Asylum

Asylum, migration and borders

The migrant crisis has triggered challenges across Europe. FRA encourages rights-compliant responses.

We provide practical expertise on this complex issue. This includes regular updates, focus papers and toolkits. We outline policy alternatives and best practices.

Highlights

  • Periodic updates / Series
    19
    May
    2022
    This bulletin looks at the fundamental rights situation of all persons fleeing the Russian war in Ukraine to the four EU Member States neighbouring Ukraine. This is primarily in terms of the application of the EU Temporary Protection Directive. It is based on findings of FRA’s field mission to Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia at the beginning of March 2022. It is also based on weekly country reports prepared by Franet, the contracted research network of FRA between 1 March and 27 April 2022.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    20
    June
    2022
    The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) regularly collects data on the operations of NGO vessels involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean. This includes any legal proceedings against them, as well as on any difficulties in disembarking migrants in safe ports. The International Organization for Migration estimates that from January to 15 June 2022 about 842 people died or went missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe to escape war or persecution, or to pursue a better life. This is an average of five people per day.
  • Handbook / Guide / Manual
    17
    December
    2020
    The European Convention on Human Rights and European Union law provide an increasingly important framework for the protection of the rights of foreigners. European Union legislation relating to asylum, borders and immigration is developing fast. There is an impressive body of case law by the European Court of Human Rights relating in particular to Articles 3, 5, 8 and 13 of the ECHR. The Court of Justice of the European Union is increasingly asked to pronounce on the interpretation of European Union law provisions in this field. The third edition of this handbook, updated up to July 2020, presents this European Union legislation and the body of case law by the two European courts in an accessible way.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    27
    March
    2020
    Council of Europe (CoE) and European Union (EU) Member States have an undeniable sovereign right to control the entry of non-nationals into their territory. While exercising border control, states have a duty to protect the fundamental rights of all people under their jurisdiction, regardless of their nationality and/or legal status. Under EU law, this includes providing access to asylum procedures.
Products
24
November
2022
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) joined forces to create this tool focusing on temporary protection for unaccompanied children fleeing Ukraine.
11
November
2022
Europe stands at a delicate moment in its history. It is a moment of existential significance for the wellbeing and sustainability of our societies. It is emerging from the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease, only to face a set of major overlapping challenges. These pose profound questions about the political, economic and societal future of the continent. To discuss elements of a human rights vision for the future and to identify opportunities for action, FRA brought together a group of sixty human rights leaders and experts with diverse backgrounds
from across the continent. This report distils the meeting discussions, including analysis and ideas, and concludes with proposals for action. It does not represent the views either of individual participants or of FRA.
31
October
2022
The table below gives an overview of certain key aspects in national legislation implementing the EU Temporary Protection Directive.
21
October
2022
The Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered solidarity from EU governments, local authorities and society as they welcomed more than 7 million people fleeing the aggression. The European Union’s rapid response, activating the EU Temporary Protection Directive, offered welcome relief and much-needed support to those in need. It allowed displaced persons the opportunity to quickly settle and to work, travel and access services across the EU. But other pressing human rights issues have come to the fore and remain high on the EU’s agenda, such as human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, hate crime and hate-fuelled disinformation.
14
October
2022
Fundamental rights monitoring at EU external borders should be systematically and regularly carried out for a range of border management activities. These include border surveillance, apprehensions at land, sea and air borders, and the operation of referral mechanisms, including in the event of mass arrivals. This general guidance provides assistance to EU Member States in setting up national independent mechanisms to monitor fundamental rights compliance at EU external borders, in line with the proposed screening regulation of 23 September 2020 by the European Commission. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights prepared this guidance at the request of the Commission.
16
September
2022
Europe stands at a delicate moment in its history, facing a convergence of major tests. Each of them taken on their own is significant. Together, they pose profound questions about the political, economic, and societal future of the continent. This is a moment for strong commitment to put human rights at the heart of our vision for Europe’s future. It is also time to demonstrate our determination to work together to this end. Against this backdrop, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) brought together around sixty human rights leaders and experts from across the continent to discuss elements of a human rights vision for the future and to identify opportunities for action. A full conference report will be available soon, including the specific ideas and proposals which arose from the meeting. Meanwhile, this is a summary of the conclusions.
9
September
2022
Since 2014, FRA has been publishing an annual update of the forced return monitoring systems EU Member States have set up under Article 8 (6) of the EU’s Return Directive (2008/115/EC). This overview describes different indicators for an effective forced return monitoring system. It includes the organisation responsible for monitoring forced return, the number of operations monitored in 2021, the phases of monitored return operations, the number of staff trained and working as monitors, and whether the monitoring body issued public reports about their monitoring.
On 23 August, FRA will begin collecting the views and experiences of people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
As the Russian war of agresssion continues in Ukraine, EU countries are welcoming and supporting unprecedented numbers of people fleeing the war to seek safety in the EU. This has serious implications for many fundamental rights within the EU. FRA is looking at current and potential fundamental rights challenges. It seeks to assist the EU and its Member States find sustainable solutions. Below you can find some of the work being carried out.
