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News Published: 8 February 2023

International protection needs remain high for Syrian applicants

International protection needs remain high for Syrian applicants


The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has published updated Country Guidance on Syria. In its most recent analysis, the Agency confirms that the situation remains volatile and targeting by different actors, including the Government of Syria, continues to substantiate the international protection needs of many.

The Government of Syria continues to target a wide range of individuals due to their perceived opposition or disloyalty, including human rights activists and humanitarian workers, journalists, protestors, as well as military draft evaders, defectors and deserters. Persons from opposition-controlled, or in recaptured areas, relatives of suspected armed groups members and returnees from abroad have also been targeted. The analysis further confirms that men who have evaded or deserted military service would in general have a well-founded fear of persecution and be highly likely to qualify for refugee status.

The civilian population remains exposed to exceptionally high levels of indiscriminate violence in parts of the country. Indeed, in the governorates of Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Ez-Zor and Hasaka, as well as in Dar’a, any individual would be at real risk of serious harm due to their mere presence in the area.

This analysis represents the joint assessment of EU Member States and is based on the EUAA's latest information.

Furthermore, and according to recent analyses, Syria remains one of the most important countries of origin of applicants for international protection, with about 17 700 applications lodged in the EU+ in November 2022 alone.

In this context, the ‘Country Guidance: Syria’ is a key pillar of EU support to national asylum authorities in the examination of the criteria for qualification for international protection, in line with EU law and EUAA guidance. The EUAA highlights that under EU law all applications for international protection must always be assessed in an individual and objective manner.


The ‘Country Guidance: Syria’ is available in a user-friendly electronic book format, as well as in pdf.

Country Guidance: explained - cover

To learn more about the methodology and content of country guidance documents, you can visit the EUAA’s Country Guidance page and consult our ‘Country Guidance: explained’.


The country guidance documents provide country-specific, common analysis and guidance in relation to the assessment criteria of international protection needs established in the Qualification Directive. They are developed together with senior policy officials from EU+ countries.

In accordance with Article 11 of the EUAA Regulation, Member States have the obligation to take into account the guidance notes and common analysis when examining applications for international protection, without prejudice to their competence for deciding on individual applications.