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
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.
18
September
2019
Individuals who are not entitled to stay in the European Union are typically subject to being returned to their home countries. This includes children who are not accompanied by their parents or by another primary caregiver. But returning such children, or finding another durable solution, is a delicate matter, and doing so in full compliance with fundamental rights protections can be difficult. This focus paper therefore aims to help national authorities involved in return-related tasks, including child-protection services, to ensure full rights compliance.
12
September
2019
FRA’s second EU Minorities and Discrimination survey (EU-MIDIS II) collected information from over 25,000 respondents with different ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds across all 28 EU Member States. The main findings from the survey, published in 2017, pointed to a number of differences in the way women and men with immigrant backgrounds across the European Union (EU) experience how their rights are respected. This report summarises some of the most relevant survey findings in this regard, which show the need for targeted, gender-sensitive measures that promote the integration of – specifically – women who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants.
Periodic updates / Series
29
July
2019
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on migration since September 2015. This report focuses on the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States and EU candidate countries particularly affected by migration movements. It addresses fundamental rights concerns between 1 April and 30 June 2019.
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.
27
June
2019
The EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC) in Article 8 (6) introduced an important fundamental rights safeguard for third-country nationals ordered to leave the EU because they do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and/or stay. According to the directive, Member States must provide for an effective forced-return monitoring system.
25
June
2019
This report is the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s fourth on the topic of severe labour exploitation. Based on interviews with 237 exploited workers, it paints a bleak picture of severe exploitation and abuse. The workers include both people who came to the EU, and EU nationals who moved to another EU country. They were active in diverse sectors, and their legal status also varied.
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.
19
June
2019
In 2018, some 2,299 people are estimated to have died or gone missing at sea while crossing the sea to reach Europe to escape war or persecution or to pursue a better life. This is on average more than six people per day. Before mid-2017, a significant share of migrants in distress at sea have been rescued by civil society vessels deployed with a humanitarian mandate to reduce fatalities and bring rescued migrants to safety. In 2018, however, authorities in some Member States viewed civil society-deployed rescue vessels with hostility. As a reaction, they seized rescue vessels, arrested crew members, and initiated legal procedures against them (more than a dozen altogether). In some cases, rescue vessels were blocked in harbours due to flag issues.
13
June
2019
New language versions: FI, MT, PT, CS, LV, LT, SK, SL, SV, ET
03 November 2020
Children deprived of parental care found in another EU Member State other than their own aims to strengthen the response of all relevant actors for child protection. The protection of those girls and boys is paramount and an obligation for EU Member States, derived from the international and European legal framework. The guide includes a focus on child victims of trafficking and children at risk, implementing an action set forth in the 2017 Communication stepping up EU action against trafficking in human beings, and takes into account identified patterns, including with respect to the gender specificity of the crime.
6
June
2019
How much progress can we expect in a decade? Various rights-related instruments had been in place for 10 years in 2018, prompting both sobering and encouraging reflection on this question.
6
June
2019
The year 2018 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019 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.
Periodic updates / Series
16
May
2019
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on migration since
September 2015. This report focuses on the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in
Member States and EU candidate countries particularly affected by migration movements.
It addresses fundamental rights concerns between 1 January and 31 March 2019.
27
March
2019
This report looks into the fundamental rights situation of asylum applicants and beneficiaries of international protection in the EU throughout 2018. It pulls together the main issues identified in FRA’s regular updates on fundamental rights related to asylum, migration and borders in selected EU Member States, which the agency has been publishing since September 2015.
11
March
2019
In November 2016, FRA formulated 21 individual opinions to address the fundamental rights shortcomings identified in the implementation of the hotspot approach in Greece and Italy. Despite genuine efforts to improve the situation since November 2016, many of the suggestions contained in the 21 opinions FRA formulated at the time remain valid.
Periodic updates / Series
18
February
2019
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on migration since
September 2015. This report focuses on the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in
Member States and EU candidate countries particularly affected by large migration movements.
17
January
2019
This Opinion by FRA aims to inform the European Parliament’s position on the legislative proposal for a recast Directive on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third country nationals (Return Directive), presented by the European Commission on 12 September 2018.
