Country of Origin Information Unit of the Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum
BFA Staatendokumentation
https://www.staatendokumentation.at
 
Source description last updated: 13 September 2018

In brief: The Country of Origin Information Unit “Staatendokumentation” of the Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum is in charge of collecting and preparing country of origin information.

Coverage on ecoi.net:
Query responses (Res), Reports (SR), Maps
Covered weekly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A-E (all available countries).

Mission/Mandate/Objectives:
“The Country of Origin Information Unit (COI) was established with the introduction of the asylum Act 2005 in the former Federal Asylum Office. As of 1 January 2014 the COI unit is part of the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum.
In particular, the purpose of country records [by the Country of Origin Information Unit] shall be to gather relevant facts for:
1. assessing whether facts exist which allow for the conclusion that there is a danger of persecution in a certain country as defined in the present federal act;
2. assessing the credibility of the statements by the asylum seekers and
3. deciding whether a certain country is safe within the meaning of art. 39 (safe country of origin) or of art. 4 (safe third country).” (staatendokumentation.at: start page, undated)

“Country of Origin Information Unit’s mission is to gather and prepare information about the current situation in countries of origin for asylum procedures. The information gathered is scientifically prepared and saved in an online database.
This includes a collection of relevant facts for the assessment of whether facts exist which allow a conclusion of danger of persecution in a country of origin, the assessment of the credibility of statements by asylum seekers and for the decision whether a certain state is classified as a safe state of origin or a safe third country as defined by law. (BFA website: Staatendokumentation, Arbeitsübersetzung ACCORD, undated)

Funding:
State budget.

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Worldwide.
Thematic focus:  Topics concerning asylum and human rights.

Methodology:
“The Country of Origin Information Unit (COI) uses different sources for their work, as for instance publicly available reports about non-governmental organisations (i.e. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), international associations (i.e. the United Nations) and governments. Information about countries of origin is also gathered on site: i.e. by inquiring certain topics from the representative authorities of Austria or by organizing fact-findings-missions. In addition, there exists a collaboration and an exchange of information between asylum agencies in the EU-member states and international organisations.” (BFA website: Staatendokumentation, undated, Arbeitsüberstezung ACCORD)

“COI’s methodology consists of standards defined by the advisory board of the Country of Origin Information Unit and obligatory work guidelines. These standards are obligatory, fundamentally scientific criteria for all products. The obligatory work guidelines put these standards in concrete terms and define the work procedures for creating products of the Country of Origin Information Unit. On the one hand, they include the general ‘rules of research’ and ‘rules of citation’ for all products (aside from product-specific regulations and additions to the respective wok guidelines), and on the other hand they include product-specific work guidelines. All work guidelines include clarifying, high-quality, and – in the Country of Origin Information Unit’s manual – even technical work guidelines.” (BFA-Staatendokumentation: Methodologie der Staatendokumentation, May 2016, p. 6, Arbeitsübersetzung ACCORD)

For more details see Country of Origin Information Unit’s methodology, as well as the according guidelines for fact-findings missions: Language(s) of publications:
German, English

Further reading / links:  
All links accessed 13 September 2018.
Homepage:
http://www.staatendokumentation.at
Search:
All documents available on ecoi.net from this source