Fear of the Ethiopian authorities is the most common reason for applying for protection.
Most of the cases from Ethiopa are requests for reversal. In 2022, we granted permits in 44% of cases. The permits we grant are often based on reversals of UNE's own decisions due to new information and circumstances in the case. Residence may be granted on humanitarian grounds because of a child's connection to Norway or serious health problems. Some permits are also granted due to the need for protection.
Read more about what we emphasis when we assess whether a family should to be allowed to stay due to the children's connection to Norway in the report 'Permanent scheme for children who have lived in Norway for a long period' (in Norwegian only).
What do we consider?
Most people from Ethiopia who apply for protection state that they are afraid of the country’s authorities. Many say that they have engaged in opposition activities against the government, or that they have close relatives who are or have been active in banned opposition groups.
During 2018 there was a positive development in the conditions for political oppostion in Ehtiopia. In this paper by The Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre (Landinfo) Etiopia: politisk utvikling i 2018 (PDF, eksternal link in Norwegian only) you can read more about the political development in the country.
Following the positive changes in 2018 there has been an increase in etnichally motivated violence and conflict. Political opponents, journalists and acitivists have typically been targeted during and after riots. UNE has seen an increase in cases were claims of ethnical affiliation and political activity are central.
During 2020 there was a rapid escalation in the conflict between TPLF (Tigray Peoples Liberation Front) and the federal governement, which resulted in a war lasting for two years. A ceasfire agreement was signed in November 2022 between the TPLF and the federal governement. Another central conflict that affects Ethiopia is an armed conflict in the Oromia regional state. The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) is engaged in armed insurgency against Ethiopian regional and federal armed forces. You can read more about the conflict and the conditions for the political oppostion in Oromia in this paper from Landinfo (external link).
From November 2021 to April 2022, the cases from Ethiopia were put on hold due to uncertainty about the political situation and development in the country. In May 2022 we started to process cases from Ethiopia again. Despite the situation being more stable now, there is still uncertainty on how it will develop. In several parts of the country the situation is relatively calm and stable, this includes the capital Addis Ababa. In other parts of the country there are armed conflicts.
UNE stays up to date on the situation, and our assessment of asylum claims are always based on updated country information.
Everyone who applies for asylum in Norway is obliged to assist in clarifying their identity. Applicants who have a passport must hand this in. Other documents may also be accepted as proof of identity. Applicants who do not have ID documents are obliged to do their best to obtain such documents.
We conclude that an applicant's identity is either substantiated or not substantiated:
Substantiated identity: We believe that it is probable that the applicant is who he says he is. Documents and the applicant's statement can help to substantiate their identity. As a rule, the identity of the applicant must be substantiated before a residence permit can be granted.
Not substantiated: We believe that it is not probable that the applicant is who he says he is. This is the case when the applicant has not helped to establish who he is and where he comes from, by, for example, providing incorrect information. The reason we believe the identity has not been substantiated must always be included in the decision.
In cases where we maintain the UDI's decision, it is usually not concluded whether the applicant's identity is substantiated or not.
Ethiopian documents are not very reliable, but we nevertheless want applicants to submit any ID documents they have. The documents are unreliable because corruption and document forgery are rife in Ethiopia. The importance attached to the documents submitted varies from case to case. An original Ethiopian passport will normally be sufficient to substantiate the identity of an applicant. We only assess identity if it is relevant to the case. This means that we can reject an appeal without assessing the applicant’s identity.
We rarely grant protection in cases where UDI has refused an application. We have reversed some cases and granted residence permits on humanitarian grounds to families with children who have lived in Norway for a long time. In a very small number of cases, UNE has granted residence permits to persons with serious health problems who cannot get adequate treatment in Ethiopia.
Many Ethiopians who have received a final rejection from UNE do not return to Ethiopia. Therefore, UNE considers many requests for reversals from Ethiopians who are still in Norway.
Many Ethiopians who have received a final rejection from UNE do not return to Ethiopia. This means that there are many families with children who develop a connection to Norway that forms the basis for a permit. Therefore, UNE considers many requests for reversals from Ethiopians who are still in Norway.
In some of the cases, health problems are cited as the reason for the applicant's request for the case to be reconsidered and for reversal of the decision. We then ask the applicant to submit documentation of the health problems from a doctor. The threshold for being granted a permit because of health problems is high.
You can read about the health problems that can form a basis for a permit and the type of documentation we require in our professional guide on health problems that form the basis for a residence permit.
You can find general information about health services in Ethiopia in Landinfo's report Etiopia: helse – hiv/aids, tuberkulose og diabetes (Ethiopia: health – HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and diabetes, in Norwegian only) (external page – PDF).
We use many different sources. Much of the information we use has been collected by Landinfo, a unit that prepares reports on topics that are important for UDI and UNE. Recommendations from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, external link) are also important. We read reports from organisations such as Amnesty International (external link) and Human Rights Watch (external link), and keep up to date with reports in the media and from other countries’ migration authorities.