EU: Guide for interviewing religion-based asylum seekers

We are pleased to inform you that the EUAA Practical Guide – Interviewing Applicants with Religion-based Asylum Claims has been published and is available in English on the website of the European Union Agency for Asylum: 

This practical guide aims to help to conduct fairer and more efficient interviews in view of the complexity and challenges posed by religion-based asylum claims. The guidance provided seeks to improve the understanding of the concept of religion in the context of international protection and to support the creation of appropriate conditions for the personal interview. Specific guidance is offered on the elements that should be explored during the personal interview, tailored to specific types of commonly encountered religion-based asylum claims, i.e. conversion to another religion, leaving one’s religion to adhere to atheistic, agnostic or non-religious systems of belief, religious minorities, conscientious objectors to military service for reasons of religion and gender-based religious persecution.

This guide is primarily intended for asylum case officers, interviewers and decision-makers, supervisors, as well as policymakers in the national determining authorities. Additionally, this tool is useful for quality officers, trainers, interpreters, and legal advisers, as well as any other person working or involved in the field of international protection in the EU context.

 How can you spread the word?

As the NCP, you have a key role in making this guide accessible to the relevant staff within your administration. Asylum Processes Sector stands ready to assist you in your efforts to disseminate this guide. Possible dissemination channels can include:

  • informing case officers and other relevant staff about this practical guide through email or your internal newsletter
  • making the guide easily accessible within your organisation by uploading it to your intranet or document management system
  • introducing the guide and its purpose during senior management meetings
  • using the guide to benchmark and/or inspire your national guidance or to complement already available national guidance on this topic
  • inviting case officers, quality officers and other relevant staff to the launching event of this Practical Guide. The online launching event will take place on 18 January 2022 at 9.30-11.00 (CET) through WebEx. During the event, participants will have the opportunity to get an overview of the structure and key messages of the practical guide directly from the Working Group Members who drafted the guide. They will also have an opportunity to ask questions. The number of participants is unlimited. Hence, you may spread the invitation freely within your administration. You will receive the invite shortly. 
  • sharing the videorecord of the launching event to the relevant staff. The launching event will be recorded and afterwards, you will be provided with the link to the video-record that you may share within your organisation.
  • presenting the guide to supervisors, quality focal points, trainers, team leaders or process managers within your administration
  • organising workshops for relevant staff on interviewing applicants with religion-based asylum claims with the use of this practical guide. Through such thematic workshops, the case officers can get acquainted with the interview framework presented in the guide by applying it to challenging cases on which they have been working themselves. EUAA will be of assistance to you in organising these workshops.
  • making the guide part of your training for case officers who will be tasked with interviewing applicants with religion-based asylum claims
  • utilizing the guide as an assessment tool for interviews on religion-based asylum claims. The interview framework presented in the guide can inspire quality assessors to assess the quality of interviews of profiles related to conversion to another religion; leaving one’s religion to adhere to atheistic, agnostic or non-religious systems of belief; religious minorities; conscientious objectors to military service for reasons of religion and gender-based religious persecution. The same can be done by case officers themselves to self-assess the quality of their interviews on these claims.

In accordance with the internal procedures, you will receive 5 printed copies of the guide in English. More copies can be delivered to you should you indicate your needs by replying to this email.


If you want to have the guide translated into your national language(s), you can let us know by filling in the form attached and sending it back to us at your earliest convenience.

Special thanks to

Last but certainly not least, we would like to warmly thank the members of the working group who prepared the drafting of this guide, Anastasios Giouzepas, Karel Vercruysse, Linn Krane, Maria Lagoni Andersen, Stina Lindmark and Torsten Wojtalla as well as Professor Jeremy Gunn who inspired the development of this Guide. We also thank you for the reviews that you provided during the development.

Kind regards

Asylum Processes Sector

European Union Agency for Asylum