3
August
2022
The information provided gives an overview of selected aspects in national legislation implementing the EU Temporary Protection Directive.
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. He argues that it is only if we all work together, with human rights as our roadmap, that we can make our way towards a peaceful future.
20
June
2022
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) regularly collects data on the operations of NGO vessels involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean. This includes any legal proceedings against them, as well as on any difficulties in disembarking migrants in safe ports. The International Organization for Migration estimates that from January to 15 June 2022 about 842 people died or went missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe to escape war or persecution, or to pursue a better life. This is an average of five people per day.
8
June
2022
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field in 2021, identifying both achievements and areas of concern. It also presents FRA’s opinions on these developments, including a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
8
June
2022
This focus looks at the impact of the pandemic on social rights. It examines the measures in national recovery and resilience plans that address the social vulnerabilities among a variety of population groups in the EU, including women, children and young people in situations of vulnerability, people with disabilities, older people, Roma and people in precarious working conditions.
8
June
2022
All language versions now available
14 September 2022
The year 2021 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered, and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions.
While many volunteers, organisations and EU countries provide help to the many children fleeing Ukraine, challenges and concerns need to be addressed: such as registration and interpretation, guardianship for unaccompanied children, access to education and childcare.
19
May
2022
This bulletin looks at the fundamental rights situation of all persons fleeing the Russian war in Ukraine to the four EU Member States neighbouring Ukraine. This is primarily in terms of the application of the EU Temporary Protection Directive. It is based on findings of FRA’s field mission to Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia at the beginning of March 2022. It is also based on weekly country reports prepared by Franet, the contracted research network of FRA between 1 March and 27 April 2022.
7
April
2022
Printed copies now available for order
13 April 2022
Children are full-fledged holders of rights. They are beneficiaries of all human and fundamental rights and subjects of special regulations, given their specific characteristics. This handbook aims to illustrate how European law and case law accommodate the specific interests and needs of children. It also considers the importance of parents and guardians or other legal representatives and makes reference, where appropriate, to situations in which rights and responsibilities are most prominently vested in children’s carers. It is a point of reference on both European Union (EU) and Council of Europe (CoE) law related to these subjects, explaining how each issue is regulated under EU law, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as under the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter and other CoE instruments.
Overwhelming support for the many people fleeing Ukraine. Volunteers, organisations and EU countries provide support and help at the EU borders.
FRA looked at the challenging situation and identified fundamental rights risks, such as discrimination.
Report / Paper / Summary
23
March
2022
The EU is facing a large-scale humanitarian crisis. Over 10 days at the beginning of March, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) visited all EU countries bordering Ukraine and Moldova – Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
In this vlog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty talks about the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine. He argues that it is only if we all work together, with human rights as our roadmap, that we can make our way towards a peaceful future.
While many volunteers, organisations and EU countries provide help to the many children fleeing Ukraine, challenges and concerns need to be addressed: such as registration and interpretation, guardianship for unaccompanied children, access to education and childcare.
Overwhelming support for the many people fleeing Ukraine. Volunteers, organisations and EU countries provide support and help at the EU borders.
FRA looked at the challenging situation and identified fundamental rights risks, such as discrimination.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty visited the island of Samos, Greece, in April 2021 to get a sense of the reception facilities there. In this video, he acknowledges the efforts being made to improve facilities. He offers the Agency’s continued commitment to support these supports. As an example, he refers to FRA’s guidance on respecting fundamental rights at such facilities that could benefit both migrants and locals.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty, in his latest vlog, reflects on the migration situation at the EU’s external borders. He highlights the need for sustained joined-up efforts from all relevant bodies, including civil society, to protect the wellbeing and human rights of migrants. He underlines the importance of working with local communities as we receive migrants into our communities. He also points to room for improvement is our treatment of unaccompanied children.
FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty visited the Canary Islands in March 2021 to get a sense of the migration situation there. He highlights the need to support the Canary Islands in relocating unaccompanied children and providing clear procedures on asylum applications.
This video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded on 15 October 2020 at the Moria migration facility that was destroyed by fire in September 2020.
This video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded on 14 October 2020 at the temporary facility at Mavrovouni. This temporary camp was built to re-house people after the fire at the Moria migration facility on the island of Lesbos, in Greece.
Based on the lessons learned from relocation
experiences and on existing international and EU legal
standards, FRA has developed a number of practical
suggestions for the adjustment of relocation efforts to
the protection needs of unaccompanied children. This
guidance aims to be a practical tool for Member States
that wish to engage in the relocation of unaccompanied
children and in any future responsibility-sharing
mechanisms, and to gain knowledge on how this can
be done while respecting the child’s best interests.
