The Finnish Immigration Service conducted a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan in March

28.3.2018 14.00
Press release

Two researchers from the Country Information Service of the Finnish Immigration Service visited Kabul, Afghanistan on a fact-finding mission in March. 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. The mission was successful.

In the future, information on the security situation in Afghanistan 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. The Finnish embassy in Afghanistan participated in arranging the visit.

The previous fact-finding mission of the Country Information Service to Afghanistan took place in 2009.

The country of origin information that is used in support of decision-making is not solely based on fact-finding missions, but is gathered from several different sources and is continuously updated. The sources include the UN refugee agency UNHCR, international and local human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, research institutes, and researchers from other immigration services. Also the Embassy of Finland in Kabul provides information on how the situation in Afghanistan develops.

Information obtained by interviewing experts operating in Kabul and Herat

During the fact-finding mission, the aim was to examine, as widely as possible, the current situation in Afghanistan. Information was gathered by interviewing various experts, such as representatives of international organisations and experts from non-governmental organisations active in Afghanistan. The researchers visited Kabul and Herat.

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

This year, researchers from the Country Information Service have already conducted a fact-finding mission to Somalia and will also visit 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 Afghanistan was 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) in particular about the countries from which asylum seekers, quota refugees and 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, 
    e-mail: [email protected], tel. +358 295 430 431
  • Further details on country information concerning Afghanistan: Elisa Rekola, Researcher,
    e-mail: [email protected], tel. +358 295 430 431