The Asylum Capacity Support Group (ACSG), one of the special initiatives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), is pleased to announce the launch of its Online Portal. The Portal brings visibility to asylum capacity support projects, promotes international cooperation, reduces overlap between different initiatives, and showcases tools and good practices aimed at addressing key issues facing national asylum systems today.
The ACSG Mechanism aims to ensure that asylum capacity support between States and other stakeholders is provided in a consistent manner with the greatest impact and the best use of resources. It does this primarily by matching State requests for asylum capacity support, made at or after the 2019 Global Refugee Forum (GRF), with corresponding offers of support by States or other stakeholders.
“The group could be activated on the request of a concerned State to provide support to relevant national authorities – in line with applicable international, regional and national instruments and laws – to strengthen aspects of their asylum systems, with a view to ensuring their fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity” – Paragraph 62, Global Compact on Refugees, United Nations, New York, 2018.
The ACSG strongly encourages States and other stakeholders to make additional offers of capacity support as this is important in ensuring that the needs of States improving their asylum systems are met. The Portal facilitates the process of States requesting, and States and other stakeholders offering asylum capacity support, with the option to have a request or offer made online, using the request/offer submission form. Requests and offers will then be displayed on the Portal along with the GRF pledges already made in this area, to reduce overlaps between projects and help direct support where it is most needed.
Since its launch at the GRF, the ACSG Secretariat, jointly with UNHCR’s Regional Bureaux and Country Offices, has worked with States to concretize their pledges or commitments into actionable requests and/or offers, and is pursuing matching opportunities in line with the prioritization outlined in the ACSG Guide to Working Modalities. So far, three matches have been welcomed by States, namely: Chad/France; Canada/Mexico; and France/Niger. Additional matches are in the process of being formalized. Information regarding these matches and the support provided through the ACSG Mechanism is available on the ACSG Matches page on the Portal.
Share an ACSG good practice
A key feature of the Portal is that it has a dedicated section on good practices and tools that will be useful for those working in, or supporting, national asylum systems. Good practices already shared from countries such as Armenia, Ghana, and the Philippines, speak to key issues facing asylum systems today, such as adapting asylum processing in the context of COVID-19.
The Portal enables States and other stakeholders to share tools and good practices using its online submission form on an ongoing basis. Having a library of good practices will increase the effectiveness of capacity support projects of the future and will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise on key asylum issues. The ACSG encourages States and other stakeholders to share good practice examples that contribute to strengthening national asylum systems. Guidance on what constitutes a good practice is available here.
The Portal also contains background documents translated into several languages for those seeking further information about the ACSG Mechanism, as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that provide answers to common queries.
The ACSG Online Portal is administered by the ACSG Secretariat, established within the UNHCR's Division of International Protection. It will be continuously updated with new and relevant information.
For any feedback or queries relating to the ACSG Mechanism and the Online Portal, please contact [email protected].