The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention across 20 countries. This includes 17 European Union (EU) Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom) and 3 non-EU countries (Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey).
AIDA started as a project (September 2012 – December 2015) of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), in partnership with Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Irish Refugee Council, and is now developing into a core activity of ECRE. The overall goal of the database is to contribute to the improvement of asylum policies and practices in Europe and the situation of asylum seekers by providing all relevant actors with appropriate tools and information to support their advocacy and litigation efforts, both at the national and European level. These objectives are carried out by AIDA through the following activities:
- Country reports
AIDA contains national reports documenting asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention in 20 countries. The first 14 country reports were published in July 2013 during the first phase of the project (September 2012 – December 2013) and have been regularly updated and improved, while 2 additional Member States and 2 non-EU countries were added to the database in 2014 and 2015 respectively, during the project’s second phase (January 2014 – December 2015). The last update of 18 country reports was completed in December 2015, while two additional countries were included in March and April 2016.
- Comparative reports
AIDA comparative reports provide a thorough comparative analysis of practice relating to the implementation of asylum standards across the countries covered by the database, in addition to an overview of statistical asylum trends and a discussion of key developments in asylum and migration policies in Europe. Annual reports were published in 2013, 2014 and 2015. This year, AIDA comparative reports are published in the form of thematic updates, focusing on the individual themes covered by the database (reception, procedures, detention). The thematic report on reception was published in March 2016.
- Fact-finding visits
AIDA includes the development of fact-finding visits to further investigate important protection gaps established through the country reports, and a methodological framework for such missions. The first fact-finding visit was conducted in December 2014 in Greece and focussed on the reception conditions in the First Reception Centre of Fylakio. A second fact-finding visit in Hungary was conducted in September-October 2015, focusing on the Röszke transit zone at the Serbian border and on issues relating to asylum detention and the criminalisation of irregular entry. A third fact-finding visit was conducted in Austria in early December 2015, looking at registration and the unavailability of accommodation as barriers to access the asylum procedure.
- Legal briefings
Legal briefings aim to bridge AIDA research with evidence-based legal reasoning and advocacy. With the assistance of information gathered from country reports, these short papers identify and analyse key issues in EU asylum law and policy and identify potential protection gaps in the asylum acquis. The first legal briefing, published in June 2015, examined the legality of detention of asylum seekers under the Dublin Regulation. A second legal briefing, discussing key problems in the collection and provision of asylum statistics in the EU, was published in August 2015. A third legal briefing on the concept of "safe country of origin" was published in September 2015. A fourth legal briefing focusing on the way the examination of asylum claims in detention impacts on procedural rights and their effectiveness was published in October 2015. A fifth legal briefing on age assessment of unaccompanied children was published in December 2015.
- Video testimonies
The database also features video testimonies of asylum seekers and persons granted international protection in some of the countries covered by the database. These may be found here.
The content of the country reports is the responsibility of their respective authors. Please contact the authors directly for questions on the reports' content.
For more information on the database, please contact the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.
- Minos Mouzourakis, AIDA Coordinator
- Ruben Fierens, AIDA Legal Assistant
- Kris Pollet, Senior Legal and Policy Officer
Tel: +32 2 234 3800
The Asylum Information Database is funded by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), a collaborative initiative by the Network of European Foundations, and the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) The contents of the database are the sole responsibility of ECRE and the national experts and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of EPIM or the European Commission.