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
27
May
2020
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. It addresses key fundamental rights concerns between 1 January and 31 March 2020.
11
May
2020
In recent years, thousands of girls and boys have reached Europe without their parents, and sought international protection. Many of them experienced violence, abuse and neglect in their home countries, and while in transit. They have the right to be protected in line with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on Human Rights, and European Union law. This report explores the challenges and good practices gathered in the implementation of such relocation programmes. Based on information FRA collected in 10 EU Member States, it aims to help national authorities to support the relocation of unaccompanied children by taking measures that are fully rights compliant and practically feasible.
Based on the lessons learned from relocation
experiences and on existing international and EU legal
standards, FRA has developed a number of practical
suggestions for the adjustment of relocation efforts to
the protection needs of unaccompanied children. This
guidance aims to be a practical tool for Member States
that wish to engage in the relocation of unaccompanied
children and in any future responsibility-sharing
mechanisms, and to gain knowledge on how this can
be done while respecting the child’s best interests.
30
March
2020
Children in migration are more vulnerable than adults, particularly when they are unaccompanied. Their vulnerability makes them more exposed to violence, exploitation and trafficking in human beings, as well as physical, psychological and sexual abuse. This report looks into challenges to the fundamental rights of children in migration throughout 2019. It pulls together the main issues identified in FRA’s Quarterly Bulletins on migration in selected EU Member States.
27
March
2020
French version now available
24 April 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.
Greece needs solid, sustained support and solidarity as it faces great migration challenges, says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty after 2 days of meetings in Athens with authorities.
17
March
2020
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) urges Member States to agree on a simple and practical workflow as soon as possible, to avoid lack of clarity and delays in the relocation process. This paper provides practical suggestions on relocation of unaccompanied children from Greece, building on lessons learned from previous mandatory and voluntary relocation schemes. The paper provides FRA input on the initiative of the European Commission and a group of Member States to relocate unaccompanied children.
February
2020
In today’s media landscape the way in which journalists and editors receive, process and publish news is constantly changing. Journalists face immense time pressure, as news frequently breaks online To facilitate training on the coverage of migration news, this Trainer’s Manual is a tool to be used together with the e-Media Toolkit.
18
February
2020
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. It addresses key fundamental rights concerns between 1 October and 31 December 2019.
16
January
2020
All language versions now available
16 December 2021
This leaflet assists officers and authorities to inform asylum applicants and migrants in an understandable and accessible way about the processing of their fingerprints in Eurodac.
19
November
2019
Over 2.5 million people applied for international protection in the 28 EU Member States in 2015 and 2016. Many of those who were granted some form of protection are young people, who are likely to stay and settle in the EU. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights interviewed some of them, as well as professionals working with them in 15 locations across six EU Member States: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden. This report presents the result of FRA’s fieldwork research, focusing on young people between the
ages of 16 and 24.
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.
FRA took part in an online roundtable exploring the EU’s response to the situation in Afghanistan and its migration-related implications.
FRA helped train eu-LISA staff on the fundamental rights implications of large-scale EU IT-systems.
Allegations for the treatment of migrants at EU borders and difficult conditions in detention and reception centres remain a persistent concern, finds the latest migration bulletin from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
FRA attended the Management Board meeting of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) on 21 September.
FRA will become a member of the Visa Information System Fundamental Rights Guidance Board.
A new joint EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and Council of Europe note outlines the human rights standards that apply at European borders.
Over 70 representatives from EU Member States, EU and UN agencies took part in a migrant children expert group meeting on 24 June.
FRA joined other EU justice and home affairs agencies in a European Commission meeting on the new 2021-2027 HOME Funds. The funds include the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund, the Border Management and Visa Instrument, and the Internal Security Fund.
Irregular migrants can fall victim to exploitative employers. The EU has rules to protect migrant workers in an irregular situation from exploitation and abuse, but gaps remain in their enforcement, finds a new report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Workers do not know their rights or how to complain, and even when they do, they may not receive compensation due. EU countries should do better to protect migrant workers’ rights under existing EU rules.
On World Refugee Day on 20 June, the Council of Europe and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) are joining forces to strengthen their cooperation on human rights protection at the European borders.
So far this year, almost five people per day on average died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, estimates the International Organization for Migration. Ahead of World Refugee Day 2021, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights points to ongoing difficulties facing civil society rescue efforts in the Mediterranean, complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in respecting the fundamental rights to health, education, employment and social protection across society. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2021 plots the pandemic’s wide-ranging impact on rights and suggests how best to address increasing inequalities and threats to societal cohesion.
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.
The agency will take part in meetings of the European Commission’s Inter-Service Group on 22 January in Brussels on the integration of third-country nationals.
The agency will take part in meetings of the European Commission’s Inter-Service Group on 22 January in Brussels on the integration of third-country nationals.
-
The FRA Director will visit Spain from 1 to 2 October to meet with government ministers, organisations working on migration-related issues, and other issues, to offer the Agency’s advice and expertise on fundamental rights.
On 1 October, the Agency will attend the Vienna meeting of the European Sustainable Development Network, under the Austrian EU Presidency.
The FRA Director will be a keynote speaker at the opening session of the OSCE’s 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) which starts in Warsaw on 10 September.
-
On 13-14 September, FRA will take part in a conference organised by the Austrian Presidency of the EU Council focusing on cooperation with third countries in the fields of security and migration.
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’.