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

  • 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.
  • Page
    ‘Hotspots’ are facilities set up at the EU’s external border in Greece and Italy for the initial reception, identification and registration of asylum seekers and other migrants coming to the EU by sea. They also serve to channel newly-arrived people into international protection, return or other procedures.
  • Periodic updates / Series
    18
    February
    2013
    Based on its findings and research FRA provides practical guidance to support the implementation of fundamental rights in the EU Member States. This series contains practical guidance on:
    Initial-reception facilities at
    external borders; Apprehension of migrants in an irregular situation; Guidance on how to reduce the risk of refoulement in external border management when working in or together with third countries; Fundamental rights implications of the obligation to provide fingerprints for Eurodac; Twelve operational fundamental rights considerations for law enforcement when processing Passenger Name Record (PNR) data and Border controls and fundamental rights at external land borders.
Products
Periodic updates / Series
18
February
2013
Based on its findings and research FRA provides practical guidance to support the implementation of fundamental rights in the EU Member States. This series contains practical guidance on:
Initial-reception facilities at
external borders; Apprehension of migrants in an irregular situation; Guidance on how to reduce the risk of refoulement in external border management when working in or together with third countries; Fundamental rights implications of the obligation to provide fingerprints for Eurodac; Twelve operational fundamental rights considerations for law enforcement when processing Passenger Name Record (PNR) data and Border controls and fundamental rights at external land borders.
20
November
2019
French and German versions now available
21 April 2020
Child rights come first. Measures to ensure child protection and participation apply to all children in the EU. This brochure guides you to relevant FRA reports and tools that can support you when promoting and protecting the rights of all children in the EU.
4
November
2019
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 2019.
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.
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.
National Contact Points under the European Migration Network (EMN) met on 22 January. The aim of the meeting was to update national contact points, EASO, the European Commission and its Joint Research Centre, and FRA about each other’s activities.
FRA outlined fundamental rights safeguards in the Entry-Exit system during a training course on 2 and 3 February. FRA rose awareness on the potential risks for fundamental rights, that can emerge if safeguards are not duly implemented, drawing on its relevant work.
A Spanish version of the asylum and migration legal handbook is now available.
FRA held an online inception meeting of a new project looking into the fundamental rights situation of third-country nationals who are long-term residents in the EU. The meeting on will gather partners from FRA’s research network from nine EU Member States – Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – covered by the research.
FRA published a brief note on the migration law implications of the new EU-UK arrangements.
In December 2020, FRA was an observer to the Schengen return and readmission evaluations of Cyprus. It joined a team of evaluators from the European Commission and EU Member States. This was the fourth such FRA observer visit to Member States in 2020.
On average three people a day died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2020, estimates the International Organization for Migration. On International Migrants Day on 18 December, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights outlines the difficulties that civil society rescue efforts in the Mediterranean continue to face.
The coronavirus pandemic tearing through society exposes the vulnerability migrants often face. On International Migrants Day on 18 December, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights calls on the EU and its Member States, when addressing the societal impact, to leave no one behind by also supporting migrants.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the European Court of Human Rights issue the third edition of their widely-used practical handbook on European migration and asylum law.
On 4 December, at the Annual Dialogue with the European Committee of the Regions in the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs, FRA presented the findings from its report on the integration of young refugees.
A workshop on 3 December looked at how to ensure the best interests of the child when monitoring forced returns that involve children. The International Centre for Migration Policy Development, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and FRA jointly organised the online workshop. It was attended by 50 people from 21 different Member States.
Today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a report on fundamental rights issues at external land borders. The report looks at the main challenges of border management and puts forward proposals for actions to improve the current situation. The European Parliament requested FRA to prepare this report in January 2020. With the Coronavirus pandemic, the report could only be issued now.
The European Commission’s new Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2027 acknowledges FRA’s key role in monitoring the effectiveness of EU integration and inclusion policies.
National Contact Points from the European Migration Network (EMN) met online from 12 to 13 November. These monthly meetings aim to update contact points as well as the European Commission and its Joint Research Centre, the European Asylum Support Office, the European Parliament and FRA about each other’s activities.
FRA, as co-chair of the Frontex Consultative Forum, presented the Forum’s Annual Report to the European Parliament’s Schengen Working Group.
On 5 September, the Agency will take part in the 28th Economic Forum in Krynica-Zdrój, Poland, a high-level economic event organised by the Polish Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies and the Economic Forum Program Council.
A delegation from the Swedish Parliament’s EU Committee secretariat visits the Agency on 3 September.
-
The Agency will participate in the High-Level Political Forum 2018 on Sustainable Development "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies" organised by the United Nations in New York from 12 to 17 July 2018.
-
From 11 to 13 July, the Agency will take part in the 4th Euroscience Open Forum “Sharing Science: Towards new horizons” (ESOF 2018) in Toulouse, which will bring together over 4.000 researchers, educators, business actors, policy makers and journalists to discuss newest scientific developments.
-
Representatives of the Agency have been invited by the Austrian Presidency of the Council to attend the informal meeting of the EU Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI).
The Agency will take part in the second migration and child rights expert meeting in Brussels on 1 June that looks at protecting children in migration.
-
The FRA Director will address the European University Institute’s renowned State of the Union conference.
The Agency will present its findings and suggestions on civil society space at a OSCE side event to the 18th ‘Alliance against Trafficking in Persons’ conference on 24 April in Vienna
-
The Agency will take part in the 11th Europe-Ukraine Forum in Rzeszów, Poland, from 13-14 March 2018.
-
The Agency will speak at a conference on how framing messages on migration are key to today’s policy and public discourse.
-
The Agency will present survey findings on discrimination in education during the OECD’s policy forum on the integration of migrants and refugees in education.
-
The Agency will present its second EU Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS II) at the International Migration Statistics Forum.
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’.
-
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.
-
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.
-
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.
-
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.