Source description last updated: 20 November 2020

In brief: The Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC) is the country of origin information service of the Irish Legal Aid Board, an independent publicly funded organisation whose services include legal aid and advice in civil and asylum matters

Coverage on

Query responses and Country Information/Marriage/Adoption Packs

Covered monthly on, for countries of priorities A–E (all available countries).


“The Refugee Documentation Centre (RDC) was established in late 2000 as an independent unit providing COI (Country of Origin Information) research and library services to the agencies involved in the asylum process. The RDC is part of a larger unit within the Legal Aid Board known as the Research and Information Unit (RIU).” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre FAQs, undated)

“The main role of the Centre is to provide an objective research and query service for key organisations involved in the international protection process, with a particular focus on providing Country of Origin information (COI).” (Legal Aid Board: Annual Report 2019, p. 41)

“The query service is provided to staff of the Legal Aid Board and related units of the Department of Justice and Equality. Solicitors and Barristers on the Service for Asylum Seekers panel of the Legal Aid Board may also use the service.” The RDC is “independent of all asylum organisations that use its service. Information requests from all asylum organisations are dealt with equally [...].” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre FAQs, undated)

“Our task is to provide relevant, reliable, balanced, accurate and verifiable country of origin information. We do not pronounce on the validity or otherwise of individual asylum claims or categories of claims. RDC responses will always be impartial and will not include an appraisal of, or commentary on, information that could influence the person requesting it.“ (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre FAQs, undated)


State funds

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: all countries of origin of asylum-seekers

Thematic focus: human rights, security, political, societal, economic, legal, humanitarian, cultural and geographic conditions in countries of origin


RDC query reponses are subject-specific compilations of passages of original English-language text that are briefly introduced with reference to source and publication date (see, for example, RDC: Pakistan - Information on Sunni-Shia conflict including: occurrence in Punjab; occurrence nationwide; & available state protection, 29 January 2020 and RDC: Sierra Leone - Information on psychiatric facilities, 20 December 2019). Sources consulted by RDC researchers “include [the RDC’s] in-house collections, subscription databases, Internet sources, and national and international contacts.” RDC “query responses include a fully referenced list of sources cited.” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre – Services, undated)

Country Information/Marriage/Adoption Packs are lists of referenced links to publicly available sources. They usually deal with a wider subject matter than query responses (see, for example, RDC: Mini Country Information Pack; Turkey, 9 April 2015 and RDC: Georgia - Country Marriage Pack, June 2017).

Language(s) of publications:

Further reading / links:
Refugee Documentation Centre: FAQs, undated

Refugee Documentation Centre: The Researcher:
“The Researcher is the bi-annual publication of the RDC, providing information on the latest developments in the field of refugee status determination and country of origin research.” (RDC website: Refugee Documentation Centre – Services, undated)
Refugee Documentation Centre: Style Guide, June 2011
All links accessed 20 November 2020.