Call for Papers – 2008 workshop

LINGUA, the scientific unit for linguistic analyses within the Swiss Federal office for Migration, organizes a Workshop on «Linguistic analyses within the asylum procedure» in Lausanne/Switzerland (at the Centre Général Guisan) in July 2008.

The academic world has, for a couple of years now, taken interest into the linguistic analyses carried out and used by different asylum authorities. In 2004, a group of linguists edited a set of Guidelines designed for all practitioners in this field. Its concern is to ensure and guarantee a sufficient quality level. Its focus lies particularly on the profile required by people who carry out such analyses.

The different units across Europe who carry out linguistic analyses within the asylum procedure have all different methods and requisites. Discussions among them and with the scientific world are therefore necessary in order to 1) explain the different procedures and frameworks that determine the units' working methods and 2) establish the criteria necessary from a scientific point of view to define the possibilities and the limits of such analyses since they can have important consequences on people's lives.

At the Workshop – which will take place on 23rd-24th July, immediately following the IAFPA conference – different European units carrying out linguistic analyses for the asylum authorities will be presenting themselves. Also, LINGUA would like to invite different external presentations by people who are, in some way or other, involved with this kind of forensic analysis. For this, a call for papers is being opened.

Call for papers

Abstracts on different topics related to linguistic analyses for the determination of origin (LADO) within the asylum procedure are welcome. Topics related to LADO are listed below and, for each topic, a series of exemplary questions to approach the topic is given:

  • interviews done for LADO
    How should interviews be carried out in order to ensure sufficient data basis for a scientific report? What interview technique should be applied? Which interlocutors should be involved? What topics should be discussed? What influence does the presence of an interpreter have on the interview?
  • forensic sciences
    What kind of research has been done since the editing of the Guidelines? What is currently being done on LADO? What developments are possible in this field? What other aspects of forensic linguistics could/should LADO bring into its daily work in order to increase its quality?
  • editing of scientific reports
    How should a LADO report look like? What kind of answers can a LADO report furnish? What information is needed by the case officers/lawyers/courts in order to be able to reach a sound decision on an asylum case (e.g. minimal criteria, domains, linguistics analysis, country knowledge, result categories)?
  • profile of the experts carrying out LADO
    Who has to carry out LADO? What competences are necessary to lead an interview/to write a report/to make a linguistic analysis/to evaluate the country knowledge/etc.? To what extent does an analyst need/want assistance? To what extent does the staff of the linguistic analyses units have to be involved?
  • involvement of native speakers in the process
    What role can/should native speakers (not) play in LADO? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a native speaker vs. a linguist or of being a member of the community under analysis vs. an outsider.
  • technical aspects
    How to ensure the best possible quality of recordings? What technical possibilities are at hand to ensure the analysts anonymity? How to transfer recordings to analysts all over the world? How to ensure protection of sensitive personal data on the recordings and the reports we deal with?
  • setting
    LADO is carried out within a very specific setting, namely that of the asylum procedure. What role does this setting play on the whole LADO procedure? How much do the analysts need to know about the setting in order to do a thorough job? Should legal aspects be considered when writing a LADO report?

Last modification 24.11.2009

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