In January-February 2018 EASO organised a pilot train-the-trainer session in its upgraded module on Interview Techniques. The online studies were launched on 15 January, with the face-to-face session organised at EASO’s premises in Malta on 13-14 February. The Interview Techniques Module is one of three core modules of the EASO Training Curriculum. It aims at equipping the trainees with the necessary knowledge, skills and competences to conduct an effective interview with an applicant for international protection by using an appropriate interview method to gather sufficient, detailed and reliable information necessary to assess the application.
The upgrade of the module was focused on introducing a new interview method, which should be followed by case workers while interviewing applicants for international protection. Since none of the available investigative protocols were developed for the sole purpose of an asylum interview, EASO has adapted the knowledge and experience gained from the use of the available protocols to the asylum context and to the needs of case workers for ethical and efficient communication tools in the personal interview.
The structured interview protocol for the personal interview proposed by EASO in its Interview Techniques Module is referred to as the Asylum Interview Method. The Asylum Interview Method builds on research and experience from other structured interview protocols while at the same time adapting the interview to the specific characteristics of the personal interview and the asylum procedure, such as:
- the limited scope of background information and verifiable evidence in the application for international protection;
- the need to communicate across differences in culture, language, personal experiences between the applicant and the interviewer;
- the need to establish the identity of the applicant;
- the shared burden of proof between the applicant and the asylum authority;
- the need to explore not only what has happened, but also what will happen in the future;
- the potential grave consequences of not obtaining sufficient reliable and relevant information.