+32 487 84 65 40 info@nansenrefugee.be

High level legal expertise on international protection

NANSEN offers asylum professionals and people in need of international protection:

  • an analysis of their need for international protection, their ongoing procedure and the situation in their country of origin,
  • an intervention at the asylum authorities,
  • access to a network of legal and non-legal expertise,
  • an information exchange platform,
  • trainings and intervision.

Belgian asylum procedures are becoming more and more complex, while the time to lodge an appeal is becoming shorter. High-quality information and technical support for asylum seekers is increasingly difficult to find, because lawyers and civil society are under pressure. By consequence, people in need of international protection remain on the sidelines. That is why we render our expertise on international protection available.

Visiting and monitoring detention centres

NANSEN regularly goes to detention centres in order to:

  • visit detained asylum seekers and examine their individual need of international protection,
  • monitor if the procedural (for example access to a lawyer) and material (for example identification of vulnerable refugees) conditions for access to international protection are met,
  • based on these visits, make general recommendations to the authorities.

Belgium still systematically detains certain groups of asylum seekers. However, this is not what the European rules prescribe. We are regularly present in detention centres in order to establish the profile of the detainees and to assess whether their fundamental rights are respected. We provide complete, accurate and individualised information on the rights of asylum seekers and persons in need of international protection, who do not necessarily have a procedure going on.

We are working to structurally improve the right to asylum and the respect of human rights

To make a lasting difference, we submit some of our questions and analyses to the judiciary. We have intervened before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in a case involving the credibility of an asylum seeker, we formulate possible preliminary questions for the Court of Justice and we intervene in actions for annulment before the Council of State (Raad van State / Conseil d’Etat) .

We build bridges between experts from different fields

NANSEN actively contributes to the development of knowledge on international protection. To this end, NANSEN collaborates with legal and non-legal experts, specialized in different fields.

To better answer questions that arise in practice, it is important to break down the barriers between the different fields.