Asylum Seekers and Methodology of Ascertainment

Chapter

Abstract

The protection of the right to seek asylum is one of the core functions of the United Nations, and a common International Asylum System is a constituent part of the United Nation’s objective. Forensic medicine plays an important role in this field, and in particular in the medical assessment of vulnerable asylum seekers. Therefore, there is the need for a shared medico-legal algorithm, based on the national and international regulatory framework and the protocols currently used for the medico-legal assessment of asylum seekers. After a systematic overview of the relevant and multi-disciplinary scientific evidence, the flow-chart on the Methods of Ascertainment and the Criteria of Evaluation has been set out in this chapter and proposed for the application of the International Medico-Legal community.

References

  1. 1.
    UNHCR (2017) Global Trends Forced Displacement in 2016. http://www.unhcr.org/5943e8a34. Accessed 11 Jul 2017
  2. 2.
    United Nations (1948) The universal declaration of human rights. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  3. 3.
    UNHCR (2010) Convention and protocol relating to the status of refugees. http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  4. 4.
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2016) Refugees & asylum. https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  5. 5.
    Law Council of Australia (2016) Asylum seeker policy. https://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/lawcouncil/images/LCA-PDF/a-z-docs/AsylumSeeker_Policy_web.pdf. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  6. 6.
    Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=celex%3A32013L0032. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  7. 7.
    Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32011L0095. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  8. 8.
    Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32004L0083. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  9. 9.
    International Justice Resource Center (2016) Asylum & The Rights of Refugees. http://www.ijrcenter.org/refugee-law/. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  10. 10.
    UNHCR and ICD (2016) Vulnerability screening tool. Identifying and addressing vulnerability: a tool for asylum and migration systems. http://www.refworld.org/docid/57f21f6b4.html. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  11. 11.
    Administrative Appeals Tribunal (2015) Migration & refugee division. Guidelines on vulnerable persons. http://www.aat.gov.au/AAT/media/AAT/Files/MRD%20documents/Legislation%20Policies%20Guidelines/Guidelines-on-Vulnerable-Persons.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  12. 12.
    Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0033. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  13. 13.
    Legislative Decrees 28th January 2008, n. 25 and 25th July 1998, n. 286Google Scholar
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
    United Nations (2001) Istanbul protocol. Manual on the effective investigation and documentation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/training8 Rev1en.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  16. 16.
    International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (2014) Medical physical examination of alleged torture victims. A practical guide to the Istanbul protocol—for medical doctors. http://eclm.info/docs/GUIDELINES/8_Medical_Physical_Examination_of_Alleged_Torture_Victims.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  17. 17.
    Wenzel T, Mirzaei S, Nowak M (2016) Assessment of sequelae of torture for refugees in host countries. Lancet 387(10020):746CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Physicians for Human Rights (2001) Examining asylum seekers. a health professional’s guide to medical and psychological evaluations of torture. http://www.capda.ca/docs/resources/physicians-for-human-rights-examining-asylum-seekers-a-health-professional’s-guide-to-medical-and-psychological-evaluations-of-torture.pdf?sfvrsn=4. Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  19. 19.
    Bracci C (2009) La Tutela Medico-Legale dei Diritti dei Rifugiati. Parsec Consortium, Rome. http://www.camminidisalute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/LA-TUTELA-MEDICO-LEGALE-DEI-DIRITTI-DEI-RIFUGIATI-Carlo-Bracci-2009.pdf. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  20. 20.
