Country of Origin Information

The unit Country of Origin Information under Center for Documentation and Counter Extremism collect and analyse background information on conditions in the applicants' countries of origin. This background information is used for the Immigration Service’ case processing, in particular regarding asylum cases but also more generally in the administration of immigration. The employees of the center are excluded from the processing of any applications and are not involved in the ruling of cases.

Collection of background information

The unit retrieves information either initiated by a specific request for an analysis of the situation in specific countries or by a general need for a collection of information assessed by the division. The unit assesses whether there is a need for new information on the grounds of continuous inquiries from the asylum and family reunification divisions of the Immigration Service. These inquiries show in which countries or areas there is a need for collection of new information and the type of information. In order to identify the need a number of indicators are used, including the following: 

  • Missing or outdated background information
  • New groups of applicants
  • Changed situations in the applicants’ home countries
  • Conflicting background information
  • New information from collaborating countries  
  • New motives for asylum

The employees of Country of Origin Information  collect a great deal of information via the internet such as reports, newsletters, journals and newspapers. Information is also retrieved from a selection of internationally acknowledged databases. In addition the individual employees collect information through national and international networks, including contact to researchers and others with specialist knowledge of the area. Further information is also obtained by consulting the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Nations organisations and other relevant sources. 

The employees of Country of Origin Information also travel on country missions to relevant countries and collect information at meetings and interviews with representatives from national authorities, international organisations and national NGOs. Some missions are undertaken in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council. The results of country missions are presented in country reports.

All notes and reports made by Country of Origin Information are published here at

The work with background information follow the methodical standards set by the  European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA). The standards include: 

  • The reports do not include any recommendations or policy guidance.
  • Background information are produced in a neutral way without a certain view on how the practice for asylum must be.
  • The information is fact based and is produced in accordance with the ’Terms of Reference’ made in advance without prioritizing a certain angle in order to include all nuances. 
  • The collection of knowledge must be based on a well-balanced variety of sources in order to reflect more perspectives. 
  • The language used in the reports must be neutral.
  • The reports are a synthesis of information from written and oral sources.
  • The reports are newer exhaustive on their own but must be read in in conjunction with other available background information regarding the subject in question. 

Links to publications with country information

Reports from Country of Origin Information

Country of Origin Information regularly publishes reports and notes with country information. See the reports and notes here. 

Background material from the Refugees Appeal Board

Selected reports and notes are also available as background material on the website of the Refugee Appeals Board where material on specific countries from 2005 onwards can be found.