Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

On 5-7 June, the “Advanced Training for High-Quality Asylum Procedures” gathered over 40 state representatives working in the asylum field in Rome. The three trainers – Anna Bengtsson (Swedish Migration Agency), Judith Gleeson (Upper Tribunal Judge, Immigration and Asylum Chambers, United Kingdom) and Gabor Gyulai (Hungarian Helsinki Committee) - had previously engaged in the asylum trainings organised within the Prague Process. They also majorly contributed to the development of the Guidelines “Quality in Asylum Decision-Making - Using Jurisprudence and Multidisciplinary Knowledge for Training Purposes”, which served as a basis for this training.

The first training session titled ‘Conceptual Framework of International Protection’ provided a comparison of the concepts of migration and international protection, an introduction to the ‘Core issues in international protection’, as well as presentations on ‘Refugee status and subsidiary protection: structured decisions’ and on ‘International protection beyond refugee protection’, which focused on the issue of statelessness. Thereafter, participants were divided into working groups in order to tackle the introductory case studies and come up with decisions on the presented asylum cases.

The second day, focusing on Credibility Assessment, began with the renewed division into sub-groups. The first group was acquainted with assessing credibility in religious-based claims through a role-play and a targeted focus on interview techniques. Group 2 received an insight into different aspects of credibility assessment, ranging from the legal framework and indicators to a multidisciplinary approach pointing to the limits of human memory and the impact of trauma, as well as to multilingual communication and intercultural barriers.

Session 3 combined the focus on credibility assessment with a training-of-trainers approach. Specific challenges faced by decision-makers were addressed, including self-care and burnout prevention. The legal standards for credibility assessment were then presented, before providing an update on the most recent case law on credibility assessment on behalf of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights and various national courts.

The final day was devoted to Training-of-Trainers, presenting various elements of how to be a good trainer, including strategies and hints for innovative and impactful training activities. Most participants used the closing session to express once more their satisfaction with the training, referring to its content and organisation.