    Ferrara SD, Baccino E, Bajanowski T, Boscolo-Berto R, Castellano M, De Angel R, Pauliukevičius A, Ricci P, Vanezis P, Vieira DN, Viel G, Villanueva E, EALM Working Group on Medical Malpractice (2013) Malpractice and medical liability. European guidelines on methods of ascertainment and criteria of evaluation. Int J Legal Med 127(3):545–557Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ferrara SD, Baccino E, Boscolo-Berto R, Comandè G, Domenici R, Hernandez-Cueto C, Gulmen MK, Mendelson G, Montisci M, Norelli GA, Pinchi V, Ranavaya M, Shokry DA, Sterzik V, Vermylen Y, Vieira DN, Viel G, Zoja R, Members of the IALM Working Group on Personal Injury and Damage (2016) Padova Charter on personal injury and damage under civil-tort law: medico-legal guidelines on methods of ascertainment and criteria of evaluation. Int J Legal Med 130(1):1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ferrara SD, Ananian V, Baccino E, Banczerowski P, Bordignon D, Boscolo-Berto R, Domenici R, Gorriz Quevedo J, Graw M, Hell W, Hernandez Cueto C, Knudsen PJ, Masiero S, Montisci M, Norelli GA, Pinchi V, Raudys R, Raul JS, Sterzik V, Tessitore E, Tuusov J, Vanezis P, Vermylen Y, Vieira DN, Viel G, Viero A, Villanueva E, Zoia R (2016) Whiplash-associated disorders: clinical and medico-legal guidelines on the methods of ascertainment. Int J Legal Med 130(1):13–22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ferrara SD, Ananian V, Baccino E, Boscolo-Berto R, Domenici R, Hernàndez-Cueto C, Mendelson G, Norelli GA, Ranavaya M, Terranova C, Vieira DN, Viel G, Villanueva E, Zoia R, Sartori G (2016) A novel methodology for the objective ascertainment of psychic and existential damage. Int J Legal Med 130(5):1387–1399CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    European Council Of Legal Medicine (2012) Forensic medical examination on living persons. http://eclm.info/docs/GUIDELINES/8_Forensic_examiantion_living_person.pdf. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  25. 25.
    Unhcr (2012) Assessing mental health and psychosocial needs and resources. Toolkit for humanitarian settings. Available via DIALOG. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/76796/1/9789241548533_eng.pdf?ua=1. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  26. 26.
    Minas H, Stancovska M, Ziguras S, (2001) Working with interpreters: guidelines for mental health professionals, Victoria. http://vtmh.worldsecuresystems.com/docs/interpreter_guidelines.pdf. Accessed 17 Nov 2016
  27. 27.
    Schwarz-Nielsen KH, Elklitt A (2009) An evaluation of the mental status of rejected asylum seekers in two Danish asylum centers. Torture 19(1):51–59PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Gerritsen AA, Bramsen I, Devillé W, van Willigen LH, Hovens JE, van der Ploeg HM (2006) Physical and mental health of Afghan, Iranian and Somali asylum seekers and refugees living in the Netherlands. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 41(1):18–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kröger C, Frantz I, Friel P, Heinrichs N (2016) [Posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms amongst Asylum seekers]. Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol 66(9–10):377–384 (German)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sundvall M, Tidemalm DH, Titelman DE, Runeson B, Bäärnhielm S (2015) Assessment and treatment of asylum seekers after a suicide attempt: a comparative study of people registered at mental health services in a Swedish location. BMC Psychiatry 15:235CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mann JJ (2002) A current perspective of a suicide and attempted suicide. Ann Intern Med 136:302–311CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Akinsulure-Smith AM, Chu T (2016) Exploring female genital cutting among survivors of torture. J Immigr Minor Health 19(3):769–773 Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Cook R, Dickens B, Fathalla M (2002) Female genital cutting (mutilation/circumcision): ethical and legal dimensions. Int J Gynecol Obstet 79:281–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Monahan K (2007) Cultural beliefs, human rights violations, and female genital cutting: complication at the crossroad of progress. J Immigr Refug Stud 5(3):21–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Busch J, Hansen SH, Hougen HP (2015) Geographical distribution of torture: an epidemiological study of torture reported by asylum applicants examined at the department of forensic medicine, university of Copenhagen. Torture 25(2):12–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Freedman J (2016) Sexual and gender-based violence against refugee women: a hidden aspect of the refugee “crisis”. Reprod Health Matters 24(47):18–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Dettmeyer RB, Verhoff MA, Schütz HF (2014) Forensic medicine: fundamentals and perspectives. