Country of Origin Information experts have achieved the years of academic and practical experience about a particular country that qualifies their COI information to provide supporting objective evidence on an individual claim for refugee status. Most of the Country of Origin Information experts listed below have agreed to work pro bono for those non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which do not charge refugees for legal services and no funds for this purpose; other have said they work for a very reduced fee. Others do charge and we have tried to indicate this when this information was provided.
All of the recommended COI specialists we have listed have filed their curriculum vitae with us and have agreed to work on cases with legal advisers on a confidential basis. However, the Rights in Exile Programme cannot assume responsibility for the quality of their work.
Please see the training document on “Researching Country of Origin Information” that could be useful to those academics having little experience in writing declarations on behalf of asylum seekers. It includes all the relevant refugee laws for those of you who may need background on the 1951 Convention and other legal matters pertinent to refugees. There are also links to declarations or expert opinions published by various organisations that you can easily access. You can find the document and download it as a pdf file here.
Lawyers representing refugee claims should first write about the case to the persons listed on the country pages to ensure their expertise is relevant to your case and to give them time and sufficient information about a case for them to agree with you on their working arrangements. We do not have COI specialists for all countries. Should you be willing to be a COI specialist, please contact us.