This research office of U.S. Asylum Officers and Refugee Adjudicators is responsible for collection, production and distribution of materials on global human rights conditions. RIC is located at 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. It is technically not open to the public, but in practice, it permits representatives of asylum applicants to visit by appointment. To make an appointment, call 202-272-1609.
They produce excellent reports sometimes found on the Department of Homeland Security web site which is difficult to navigate. This link list most reports from before 2005. Later reports are not provided. Try searching for older reports using advanced search entering the country name and limiting to resources. Their collection includes reports, periodicals and yearbooks by all of the major human rights groups; the manuals for Asylum Officers training courses; boxes on particular subjects such as "homosexuals" and "gender issues;" and very detailed country conditions information organized by country such as:
They are neutral between USCIS Counsel and applicants' representatives. Be polite with RIC staff and respect their need to do their own work even though they may be willing to answer your questions. RIC staff prefer non-adversarial questions to staff members. It is more appropriate to ask "Do you have some materials on guerrilla movements in Peru?" not "How could I argue that my client's brief participation in a guerrilla movement in Peru should not bar asylum?"