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Mirzaei S, Sonneck-Koenne C, Bruecke T, Aryana K, Knoll P, Zakavi R (2012) Supplementary value of functional imaging in forensic medicine. Torture 22(Suppl 1):14–20PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rasmussen A, Verkuilen J, Ho E, Fan Y (2015) Posttraumatic stress disorder among refugees: measurement invariance of Harvard Trauma questionnaire scores across global regions and response patterns. Psychol Assess 27(4):1160–1170CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mollica RF, Caspi-Yavin Y, Bollini P, Truong T, Tor S, Lavelle J (1992) The harvard trauma questionnaire. validating a cross-cultural instrument for measuring torture, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder in Indochinese refugees. J Nerv Ment Dis 180(2):111–116CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Kessler RC, Andrews G, Colpe LJ, Hiripi E, Mroczek DK, Normand SL, Walters EE, Zaslavsky AM (2002) Short screening scales to monitor population prevalences and trends in non-specific psychological distress. Psychol Med 32(6):959–976CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Buhmann CB (2014) Traumatized refugees: morbidity, treatment and predictors of outcome. Dan Med J 61(8):B4871PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Shawyer F, Enticott JC, Doherty AR, Block AA, Cheng IH, Wahidi S, Meadows GN (2014) A cross-sectional survey of the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers attending a refugee health clinic: a study protocol for using research to inform local service delivery. BMC Psychiatry 14:356CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Butcher JN, Dahlstrom WG, Graham JR, Tallagen A, Kaemmer B (eds) (1989) MMPI-2: manual for administration and scoring. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rogers R, Bagby RM, Dickens SE (1992) Structured interview of reported symptoms: professional manual. Psychological Assessment Resources, OdessaGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Smith GP, Burger GK (1997) Detection of malingering: validation of the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS). J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 25(2):183–189PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Tombaugh TN (1996) Test of memory malingering. Multi-Health Systems, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Tombaugh TN (1997) The Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM): normative data from cognitively intact and cognitively impaired individuals. Psychol Assess 9(3):260–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Allen LM, Conder RL, Green P, Cox DR (1997) CARB 97 manual for the computerized assessment of response bias. CogniSyst, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Rey A (ed) (1964) L’examen clinique en psychologie. Presses Universitaires de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Eytan A, Laurencon M, Durieux-Paillard S, Ortiz N (2008) Consistency of autobiographical memories in asylum seekers. Am J Psychiatry 165(6):776CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Herlihy J, Turner S (2006) Should discrepant accounts given by asylum seekers be taken as proof of deceit? Torture 16:81–92PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Herlihy J, Scragg P, Turner S (2002) Discrepancies in autobiographical memories: implications for the assessment of asylum seekers: repeated interviews study. BMJ 324:324–327CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Perera C, Verghese A (2011) Implementation of Istanbul protocol for effective documentation of torture—review of Sri Lankan perspectives. J Forensic Leg Med 18(1):1–5CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Moreno A, Crosby S, Xenakis S, Iacopino V (2015) Implementing Istanbul protocol standards for forensic evidence of torture in Kyrgyzstan. J Forensic Leg Med 30:39–42CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Cecchetto G, Bajanowski T, Cecchi R, Favretto D, Grabherr S, Ishikawa T, Kondo T, Montisci M, Pfeiffer H, Rippa Bonati M, Shokry D, Vennemann D, Ferrara SD (2017) Back to the future—Part 1 The medico-legal autopsy from ancient civilization to the post-genomic era. Int J Legal Med (in press)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Ferrara SD, Cecchetto G, Cecchi R, Favretto D, Grabherr S, Ishikawa T, Kondo T, Montisci M, Pfeiffer H, Rippa Bonati M, Shokry D, Vennemann D, Bajanowski T (2017) Back to the future—Part 2 post-mortem assessment and evolutionary role of the bio-medicolegal sciences. Int J Legal Med (in press)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Ferrara SD (2017) P5 Medicine and justice. The future is now. Int J Legal Med (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Legal and Occupational Medicine, Toxicology and Public HealthUniversity-Hospital of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of Duisburg-Essen, University Hospital EssenEssenGermany

Personalised recommendations