DANISH IMMIGRATION SERVICE (DIS)
http://www.nyidanmark.dk
Mission/Mandate:
“The [Danish] Immigration Service is a directorate within the [Danish] Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs. The Immigration Service administers the Danish Aliens Act, that is, it processes applications for asylum, family reunification, visas, residence and work permits, etc“ (DIS Website, http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/authorities/the_danish_immigration_service/the_danish_immigration_service.htm, accessed on 15 May 2008).
Due to the Immigration Service’s need of “information […] about the conditions in the applicant's country of origin” as a basis for processing asylum applications, the DIS maintains a Documentation and Project Division staffed with regional experts, the task of which is to “collect and collate background information on conditions in asylum seekers' countries of origin.” (DIS Website, http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/coming_to_dk/asylum/application_for_asylum/information_on_countries_of_origin.htm, accessed on 15 May 2008).
Target group:
Danish and other European public authorities in charge of refugee status determination.
Objective:
The Documentation and Project Division of the DIS conducts several fact-finding missions each year to core countries of origin of asylum seekers to Denmark. The fact-finding missions aim at providing country of origin information “relevant for processing asylum applications submitted […] in […] Denmark“ and other countries with which the DIS may conduct a joint mission. The results of these missions are published in fact-finding reports (DIS: Joint British Danish Fact Finding Mission to Baghdad and Amman on Conditions in Iraq 1-8 September 2004, p. 2, http://www.nyidanmark.dk/NR/rdonlyres/97982FC9-E7C4-4A5E-A5C2-F39DF33F675E/0/Iraknovember2004.pdf, accessed on 15 May 2008).
Funding:
Government funds.
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Countries relevant to Danish asylum procedures (as of April 2008: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, , Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nigeria, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine).
Thematic focus: Human rights situation with a focus on issues of particular significance for refugee status determination in Denmark and other EU countries, eg law enforcement, jurisdiction, women’s situation, ethnic, religious, and social minorities, military service/desertion, the role of non-state actors, health, education (Austrian Red Cross/ACCORD: Researching Country of Origin Information. A Training Manual, Annex, p. 40, April 2004, http://www.coi-training.net/content/doc/en-COI%20Manual%20Part%20I%20plus%20Annex%2020060426.pdf; see also DIS Website, http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/publications/SearchPublications.htm?SearchType=publications&SubType=Fact-Finding%20Report, accessed on 15 May 2008).
Reporting methodology:
In the framework of fact-finding missions, regional experts from the Documentation and Project Division travel to the countries in question (or, if direct access is impossible, to neighbouring countries) for periods of one to three weeks. They collect information through meetings/interviews with national authorities, international organisations, national and international NGOs, political parties, Western embassies, local lawyers, journalists, eyewitnesses, ethnic minority representatives.
“If considered necessary, trips of a shorter duration are also carried out by the division […], in order to resolve specific questions regarding specific cases.
Missions with a broader theme are generally conducted in cooperation with national partners, including the Danish Refugee Council, or international partners, such as immigration authorities in other Nordic states or the UK Home Office.” (DIS Website, http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/coming_to_dk/asylum/application_for_asylum/information_on_countries_of_origin.htm, accessed on 15 May 2008)
In fact-finding mission reports, interviewees’ testimonies are usually paraphrased with the original contents retained and left uncommented. The DIS seeks to name all sources consulted. They are usually listed in the annex of its reports. For reasons of confidentiality, an organisation or a profession (eg “a lawyer”) may be named instead of an individual’s name. In cases in which an institution does not wish to be named explicitly, more generic terms are used, such as “a Western Embassy”. In exceptional cases, a source may not be listed at all.
In addition to oral testimony, the mission reports sometimes include information drawn from written sources (eg reports/documents from NGOs, researchers, media, and government authorities). These materials are listed in a bibliography at the end of the report.
Further written contextual material (eg legal texts, maps) aiding comprehension of the topic may be found in the annex (Austrian Red Cross/ACCORD: Researching Country of Origin Information. A Training Manual, Annex, p. 40, April 2004, http://www.coi-training.net/content/doc/en-COI%20Manual%20Part%20I%20plus%20Annex%2020060426.pdf; see also the introductions, chapters on consulted persons, organizations, and authorities and sources as presented in several FFM reports available at http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/publications/SearchPublications.htm?SearchType=publications&SubType=Fact-Finding%20Report, accessed on 15 May 2008).
Publication cycle:
Irregular intervals; original publications of fact-finding reports in either Danish or English (in the case of joint international missions) are available one to three months after mission has been completed (see ibid).
Languages:
English and Danish.
Navigation of website:
The Publications page, which can be directly accessed via the homepage, offers a search engine. Selecting Fact Finding Report as content type will lead to a list of DIS fact finding mission reports in English (in reverse chronological order): http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/publications/SearchPublications.htm?SearchType=publications&SubType=Fact-Finding%20Report (accessed on 15 May 2008)
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