FRA took part in a panel discussion on triggering change nationally towards respect for the human rights of migrants at borders through the work of NHRIs and other human rights defenders.
On 20 May, FRA attended the third online meeting of the EU Migration Preparedness and Crisis Management Mechanism (Blueprint) Network.
FRA spoke to eu-LISA staff about the fundamental rights implications of the European Travel and Authorisation System. It drew on its Opinion on the fundamental rights impact of ETIAS and its research into large-scale EU IT migration systems. FRA rose awareness of the possible fundamental rights risks that can emerge if safeguards are not duly implemented.
On 18 May, FRA participated in the online meeting of the network of EU Agencies’ contact points on human trafficking.
The EU law enforcement training agency (CEPOL) gathered experts from EU Agencies and Member States to identify and discuss future training needs on information exchange and interoperability of EU IT systems.
On 27 April, FRA attended the high-level forum on the implementation of the architecture for the EU information systems for borders, migration and security.
FRA took part in the online expert meeting of the Frontex Technology Foresight on Biometrics for the future of Travel group.
This week, Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), visited the reception facilities on the island of Samos in Greece.
FRA delivered online training on 30 March on the fundamental rights considerations of returning unaccompanied children. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) organised the webinar.
The Consultative Forum of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) issued its fundamental rights considerations to the Frontex Management Board Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations in the Aegean Sea.
On 12 March, FRA participated in an online roundtable organised by regional authorities in Catalonia responsible for the protection of unaccompanied children. Several NGOs, medical associations, trade unions and child protection authorities of different cities participated.
On 10 March, the European Migration network launched its report on the state of implementation in 2019 of the EU’s Communication on protecting migrant children.
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies a number of persistent and emerging fundamental rights concerns in its latest migration bulletin.
FRA presented areas where EU funding could help address fundamental rights challenges in the field of asylum, borders and immigration. This could support Member States om their the implementation of EU law safeguards as they prepare their multiannual programmes under the new migration and security funds.
FRA carried out fundamental rights training during a webinar on interoperability of the EU large-scale IT systems.
FRA gave a presentation on good practices to protect and promote human rights during and after COVID during the EU Migration Preparedness and Crisis Management Mechanism (Blueprint) Network meeting on 4 February.
FRA took part in an expert meeting on children in migration. Member States’ authorities and EU agencies attended the 28 January event. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the state of play in the implementation of the 2017 European Commission’s Communication on protecting migrant children.
At the first meeting of the Terrorism Working Party of the Council of the European Union under Bulgarian presidency, the Agency will present its second report on ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’.
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The FRA Director will speak to the Council of the EU’s Working Party on Terrorism (International Aspects) in Brussels on 18 January, at the invitation of the Bulgarian Presidency.
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How to promote civic and political participation of migrants and their descendants in the EU will feature during a roundtable expert meeting on civic and political rights of migrants.
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The 11th European Forum on the rights of the child will be devoted to investigating the vulnerabilities of children affected by deprivation of liberty and alternatives to detention.
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The Agency will be part of a high-level panel during the European Social Network’s seminar on ‘Migrant children and young people – Social inclusion and transition to adulthood’.
The Agency will hold a fundamental rights workshop for hotspots operators in the newly established hotspot of Messina on 24 October.
On 3 October in Brussels, the Agency will take part in the 8th partnership meeting of the Platform for Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees under the Urban Agenda for the EU.
The Agency will give a presentation at the European Asylum Support Office’s Consultative Forum Regional Thematic Meeting on ‘EASO Operations: Lessons Learned’ on 29 September in Trapani, Italy.
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The Agency will join other EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies from 28 to 29 September in Lisbon in the third of their regular network meetings, currently being chaired by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
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The Agency’s Director Michael O’Flaherty will deliver a keynote address on the importance of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights during the European Law Institute’s annual conference.
The UN Special Rapporteur for international migration, Ms Louise Arbour, will meet the Agency in Vienna on 5 September.
The UN Special Rapporteur on human trafficking, especially women and children, Ms Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, will visit the Agency on 4 September.
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People from all walks of life will come together in FRA’s inclusive, innovative and forward-looking Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna from 20-23 June 2016 under the banner of Rights, Respect, Reality: the Europe of Values in Today’s World.