ILPA evidence for the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration Inspection into the use of Country of Origin Information (27 June 2017)


The use of Home Office Country of Origin Information ‘Products’ in policy guidance and how this is interpreted in operational areas.

Home Office country of origin information reports tend to follow rather than lead in that they concentrate on risk in issue if they start to see a number of people seeking asylum from a country on the basis of that risk. They are reactive, and are not horizon scanning; they do not look at where the next risk is coming from based on political changes etc. until the asylum cases arrive in the UK. 

Concerns include:

  • Factual errors in guidance
  • Out of date guidance
  • Selective and misleading use of information.  This includes quoting selectively from sources; for example omitting a caveat from a sentence quoted. See e.g. Eritrea below for examples.
  • Casting doubt on reputable sources, particularly reputable NGO sources
  • Policies inconsistent with the appraisal of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as to the situation in a particular country.
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