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
4
March
2022
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on asylum and 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. It addresses fundamental rights concerns between 1 October and 31 December 2021.
15
February
2022
In 2015 and 2016, the numbers of unaccompanied children arriving in Europe increased dramatically, straining national guardianship systems. This report looks at how EU Member States, as well as North Macedonia and Serbia, have adapted their guardianship systems for unaccompanied children since that time.
17
December
2021
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) regularly collects data on NGO vessels involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean. This includes any legal proceedings against them, as well as any difficulties disembarking migrants in safe ports. The International Organization for Migration estimates that from January to 10 December 2021 about 1,654 people have died or gone 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 more than four people per day. Deadly incidents have also occurred recently in the Channel (La Manche).
17
December
2021
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on asylum and 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. It addresses fundamental rights concerns between 1 July and 30 September 2021.
13
December
2021
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. 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 2020, 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.
9
December
2021
This report sheds light on the realities faced by unaccompanied migrant children who are not in the care of child protection systems in the EU. Presented as a case study, it tells the story of children and young adults from Pakistan who travelled alone to the EU without their parents or other adults.
4
November
2021
This report outlines to what extent legal aid is available to those held in pre-removal detention in the 27 EU Member States, and in North Macedonia and Serbia, during procedures related to their return. These involve decisions on return, on detention pending removal, the removal itself and on bans on entry. The report also examines when people are entitled to free legal aid and how this aid is funded, as well as who provides representation and various factors that limit the scope of legal aid.
24
September
2021
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on asylum and 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. It addresses fundamental rights concerns between 1 January and 30 June 2021.
9
July
2021
This note sets out human rights standards stemming from both the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union (EU) law that apply to effective remedies for human rights violations at borders, together with those on complaints mechanisms and investigations into complaints of rights violations at borders.
24
June
2021
The Employers Sanctions Directive was primarily enacted to dissuade employers from recruiting migrants in an irregular situation, but it also contains provisions to protect workers. It facilitates access to justice for exploited workers and sets out workers’ rights to claim back payment of outstanding wages. The directive also contains provisions to enhance the effectiveness of labour inspections. This report describes how the 25 Member States bound by the directive have been implementing its protective provisions, focusing on the impact these provisions have on migrant workers in an irregular situation who are victims of exploitation and other labour
law violations.
18
June
2021
The International Organization for Migration estimates that about 813 people died or went missing crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe to escape war, persecution or to pursue a better life in 2021, up to 15 June. This is an average of almost five people per day. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) collects data on NGO ships involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean, legal proceedings against them, as well as difficulties in disembarking migrants in safe ports.
10
June
2021
The year 2020 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 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.
10
June
2021
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 reviews major developments in the field in 2020, 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. This year’s focus chapter explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fundamental rights. The remaining chapters cover: the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; Roma equality and inclusion; asylum, borders and migration; information society, privacy and data protection; rights of the child; access to justice; and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
10
June
2021
This focus looks at COVID-19’s impact on fundamental rights. It underscores that a human rights-based approach to tackling the pandemic requires balanced measures that are based on law, necessary, temporary and proportional. It also requires addressing the pandemic’s socio-economic impact, protecting the vulnerable and fighting racism.
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.
26
March
2021
This note outlines how to help ensure a dignified stay for third-country nationals who are apprehended or intercepted at external borders. Specifically, FRA identifies twelve points for protection-sensitive and fundamental rights-compliant planning and design of initial-reception facilities at such borders. These are based on the agency’s work at external borders, including data collection and research activities.
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.
25
February
2021
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been regularly collecting data on asylum and 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. It addresses fundamental rights concerns between 1 October and 31 December 2020.
18
December
2020
In 2020 (until 15 December), the International Organization for Migration estimated that about 1,054 people have died or gone 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 almost three people per day. In the past years, a significant number 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. Since 2018, however, national authorities initiated some 50 administrative and criminal proceedings against crew members or vessels, also seizing the latter. In some cases, rescue vessels were blocked in harbours due to flag issues or the inability to meet maritime safety-related and other technical requirements.
