Main Debate

  • Does the safe country of origin notion undermine the right to have a claim assessed individually?

Main Points

Safe country of origin notion:

  • As a bar to access to procedures
  • As a rebuttable presumption of unfoundedness of claim
  • ‘White lists’ of safe countries of origin
  • Need for individual assessment of claims
  • Criteria for designating countries as ‘safe’

EU Documents

  1. Directive 2013/32/EU of 26 June 2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection (recast), OJ L 180/60, 29 June 2013.
  2. Council Conclusion on Countries in Which There Is Generally No Serious Risk of Persecution ("London Resolution"), Conclusions of the Meeting of the Ministers responsible for Immigration Doc. 10579/92 IMMIG (London, 30 November – 1 December 1992).

UNHCR Documents

See also UNHCR, Improving Asylum Procedures, March 2010, in Section VI.2.4.3.


  1. European Parliament v. Council of the European Union, European Court of Justice (Grand Chamber), C-133/06, 6 May 2006.



  1. ECRE, ‘Broken Promises-Forgotten Principles: An ECRE Evaluation of the Development of EU Minimum Standards for Refugee Protection’ (ECRE: London, 2004), pp. 10–12.
  2. H. Martenson and J. McCarthy, ‘Field Report. ’“In General No Serious Risk of Persecution” Safe Country of Origin Practices in Nine European States’, Journal of Refugee Studies, vol. 11, no. 3 (1998), pp. 304–325.


  1. C. Costello, ‘The Asylum Procedures Directive and the Proliferation of Safe Country Practices: Deterrence, Deflection and the Dismantling of International Protection?’ European Journal of Migration and Law, vol. 7 (2005), pp. 35–70.
  2. R. Byrne and A. Shacknove, ‘The Safe Country Notion in European Asylum Law’, Harvard Human Rights Journal, vol. 9 (1996), pp. 190–196.

 VI. Safe Country of OriginVI. Safe Country of Origin

EU DocumentsEU Documents