03 July 2015
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has published a second volume of a multidisciplinary training manual, titled ‘Credibility Assessment in Asylum Procedures’. This publication is in response to concerns that determining authorities reject the majority of asylum applications on the basis of disbelieving applicants’ claims. Credibility assessment, therefore, remains a challenging and important aspect of asylum decision-making
The credibility assessment training manual aims to encourage fairer and more objective credibility findings, apply a more structured approach to credibility assessment and reduce the possibility of errors in the process. It draws together core knowledge from various disciplines such as law, medicine, psychology and anthropology in order to help asylum professionals develop their skills, reduce the possibility of errors and reach more objective and fairer credibility outcomes.
This volume has a specific focus on credibility assessments with children and in asylum cases based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It offers training that sensitises professionals to gender related issues in order to respond more perceptively, during interviews, to potential misrepresentations in this regard. In particular, the manual describes the specific challenges, and necessary preparedness, when undertaking sexual or gender identity credibility assessments. The manual also addresses child-specific issues that need to be borne in mind when interviewing minors, such as understanding the recall problems they have in providing accurate statements, with a coherent time-frame, and a consistent, overarching, theme. Also, the manual explains how the peripheral aspects of a memory are remembered less well amongst children.
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 03 July 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.