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 20 September, FRA gave a presentation on fundamental rights for Europol’s guest officers who will be deployed in Greece and Cyprus.
Each year, FRA provides an update of its overview of forced return monitoring systems across the EU. The 2021 overview is now online.
The European Union agencies active in the field of justice and home affairs issue a joint paper on their contribution to the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has forced millions of people to seek safety in neighbouring EU countries. How were they treated? What needs to improve? A new survey from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) seeks to find answers. The findings will guide its advice to the EU and host countries as they finetune their support.
FRA compiled an overview of key aspects of national laws implementing the EU Temporary Protection Directive in nine EU Member States.
Since January, on average five people died per day crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. On World Refugee Day 2022, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights underlines the struggles civil society continues to face rescuing people in distress in the Mediterranean Sea.
FRA’s Director attended the Frontex Management Board meeting in Paris on 7 June.
The pandemic triggered unprecedented EU financial support to counter the social impact of Covid-19. Many people in the EU, especially vulnerable people, faced reduced access to healthcare, childcare, education and the internet. This has led to excess mortality, poverty, unemployment and social exclusion. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2022 outlines the pandemic’s wide-ranging impact on social rights. It also suggests how to address increasing inequalities and threats to societal cohesion.
FRA presented observations from its first Ukraine Bulletin and missions to the EU’s external borders with Ukraine at the annual CEPS Conference.
The European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) organised a meeting to discuss the coordination and response to gender-based violence.
FRA moderated a session at a European Commission meeting on care and guardianship for unaccompanied children from Ukraine.
The EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) and FRA held an expert panel to discuss fundamental rights issues when accessing asylum procedures at the EU external borders.
The European Guardianship Network held a meeting from 17 to 18 May to discuss the response to the Ukrainian crisis, training guardians, and the network’s standards and principles.
EU countries are welcoming and supporting unprecedented numbers of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. It has serious implications for many fundamental rights within the EU and requires Member States to find sustainable solutions, as the first Ukraine bulletin from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows.
The Frontex Consultative Forum on fundamental rights took place on 12 May in Warsaw.
FRA highlighted fundamental rights safeguards in the EU’s Entry-Exit system during a training course on 26 and 28 April.
FRA took part in the conference ID@Borders & Future of Travel Conference 2022.
FRA moderated a panel discussion on 5 April at the OSCE Conference of the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons.
FRA took part in a meeting of the Advisory Board of the E-Mindful project on migration narratives.
FRA attended the online meeting of the EU Asylum Agency’s Training reference group on 29 March.
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).
-
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.
-
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.
-
FRA has been regularly visiting Greek migration hotspots since 2016.
-
On 9 and 10 October, FRA will participate in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s international conference on biometrics for borders.
-
FRA will join the third in a row of four child guarantee workshops organised by the European Commission.
FRA will host a group of young lawyers from Germany on 3 July.
As workers in the EU are still severely exploited, FRA is jointly organising a high-level conference 'From wrongs to rights - Ending severe labour exploitation' in Brussels on 25 June.
-
FRA will host trainers from the Member States and Schengen Associated Countries, the European Commission and Frontex responsible for training experts who evaluate the application of the Schengen acquis in the fields of border management, return and readmission.
Biometric data offers both opportunities and challenges with respect to fundamental rights.
-
FRA will take part in the 4th joint meeting of the informal group of experts on child rights and the informal group on the protection of children in migration.
In the framework of the Romanian EU Presidency, the agency will present its guide on children deprived of parental care found in another EU Member State other than their own at a meeting of central authorities in the European Judicial Network.
-
Upon request by the Spanish authorities, the agency, together with the European Asylum Support Office and the UN’s Refugee Agency Spain, is carrying a workshop in Seville on 13 and 14 May for staff working in the first reception centre for migrants.
-
The agency will contribute to an integration working group of the Inter-Governmental Consultation forum on migration, asylum and refugees.
On 21 March in Brussels, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will discuss several key fundamental rights issues with the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.