The Agency’s latest summary identifies pressing fundamental rights issues that need addressing in various EU Member States. Some of the main findings include:
- Children in immigration detention have no access to any form of education in nine out of the 14 Member States covered by this report. This is mainly because Member States expect short detention periods, which may also be shorter than needed to perform the administrative and medical checks for schooling. In the other countries informal education is offered. Education, independent of the time spent in detention, is only on offer in three Member States.
- Very few Member States specifically address the educational needs of those who have been unable to attend school regularly before arriving. As a result they may also lag behind students of a similar age. This is particularly a problem in many Member States when it comes to educating children who are above the compulsory school age without the necessary skills.
- Traumatised children often have difficulties integrating due to behavioural issues or because they are withdrawn. In four Member States, there is some form of psychological support but it does not specifically target refugee children. Teachers receive support through training or guidance in dealing with traumatised children in only three Member States.
- Early childhood education can help students learn better and prevent them from leaving school early. However, long waiting periods, language barriers, long distances, insufficient guidance to families, lack of information, low allowances for asylum applicants to cover expenses, and the treatment and integration of traumatised children are all factors limiting access to early childhood education. For example, over 40% of Dutch municipalities with reception centres have no childcare facilities at these centres.
- In four Member States, asylum seekers and refugees have no access to formal schooling in some parts or regions of the country. Although almost all Member States have special support classes to help children follow or join regular schools, in five they spend up to two years in separate preparatory classes outside schools until they can attend public schools.
- Once enrolled in school, migrant children generally benefit from the same services as national children. In some Member States they are also eligible for additional support such as language courses or allowances for buying school supplies.
- Problems recognising non-EU diplomas hinder access to third-level education and employment in many Member States.
- Most Member States increased their budgets and staffing for education following the 2015/2016 migration crisis. For example, in Austria staffing for basic care has quadrupled since the large-scale increase in migration.
The European Commission asked the Agency to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The reports cover 14 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
FRA has published overviews since September 2015. The next focus will be on policing.