The Heart of the Matter – Assessing Credibility when Children Apply for Asylum in the European Union | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság

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TAX NUMBER: 19013983-1-42

UNHCR publication on EU state practices of credibility assessment in children´s asylum claims

The Heart of the Matter aims to help decision-makers assess the credibility of children’s claims in a fair, objective and consistent manner. It sets out a number of observations that could serve as the foundation for guidance on the subject. It is hoped that this research will contribute towards strengthening practice in the difficult area of child asylum claims, and towards UNHCR’s elaboration of globally applicable Guidelines on Credibility Assessment.

With significant numbers of unaccompanied children applying for asylum in EU Member States – 12,640 in 2013 and rising numbers in 2014 assessing the credibility of their claims correctly and consistently is of vital importance. Researchers and practitioners have devoted surprisingly little attention to techniques for interviewing asylum-seeking children and for assessing their statements. This contrasts with the vast literature on eliciting evidence from children who are witnesses or victims of crime, in particular those who claim to have suffered sexual abuse. There is also comparatively little jurisprudence at national and regional levels on evidentiary standards to be met by state authorities when assessing the asylum

applications of children.

The publication is part of the Building Credibility project which was co-funded by the European Commission. Read the full report here.

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