Country Information Policy Unit Reports

Home Department written question – answered on 26th January 2005.

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Photo of Mrs Barbara Roche Mrs Barbara Roche Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the sources of the information in the Home Office Country Information Policy Unit reports are; what checks are made to verify their accuracy; and how often those reports are updated.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Minister of State (Citizenship, Immigration and Counter-Terrorism), Home Office, Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)

The Home Office Country Information and Policy Unit (CIPU) produces Country Reports on the 20 countries that generate the largest number of asylum applications in the UK. They are issued twice a year, at the end of April and October and are published on the Home Office website. The reports are used by Home Office officials involved in the asylum and human rights determination process.

The reports are compiled from a wide variety of well respected, independent and publicly available sources. These sources include intergovernmental organisations (such as the UN), governmental sources (including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) and human rights organisations (for example Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch). All information in each report is attributed, throughout the text, to the original source material. The Country Reports do not contain any Home Office opinion or policy—they are essentially a compilation of material produced by other organisations.

We are firmly committed to ensuring that the country information material produced to inform asylum decisions meets the highest standards. Under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, we have established the independent Advisory Panel on Country Information (APCI) to provide rigorous independent external scrutiny of country information material produced by the Home Office and make recommendations to help ensure that it is of the highest quality. The APCI is proving to be very effective in fulfilling its function.

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