The Validation of Nationality Claims
To determine if an asylum seeker is indeed a refugee, a Government must (in part) determine their nationality.
As explained in the 1951 UN convention, a refugee is a person who.
“ owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country. ”
It is vital that the Government can distinguish between a ‘real’ refugee who is fleeing their country of origin in genuine fear of persecution and an economic migrant who is simply looking to better their life (and in doing so lied about their country of origin).
The process of nationality verification is made more complex by the very nature of the event of claiming asylum. Asylum Seekers often arrive in the new country without a passport, birth certificate and other ID papers that would help to validate their nationality.
Governments in the developed world now use a technique called ‘linguistic analysis’ to help to determine the validity of the claim of nationality.