This joint Anniversary Project between Asylos and ARC Foundation aims to improve asylum decision-making by raising the quality of country information. We develop and teach a research training curriculum to legal representatives in the UK, who use these skills to better substantiate their clients' asylum claims.

In our training series, we aim to target in particular those representatives in asylum dispersal areas outside of London with high numbers of asylum-seekers and low numbers of available support services.

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. Webinars cover the following topics:

  • What is country of origin information (COI), when can it be used and what are its limits
  • How to frame research questions and develop a research strategy
  • Identifying sources of COI that address these questions and applying practical research techniques
  • Understanding quality criteria for researching, selecting and presenting COI
  • Presenting COI to decision makers according to best practice in the UK
  • How to request research from Asylos and ARC Foundation

Our training handbook Country of Origin Information (COI): Evidencing asylum claims in the UK was developed specifically for this training series and 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.

The thematic webinar Child-Focused Country of Origin Information will be convened on 13th January and 10th February 2021. In this workshop, we will discuss the legal instruments and principles that lay out the various ways in which protection claims from children need to be treated differently to those from adults in refugee status determination procedures. This will include the various different considerations, and legal interpretations, that decision makers should apply when assessing children’s asylum claims, and what this means for researchers conducting child-focused COI. The workshop involves practical case studies to demonstrate how child specific issues can translate into appropriate research strategies.

A supplementary handbook module for the child-focused training will be made available to participants and will be published on this page soon.

Please note that it is strongly recommended that you have attended the basic webinar before you attend the specialised child focused webinar.

Register for Webinar

Are you unavailable on these training dates or would you like to discuss the possibility of setting up an in-house webinar for your UK-based organisation? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

The first two full-day training webinars were delivered in partnership with Refugee Action's Front Line Immigration Advice Project in November 2019 and March 2020. These webinars were open to not for profit immigration advisers who are registered with Refugee Action and who work with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. We are pleased about participants' active engagement in the webinar and enthusiasm about the prospect of furthering fairer asylum-decisions as a result of learning gained from the course.

"The training ... was very informative and interesting. Content was excellent, the workshop was very practical and gave us precious guidance and tips on how to approach COI and research when gathering evidence to support clients. Trainers were all very knowledgeable and available to answer questions. I would highly recommend this workshop, not only to caseworkers but also to solicitors that might need some support in improving their COI research skills."
- Greta Nonni, South London Refugee Association

"I would like to thank you for this excellent course regarding a very important issue that is the COI course which can change the future life of many vulnerable people in this country." - A training participant

We thank the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the A B Charitable Trust for their kind financial support.

Project duration: August 2019 until August 2021