Respect fundamental rights when apprehending migrants in an irregular situation

The case of 15-year-old Leonarda Dibrani, who was ordered off a school bus in France on 9 October and escorted by police officers to join her family, which was being put on a flight to Kosovo later that day, has attracted a great deal of attention. An investigation report by the French government concluded that although the girl, whose parents are from Kosovo, was legally deported, the operation could have been conducted with more sensitivity.

FRA has compiled a document providing practical guidance on the fundamental rights considerations of apprehending migrants in an irregular situation. It makes suggestions about what law enforcement officials should do and what they should avoid when enforcing immigration law. The guidance was drawn from input FRA collected in its research into the rights of irregular migrants. This research revealed that certain detection practices may disproportionately discourage irregular migrants from accessing essential services, such as health, education and legal services. This led FRA to compile this practical guidance to support Member States in carrying out apprehension practices that still respect the right to education and health, freedom of religion, the right to birth registrations, and access to justice.