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
1
March
2023
This manual is designed to help institutions, organisations and individuals to train guardians of unaccompanied children or to deliver ‘train-the-trainers’ courses. It can be used in a range of training contexts, such as professional and academic training, on-the-job training and continuing training. The manual is based on human and fundamental rights principles and ethical standards and recognises that the child and the guardian have their own personal stories, resources and capacities. It enhances guardians’ confidence to promote the child’s rights and best interests. It also enhances their confidence to act independently and impartially in relation to different state
officials, service providers and other community members.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FRA presented the Agency’s perspective during an expert roundtable on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s (Frontex) legal and non-judicial accountability in light of recent case law of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU).
The Greek Ombudsman and FRA held an expert workshop for staff of the Cypriot and Greek ombuds bodies who work as forced return monitors
On 23 January, FRA and the Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights attended the Frontex Management Board meeting. They addressed the protection of fundamental rights in Frontex operations.
The Council of Europe’s Special Representative on migration and refugees hosted a visit from FRA and the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).
On 11 January, FRA held the inception meeting for a new project on the Entry/Exit System (EES) with partners from its research network, FRANET.
On 18 December 2023, FRA presented its report on human rights defenders to the Visa Committee which brings together all EU Member States.
A new joint publication from the Council of Europe and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines the relevant human rights standards at Europe’s borders that apply to children.
On 6-8 December 2023, the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum in collaboration with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the EU Asylum Agency (EUAA) provided a training of trainers on guardianship for unaccompanied children.
On 8 December, FRA contributed to discussion on human rights compliant asylum procedures in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons. FRA reported about obstacles in accessing asylum procedures at EU’s external borders as described in its report Asylum and migration:
Longer-term plans, better information and administrative flexibility would support local authorities providing people who fled the war in Ukraine improved access to housing, education, jobs and healthcare in the EU, finds an EU Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) report. It examines how authorities responded to the first-ever activation of the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive. It identifies good practices and suggests how authorities can tackle the many shared challenges they face.
FRA took part in the first meeting of the Council of Europe consultation group focusing on children from Ukraine. The meeting focused on applicable law, guardianship, reception and mental health programmes.
On 5 December, FRA presented key developments in terms of fundamental rights for asylum seekers and migrants during the plenary meeting of the EU Migration Preparedness and Crisis Blueprint.
FRA contributed to a Spanish Presidency European Migration Network event on ‘Shaping the future of EU legal migration’. Participants discussed tools and challenges of labour migration policies as well as complementary pathways linked to work for people in need of international protection.
On 22 November, FRA gave a presentation online on guardianship for unaccompanied children. The presentation was part of a seminar organised by the European Committee of the Regions and UNICEF to celebrate World Children’s Day.
Every year, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) updates its overview of national forced return monitoring systems across the EU. The overview for 2022 is now available.
On 14 November, the Advisory Board of the Independent Monitoring Mechanism of Croatia met in Zagreb. They discussed progress in implementing the activities agreed for 2023.
On 16 November, FRA took part in a seminar on information provision during the Justice and Home Affairs Agencies network meeting. The seminar covered information provision in different migratory contexts.
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 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.