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. This may be a residence permit on humanitarian grounds given based on children'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 

Read more about what we consider when assessing whether a family should be allowed to stay in Norway due to the children's connection in the report 'Permanent scheme for children who have lived in Norway for a long period' (in Norwegian only). 

What do we consider?

Most asylum cases from Ethiopia that UNE has processed in recent years have been from applicants who fear the authorities in the country. Many report that they have participated in opposition activities against the government, or that they have close relatives who have been or are active in opposition groups.

During 2018, there was a positive development in the conditions for political opposition in Ethiopia. Read more about the regime change in Ethiopia in Landinfo's response Ethiopia: Political Development in 2018 (PDF, external link).

After the positive changes in 2018, there has been an increase in ethnically motivated violence and conflicts. During and after unrest, opposition members, activists, and journalists have been subject to reactions. UNE is now seeing more cases where ethnic affiliation and political activity are the topics.

In addition to the applicants’ statements, we always consider whether the area they come from is so dangerous that they need protection. We call this an assessment of the security situation. Both international case law and decisions made by several of UNE’s Grand Boards show that there is a high threshold for granting a permit on the basis of the security situation in a country.

In order to grant a permit on this basis, the general level of violence must be so high that any person will face a real danger simply by being in the area. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has stated several times that this is only relevant in extremely violent and turbulent situations.

During 2020, the conflict between the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal authorities in Ethiopia escalated, leading to a war that lasted about two years. A ceasefire agreement was reached in November 2022 between the TPLF and the federal authorities. You can read more about the developments in the Tigray region in this thematic note from Landinfo (pdf, external link). From November 2021 to April 2022, cases from Ethiopia were put on hold due to uncertainty about the political situation and developments in the country. In May 2022, we began processing Ethiopia cases again.

Additionally, Ethiopia has been marked by another central conflict, the armed conflict in parts of the Oromia region. You can read more about the conflict and conditions for political opposition in Oromia in this thematic note from Landinfo (pdf, external link).

In the autumn of 2023, an extensive armed conflict also broke out in the Amhara region. Militant groups are involved in combat operations with federal forces in Amhara, the country's second most populous region. After tensions escalated, the insurgents briefly took control of major cities in August. They remain active in large parts of the countryside. You can read more about the conflict in this note from the International Crisis Group: Ethiopia’s Ominous New War in Amhara (external link).

Although there are areas in Ethiopia affected by armed conflict, the situation in many parts of the country is relatively stable and calm. This includes the capital, Addis Ababa. UNE closely monitors the situation in Ethiopia and always assesses asylum cases based on up-to-date country information.

Everyone who seeks protection 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.

Even though documents from Ethiopia are not very reliable, we want applicants to present any ID documents they have. The documents are unreliable because there is a lot of corruption and forgery of documents in the country. How much weight we place on the documents presented varies from case to case. We only assess identity if it is relevant to the case. This means that we can reject a case without having assessed the identity of the applicant.

We rarely grant protection in cases where UDI has declined. We have reversed some decisions and granted residence permits on humanitarian grounds to families with children who have lived in Norway for a long time. In a very few cases, UNE has granted residence permits to individuals with serious health problems who cannot recieve adequate treatment for these 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.

Health issues are in some cases a reason for the applicant to ask us to reconsider their case and send a request for reversal. We then require the applicant to submit documentation from a doctor about their health problems. The threshold for obtaining a permit due to health problems is high.

Which health problems can form the basis for a permit and what type of documentation we need, you can read about in our professional guide on health problems that form the basis for a residence permit.

General information about the healthcare provision in Ethiopia can be read in Landinfo's thematic note 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 about asylum and protection 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.