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

  • Report / Paper / Summary
    6
    July
    2023
    Following yet another recent tragic shipwreck and loss of life in the Mediterranean, this short report sets out examples of actions the EU could take to meet its obligations to protect the right to life and prevent more deaths at sea. As part of the work that the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) does on upholding fundamental rights in asylum and return procedures, this report calls for better protection for shipwreck survivors, and prompt and independent investigations. It sets out measures that EU Member States should take to improve search and rescue efforts and provide legal pathways to safety to prevent deaths at sea.
  • Fundamental Rights Report
    8
    June
    2023
    Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine has resulted in massive internal and external population displacement. The European Union (EU) rapidly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for the first time since it was adopted in 2001. This entitled nearly 4 million people to legal residence and access to work, housing and legal assistance, education and healthcare.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    28
    February
    2023
    Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine triggered scenes not seen in Europe for decades. It has since caused death, immense destruction, and unspeakable suffering. It also set in motion a mass movement of people not seen since World War II. To protect them, the EU activated the Temporary Protection Directive for the first time. In doing so, all EU Member States must offer protection to those displaced from Ukraine.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    2
    February
    2023
    Many cities throughout the European Union hosted people fleeing Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU currently faces the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. Since February 2022, over seven million people came to the EU. The arrival of such large numbers of people thrust cities and local governments to the forefront of the EU and its Member States’ relief work. This short publication provides a snapshot of cities’ initiatives to address this humanitarian crisis.
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
German version now available
19 January 2024
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.
This infographic illustrates the main experiences immigrants and ethnic minorities across the EU have when it comes to discrimination. It draws from the findings from FRA's EU-MIDIS II survey.
This infographic illustrates the main experiences immigrants and ethnic minorities across the EU have when it comes to victimisation. It draws from the findings from FRA's EU-MIDIS II survey.
This infographic illustrates the main experiences immigrants and ethnic minorities across the EU have when it comes to inclusion. It draws from the findings from FRA's EU-MIDIS II survey.
The Agency, in close cooperation with the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council, held a high-level symposium where the fundamental rights issues that are currently high on the EU’s political agenda were discussed.
Listen to what children say about the situation of people, particularly children, residing in the European Union, who needed to flee from their home country or left their country of birth for any other reason and what they suggest to implement change.
Miltos Pavlou, Senior Programme Manager at the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, talks about the participation of migrants and their descendants in the EU.
This infographic illustrates some of the main issues when it comes to integrating migrants and their descendants in the EU.
The Agency’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, took part in a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 9 February.
The Agency’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, took part in a meeting of the European Parliament Employment Committee on 8 November.
The Agency shared its view on protecting child rights in the Dublin Procedure, particularly for unaccompanied children at a hearing organised by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in Brussels on 10 October.
The Fundamental Rights Forum (FRF) is organised by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in cooperation with various partners. Refugee Protection is one of the three themes for the FRF which will take place in Vienna from 20-23 June 2016.
This infographic outlines FRA's work along a simplified version of the EU migration flow. Each item is hyperlinked so you can find out more on each topic.
This video message by UN Special Rapporteur Francois Crépeau was produced for the Fundamental Rights Conference 2014 (FRC) on Migration.
This video message by UN High Commissioner Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein was produced for the Fundamental Rights Conference 2014 (FRC) on Migration.
This video introduces the topics of the Fundamental Rights Conference 2011.
On 9 November, FRA gave a presentation on its upcoming ‘Manual for labour inspectors on the protective elements of EU law for third-country workers’.
FRA presented its project on remote biometric identification in law enforcement and the fundamental rights implications at the annual congress of the Biometrics Institute.
FRA gave a presentation on enhancing the role of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in asylum matters during the Academy of European Law’s (ERA) annual conference on European asylum and migration law.
FRA took part in two Frontex working group meetings for Member States on screening rules for ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. FRA is a member of the ETIAS Fundamental Rights Guidance Board.
The Frontex Consultative Forum meeting took place on 18 October in Warsaw.
On 5 October, FRA presented its upcoming trainers manual for labour inspectors at the Labour Migration Platform in Brussels.
The EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) held the final meetings of the working groups drafting standards and indicators on reception conditions and on asylum seekers in vulnerable situations.
Practical tools to support guardians represent unaccompanied migrant children are now available. The two new booklets from the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) aim to equip guardians with the knowledge and support they need when interacting with EU asylum and reception authorities.
Over 28,100 people have died or been lost at sea in the Mediterranean since 2014 trying to reach safety. These figures from the International Organization for Migration underline the human tragedy haunting Europe. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) tracks the ongoing struggles civil society face rescuing people in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.
FRA presented its report on how to prevent and respond to deaths at sea to the European Contact Group on Search and Rescue on 2 October.
FRA took part in the 2023 International Digital Security Forum in Vienna on 20 September.
On 2 October, FRA contributed to a CEPOL train-the-trainers event on EU Information Systems and Interoperability.
The Council of Europe held a preparatory meeting on 4 October of the Consultation Group on the Children of Ukraine.
On 29 September, FRA provided fundamental rights insights during the final conference of the SHARED project.
The scale of displacement resulting from the Russian aggression against Ukraine is immense; of the 4 million displaced people receiving temporary protection in the European Union, 1.3 million are children. The latest Ukraine bulletin from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) explores the fundamental rights impact of the war on these children, the practical challenges they face and possible ways forward in their best interests. It highlights particular instances where the needs of children are not being met and their rights not fully respected, protected or fulfilled.
FRA contributed to the training of Schengen evaluators in the field of return and management of external borders.
On 27 September, FRA took part in an international conference on migration challenges in the EU.
On 26 September, FRA attended the plenary meeting of the EU Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint.
FRA took part in the 12th meeting of the national child guarantee coordinators. The European Commission held the meeting on 21 September.
FRA attended the International Organization for Migration's International exchange on access to justice for migrant workers subject to labour exploitation.
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?
The Consultative Forum of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, will meet on 15 October. FRA currently co-chairs the forum together with UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
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FRA’s migration reporting toolkit for journalists will feature in two workshops and be discussed with media partners during the III International Congress of Migration Reporting. The workshops will present how journalists’ knowledge of fundamental rights affects migration reporting.
FRA, as co-chair of the Frontex Consultative Forum, will chair a meeting with Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer on 24 June.
The FRA Director will address the European Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 2 April.
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FRA will be a partner of the international human rights film festival, this human world, for the third year.
FRA’s Director will deliver a keynote speech during European Asylum Support Office’s Consultative Forum.
FRA’s Director will exchange views with the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in Brussels on 6 November.
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FRA has been regularly visiting Greek migration hotspots since 2016.
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On 9 and 10 October, FRA will participate in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s international conference on biometrics for borders.