Summary of Advisory Report: Assessing credibility

The State Secretary for Security and Justice asked the Advisory Committee to issue an advisory report on how the assessment of the credibility of asylum seekers’ accounts could be improved in practice.

The key question this report addresses is:
What conditions must the administrative assessment of the credibility of statements made by asylum seekers which are not supported by evidence meet and what practical guidelines can be given?

The advisory report investigates how, on behalf of the State Secretary, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) should assess credibility on the basis of legislation and how it actually does so in practice. In addition, it examines the role of other parties, that influence the quality of credibility assessment, including the Aliens Police, the Royal Military and Border Police (KMar), the Dutch Council for Refugees (VWN) and legal aid representatives. The report looks at a wide range of factors, for example the current European and national standards applying to assessment, the content of ‘integrated credibility assessment’, judicial review of the decision and the training given to asylum staff.

The Advisory Committee proposes measures to improve the information gathered about the person of the asylum seeker and his/her motives for seeking asylum, as well as the credibility assessments. It calls for investment in permanent in-service training and professionalisation of IND personnel, including temporary staff. A professional asylum process should also include peer review and monitoring by managers. To raise awareness of the risk of unconscious subjectivity in credibility assessment, it is important to invest in courses featuring case studies and providing feedback.

For further information contact Huub Verbaten.