Hardening migration policies continues to cause concern

As some governments continue to take a hard line on migration, fundamental rights remain in jeopardy, finds the Agency’s latest report on migration-related fundamental rights concerns. It points to stricter border controls, poor reception conditions, particularly affecting women and children, as well as problems with hate crime.

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Looking at the situation across 14 EU Member States, problems remain along the EU’s external and internal borders. For example, Italy continues its policy of preventing rescue ships from docking and disembarking on its shores. Spain immediately returned some foreigners who entered the country unauthorised en masse, without allowing sufficient time for reviewing asylum claims. The border between Italy and France remains tense, and controls are getting tighter between Austria and Germany.

Restricted access to asylum remains problematic in Croatia, Greece, Hungary and Poland with incidents of pushbacks being reported by NGOs.

In the Hungarian transit zones, there were NGO reports of food being denied to rejected asylum seekers if they appealed decisions. After intervention by the European Court of Human Rights the practice was discontinued.

Reception and detention centre conditions continue to be flagged as an issue particularly in Greece at the Evros border crossing with Turkey and in the migration hotspots on the Greek islands. For example, the island of Lesvos hosted almost three times more asylum seekers than its official capacity. In Chios, there are reports of an inadequate number of showers and sanitary facilities, a lack of electricity, no access to drinking water, violence against women and a lack of medical care.

Informal camps in France continue where conditions are worsening.

Attacks on migrants persist with instances of police brutality reported in Croatia. There have been a significant number of hate crime incidents in Italy and Spain. In Poland hate crime towards refugees and asylum seekers appears to be growing. In Germany acceptance of migrants continues to fall with numerous hate crime incidents being reported.

The Agency collects data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. This report covers 14 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

FRA has published its migration overviews since September 2015.