Country of origin information

To be able to provide the child you are responsible for with the best possible support, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the culture and current conditions of the country they originate from. Getting a basic idea of that specific country can help you in your work. Keep an open mind on the issues you read about, and give the child a chance to explain more about the country themselves.

Country of origin information is also important when it comes to a decision on return.

  • Information

    From an international perspective, the following links are very useful for country of origin information (all available in English):

      Set up by UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to make asylum and refugee material available from UNHCR as well as other international organisations and authorities.
    • ECOI
      The European Country of Origin Information Network is run by the Austrian Red Cross, which collects and structures relevant background information related to asylum and refugees.
    • EASO
      The European Asylum Support Office also offers country of origin information on their website.
      ReliefWeb is the leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters. It is a specialised digital service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).



    The Finnish Immigration Service has a Country Information Service which provides country of origin information mainly for the authorities. The Country Information Service reports are general views on the situation of asylum seekers in their country of origin. Although the service is meant for officials, some reports are available in English and in Finnish.


    The Danish Immigration Service has an agency that collects background information on conditions in the country of origin of asylum applicants. This specific information is used to process asylum applications and other types of cases at the Immigration Service. The Immigration Service also collects information from field trips and fact-finding missions. Some of these are conducted in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Findings from the missions are presented in reports which are available to the public. All reports produced by the Danish Immigration Service are available (in English) here.

    DRC also collects background information on the countries of origin of asylum seekers and refugees in Denmark. Some of the most significant countries are described in country profiles, which aim to give a quick overview of, among other things, the political situation of the country in relation to Danish asylum policy. The information in the country profiles is used, for example, to file complaints to the Danish Refugee Appeals Board on behalf of an asylum seeker 1. The country profiles are available (in Danish) here.


  • Training and tools

    Tool: standard on reference to country of origin information

    The CONNECT-project (2014) developed the tool ‘Standards to ensure that unaccompanied migrant children are able to fully participate’ to assist all actors in legal and judicial proceedings. This includes standards for cooperating with other actors working with unaccompanied children, including a standard on reference by all actors involved to country of origin information which is guided by the rights contained in the UNCRC. The tool also gives some examples of noteworthy practices and is available here.

  • Good practises

    Expert Centre on Eritrea

    Nidos has set up an Expert Centre on Eritrea that provides detailed information on Eritrean life and culture. The Nidos legal department has access to detailed country of origin information provided by the Dutch Refugee Council. Guardians in the Netherlands can contact the legal helpdesk for more information on the countries of origin of the children they are responsible for.