COI Seminar

During the 11th European Country of Origin Information Seminar, which has been held on 21 and 22 June 2007 in Vienna, up-to-date country of origin information on Afghanistan and Iraq was presented by independent experts and representatives from UNHCR and discussed with the audience. A report on the COI Seminar is available above as well as on and

The COI Seminar, which directly followed the COI Master Class, was organised by UNHCR and ACCORD/Austrian Red Cross in the scope of the COI Network III.

During the COI Seminar, two selected countries of origin, Afghanistan and Iraq, were analysed and discussed by over 70 participants from European asylum authorities and NGOs working with refugees. Two UNHCR experts and two independent experts offered input regarding COI relevant developments in the respective countries and discussed questions with the audience.

This year’s experts included Gabriela Wengert, Protection Officer with the UNHCR Iraq Operations Unit in Amman/Jordan and based in Damascus/Syria, and Gudrun Harrer, journalist and Austrian special envoy to Baghdad between January and June 2006. They shared their assessment of the current situation in Iraq. Mohammad Aziz Rahjo and Barbara Stapleton spoke on Afghanistan. Mr. Rahjo is Associate Protection Officer at the UNHCR Representation in Afghanistan, while Ms. Stapleton works as a political advisor at the office of the Special Representative of the EU for Afghanistan.

The country information discussed at the COI Seminar has been compiled to a comprehensive report which reflects the presentations of the country resource persons and the subsequent discussions of relevant topics, among them recent developments in security and human rights, presentation of UNHCR considerations, groups at risk, background information, and other issues.

last update 29 November 2007

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