Our office is handling a number of refugee claims made by nationals of Yemen. There is of course a severe humanitarian crisis throughout that country. Civil War or prevalent conflict does not preclude a refugee claim however an applicant must still show personalized risk.
Such dire conditions however assist the claimant in showing that there is no viable internal flight alternative (generally speaking claimants have to show that there is a no other safe and reasonable place to relocate in their own country before requesting international protection). Such conditions further assist in rebutting the presumption of state protection -indeed the presumption does not even arise as this state is not in control of its borders or territory.
Outside of the two issues outlined above of the claimant will still be tested on his or her credibility. This may be done by the board member exploring testimony by way of questioning and ensuring that of the testimony is consistent with the basis of claim form and narrative -and whether the testimony or narrative is consistent or at odds with the objective country conditions on file. Other issues that may arise may be the failure of a claimant to make a claim elsewhere or delaying cclaim without reasonable or plausible explanation.
The board will examine whether a forward looking risk is established by the objective evidence (and testimony).
I think one important piece of advice that I can give is not to be overconfident. Mistakes are costly. Claims from Yemen may be expedited and there may be a high acceptance rate. However our office has seen refusals of Yemeni claims particularly where inexperienced (or incompetent, or simply lazy) lawyers and/or consultants are putting in pro-forma or generic claims; failing to thoroughly canvas claimants personal circumstances and preparing a detailed narrative; failing to provide corroborative evidence; and failing to prepare the clients for the hearing (some of these clients are international students, they are young and preparation is especially important for them).
If a claim is refused it is important for the individual concerned to contact counsel that is experienced with options after refusal. This may include an appeal to the refugee appeal division -this is usually a paper-based process and requires someone that can write (there are some representatives that simply cannot), that understands administrative law principles, the standard of review, the importance of adducing or attempting to adduce new evidence, and is familiar with the jurisprudence in this specialized area of law.
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.