinar Child-Focused Country of Origin Information will be convened on 13th January and 3rd February 2021. To register for the webinars click here.

As part of this project we also developed our training handbook Country of Origin Information (COI): Evidencing asylum claims in the UK specifically for this training series. It contains all relevant information that webinar participants need to know. It explains basic principles of country-of-origin information research, its use in the UK refugee status determination, quality criteria, research tips and guidance on avoiding common pitfalls.

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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