The Research Directorate at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada provides country-of-origin information (COI) to the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division.
The information in the COI is carefully selected from publicly-available sources and oral sources to represent a variety of viewpoints. Sources may include foreign government organizations, agencies, and news services; national and international non-governmental organizations; human rights organizations; academic publications; and other independent news services. The reliability of sources and information referenced in the COI products is assessed in accordance with common methodological guidelines for processing COI, such as the Austrian Center for Country of Origin & Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) training manual and the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) guidelines. The sources are also referenced to assist users to assess the information.
The COI does not provide exhaustive overviews of topics or themes but cover aspects relevant to the determination of refugee cases. The purpose of the COI is to provide decision-makers with different viewpoints on these aspects in a balanced and neutral manner, as they are available at the time of publication, without drawing conclusions. The weight to be given to the COI produced by the Research Directorate is at the sole discretion of the decision-maker deciding a case after considering all the evidence and arguments presented.