Fact finding mission to Baghdad went well

15.12.2017 10.37
Press release

Two researchers from the Country Information Service of the Finnish Immigration Service visited Baghdad, Iraq, on a fact-finding mission in late October and early November. The purpose of the visit was to create a contact network with international and national actors such as aid organisations, officials, researchers and local non-governmental organisations.

In the future, information on the security situation in Iraq and Baghdad can be obtained from this contact network, in support of asylum decisions. During the mission, information was also gathered on general conditions in the country and the situations of various population groups.

The Immigration Service's last fact-finding mission was made in 2011, when researchers visited Iraqi Kurdistan. This year’s mission was the first visit to Baghdad.

Although the Finnish authorities do not often go on fact-finding missions of their own, country information is continuously updated. Country of origin information is not solely based on fact-finding missions, but is gathered from several different sources. These include the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR; international and local human rights organisations; non-governmental organisations; research institutes and researchers from other immigration services.

Information obtained by interviewing experts operating in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq

During the fact-finding missions, the aim was also to examine, as widely as possible, the current situation in Iraq and Baghdad. Information was gathered by interviewing various experts, such as local officials, representatives of international organisations, embassy staff and experts from non-governmental organisations active in Iraq.

When ready, a report on the fact-finding mission will be posted on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Aim to create a routine for visiting asylum seekers’ countries of origin

Next year, researchers from the Country Information Service will go on fact-finding missions to Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria.

The Finnish Immigration Service aims to make fact-finding missions routine, so that its experts can visit the countries more often.

The fact-finding mission to Iraq is part of the FAKTA project, which has received EU funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

The Country Information Service of the Finnish Immigration Service produces country of origin information (COI), especially on countries from which asylum seekers, quota refugees and other immigrants come to Finland. Researchers from the Country Information Service do not participate in the decision-making process regarding residence permits, or in the creation of country guidelines.

Further information for the media

General information on the FAKTA project: Satu Ruotsalainen, Project Manager,
email: [email protected], tel. +358 295 430 431

Further details on country information concerning Iraq: Peter Sandelin, Researcher,
email: [email protected], tel. +358 295 430 431

Press release