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Detention of third country nationals in return procedures

The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) examined law and practice in the EU 27 on the deprivation of liberty of irregular migrants pending their removal against the applicable international human rights law framework.

The project also identified good practices at the national level, which could guide discussions on how to improve the directive. The report was intended to inform national debates on how to implement the Return Directive and to offer perspectives and opinions of the Agency of how the directive needs to be improved/ amended from a fundamental rights perspective.

Details - What did the project involve?

This project was implemented through FRALEX, the legal experts group of the FRA. FRALEX national teams produced country reports based on a detailed questionnaire developed by the Agency. The comparative reports were produced in-house by staff of the Agency based on these country reports.

The project focused on the following topics: detention of irregular immigrants in the EU in order to secure return (law, practice and available statistics); detention of irregular immigrant children together with their parents or on their own (law, practice and available statistics); detention conditions for irregular immigrants and how these conditions compare to detention of convicted criminals (law and practice); average and maximum duration of detention and relevant legal and procedural safeguards; effective remedies for irregular immigrants; treatment of irregular immigrants in transit zones; treatment of irregular immigrants intercepted at the border; entry-bans; treatment of irregular immigrants when return is not possible.

Innovation - What's 'new' about the project?

This was be the Agency's first report on this topic.

Outputs - What did the project deliver?

The research part of this project has now been completed and the outputs are shown in the publications tab.

FRA Programme: WP 2009, ref: 2.1.2

Related Information

The background of this project is the Return Directive, which was adopted after a heated debate in December 2008. This directive met widespread criticism by civil society, but also at international level.

This project page was last updated on 28.11.2013