Greece needs solid, sustained support and solidarity as it faces great migration challenges, says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty after 2 days of meetings in Athens with authorities.
In this edition Michael O'Flaherty reports back from his visit to the asylum seeker facility in Lesbos and calls for the support of all EU Member States to improve in particular the situation of unaccompanied children.
In the latest edition of his video blog, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty focuses on the migration situation in the Mediterranean Sea and makes three proposals.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: Not all children benefit equally from efforts to guarantee child rights.
Some groups face particular difficulties.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: Although migrant arrivals to the EU continue to drop, it remains a divisive issue politically and
across society. Nearly 4 in 10 Europeans think immigration is more of a problem than a solution.
And nearly a half overestimate the number of irregular migrants in their country.
Black people in the EU face unacceptable difficulties in getting a decent job because of their skin colour. Racist harassment also remains all too common.
This infographic illustrates the positive and negative impact on fundamental rights of using large-scale IT systems for security and border management.
For the past two years, FRA has been visiting reception centres for migrants across the EU.
On 30 November, FRA presented key findings from its research on the fundamental rights of long-term residents in the EU.
FRA and the Consultative Forum attended the Frontex Management Board meeting.
FRA compiled an overview of key aspects of national laws implementing the EU Temporary Protection Directive in nine EU Member States
The first meeting of the ETIAS Fundamental Rights Guidance Board took place on 14 November.
The first meeting of the Consultative Forum of the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) took place in Malta on 10 November.
FRA presented and discussed its second bulletin on the fundamental rights impact of the Russian aggression against Ukraine at the Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens' Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP).
On 27 October, FRA took part in a meeting of the European Migration Network (EMN) Steering Board.
FRA attended the launch conference of the European Network on Statelessness’ Stateless Journeys campaign.
FRA was a panellist in back-to-back workshops at this year’s advanced course on international protection in Europe.
FRA contributed to the plenary meeting of the European Platform tackling undeclared work.
FRA co-chaired the Frontex Consultative Forum meeting together with the UN Refugee Agency.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered solidarity from EU governments, local authorities and society as they welcomed more than 7 million people fleeing the aggression. With fundamental rights ensured by law, practical challenges remain. The latest Ukraine bulletin from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) explores the broad fundamental rights implications of the war within the EU, and its consequences for every single EU Member State.
On 13 October, FRA spoke about the Temporary Protection Directive during a conference in Cyprus organised by the European Migration Network (EMN).
An integral part of managing the EU’s external borders is respect for people’s fundamental rights. A new guidance from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) suggests how EU countries should set up independent national schemes to monitor fundamental rights compliance at the EU’s external borders.
FRA presented its forthcoming guidance on setting up national independent border monitoring mechanisms at the 2022 European Conference of National Preventive Mechanisms.
On 19 September, FRA took part in an online meeting organised by PICUM.
FRA gave training on fundamental rights issues in Schengen evaluations from 26 to 27 September.
FRA provided fundamental rights training for ETIAS national units in Warsaw.
On 20 September, FRA gave a presentation on fundamental rights for Europol’s guest officers who will be deployed in Greece and Cyprus.
On 17 November, FRA and the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX) will hold its annual dialogue in the European Committee of the Regions.
On 25 October, FRA will join discussions on the 100th Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint report on the current situation at the EU borders with Ukraine.
FRA will join the annual general meeting of the European General Council of Refugees and Exiles. It will be part of a workshop on the role of EU agencies in supporting access to asylum.
FRA Director will speak to the European Parliament about migration and migrant rights on 16 March.
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FRA will give training to the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) on 9 March and to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) on 14 March.
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From 20-24 February, FRA will take part in “The week of neighbours” summit.
On 9 February, FRA will give a virtual presentation to the students of the master course Intercultural communication and European studies at Germany’s Fulda University of Applied Sciences.
On 18 January, FRA will speak about the fundamental rights implications of the large-scale EU IT systems used in migration.
The Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights meeting will take place on 20 October.
FRA will present its study on role of the Employers Sanctions Directive on protecting irregular migrants from labour exploitation to the European Parliament.
The European Guardianship Network will discuss on 22 June the training materials for guardians that FRA and its contractor Defence for Children International Italy are developing. The draft manual targets trainers of guardians. The content covers ten modules.
FRA will speak to law enforcement officers about data quality in EU migration and security IT systems.
The next Frontex Consultative Forum meeting takes place on 3 February.
FRA will present its report on fundamental rights issues at EU land borders to the Schengen Scrutiny Group of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
The FRA Director will address the situation of unaccompanied migrant children during a European Parliament seminar.
FRA and the European Court of Human Rights will launch the 2020 edition of the FRA and Council of Europe handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration. This online book launch will take place on 17 December. It is being organised in collaboration with the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).
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This year, FRA again teams up with the This human world international human rights film festival.
The third Euro-Mediterranean Communicators´ workshop will tackle the question what is next for the migration narrative in the Euro-Mediterranean region?