Asylum, migration & borders

The rights of third-country nationals entering or staying in the EU are often not respected. This is sometimes because of insufficient implementation of legislation, poor knowledge of fundamental rights, or inadequately trained civil servants, and sometimes simply due to discrimination and xenophobia.

Some 20.5 million non-EU nationals were living in the EU in 2011, which represents about 4 percent of the entire population. To compare with this figure, 250,000 to 300,000 people on average apply for asylum in the EU each year. FRA collects data and information on the implementation of these people’s rights, identifying existing gaps as well as promising practices in the Member States. It then proposes ways of addressing shortfalls on the one hand, and making wider use of good practices on the other. Until now, the agency’s work has focused on fundamental rights at borders, the rights of migrants in an irregular situation, and asylum. In 2013, FRA began research on severe forms of labour exploitation, which is often closely connected to the violation of migrants’ and asylum seekers’ rights.

The EU has a set of rules and policies that cover visa, borders and asylum, counteract irregular migration and, to a lesser extent, concern the admission and integration of migrants. In addition, most rights enshrined in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights apply to everyone, regardless of their migration status. The Charter contains the right to asylum, and prohibits collective expulsion and the removal of individuals if there is a risk to their life or of other serious harm.

Latest news View all

03/01/2017

Looking forward to 2017

This year the Agency turns 10. To mark the occasion, a series of high profile events are planned, starting with the FRA 10 year symposium in late February in Vienna. This is to publicly acknowledge and give thanks to the host country that has greatly supported the Agency over the last ten years.
22/12/2016

A year in review: the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in 2016

2016 saw Europe’s fundamental rights resolve being severely tested. Fundamental rights and freedoms were challenged in many areas, including migration and inclusion. In response, the Agency stepped up its efforts convened to provide practical support to safeguard the fundamental rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
20/12/2016

Insufficient attention paid to separated migrant children

The lack of information and specific guidance for handling migrant children who are separated from their parents but travelling with other adults hampers efforts to properly protect such children from potential exploitation and abuse. This is one of the findings from the latest summary report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on migration-related fundamental rights in selected EU Member States. It identifies what needs to be done to address the shortcomings in existing approaches and points to promising practices that could be used by other Member States.

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Status: 
Ongoing

Migration detention of children

FRA is conducting desk research on immigration detention of children – both unaccompanied and children with their parents or guardian. The research covers children in asylum or in immigration/return procedures and covers all EU Member States.

Latest publications View all

December
2016

Current migration situation in the EU: separated children - December 2016

Paper
Although official figures on the phenomenon are lacking, it is clear that children arriving in the European Union (EU) are often accompanied by persons other than their parents or guardians. Such children are usually referred to as ‘separated’ children. Their identification and registration bring additional challenges, and their protection needs are often neglected. On arrival, these children are often ‘accompanied’, but the accompanying adult(s) may not necessarily be able, or suitable, to assume responsibility for their care. These children are also at risk of exploitation and abuse, or may already be victims. Their realities and special needs require additional attention. The lack of data and guidance on separated children poses a serious challenge. This focus section outlines the specific protection needs of separated children, and highlights current responses and promising practices among EU Member States.
December
2016

Guidance on how to reduce the risk of refoulement in external border management when working in or together with third countries

Paper
EU Member States are increasingly involved in border management activities on the high seas, within – or in cooperation with – third countries, and at the EU’s borders. Such activities entail risks of violating the principle of non-refoulement, the cornerstone of the international legal regime for the protection of refugees, which prohibits returning individuals to a risk of persecution. This guidance outlines specific suggestions on how to reduce the risk of refoulement in these situations – a practical tool developed with the input of experts during a meeting held in Vienna in March of 2016.
December
2016

Scope of the principle of non-refoulement in contemporary border management: evolving areas of law

Report
EU Member States are increasingly involved in border management activities on the high seas, within – or in cooperation with – third countries, and at the EU’s borders. Such activities entail risks of violating the principle of non-refoulement, the cornerstone of the international legal regime for the protection of refugees, which prohibits returning individuals to a risk of persecution. This report aims to encourage fundamental-rights compliant approaches to border management, including by highlighting potential grey areas.