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.


  • Handbook / Guide / Manual
    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
    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
    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.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a joint Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration on 11 June.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) are today launching a second practical guide to European law.
A new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) presents the results of in-depth research in four EU Member States with southern EU sea borders.
Irregular migrants throughout the European Union face labour exploitation and are denied access to basic services. The Fundamental Rights Conference will focus on how to promote minimum rights standards for irregular migrants - a group vulnerable to serious fundamental rights violations.
Today the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is presenting its report on the fundamental rights of irregular migrants who are employed as domestic workers in the EU. Most irregular migrants in domestic work are women. The report shows that their irregular immigration status, coupled with challenges in regulating domestic work more generally, makes this group very vulnerable to exploitation, including cases of physical abuse. Typical forms of exploitation include low pay, often having to work excessive working hours, and usually not being able to obtain compensation for work-related accidents.
Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2010, the flagship Annual Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), charts the progress made in 2010 by the European Union (EU) and its Member States towards securing the rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights through developments in legislation, policies and practices. The FRA Annual Report, presented at the European Parliament today, points to promising practices and obstacles to rights protection across a range of policy areas. Some of the major challenges in 2010 related to asylum, the Roma and data protection.
Today the Fundamental Rights Agency is publishing a report about the fundamental rights situation of persons entering Greece irregularly at its land border with Turkey. This report is based on field research in the Evros region in January 2011.
Protection mechanisms on paper do not yet fully function in practiceThe 2010 Annual Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies challenges in the areas of data protection, extreme exploitation in the workplace, rights of the child, racism and discrimination, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) issues.
Today in Warsaw, Frontex Executive Director Ilkka Laitinen signed a cooperation arrangement with the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency, Morten Kjaerum."Frontex is dedicated to upholding the highest possible standards in border management for the EU - in all its aspects", said Ilkka Laitinen.  "This new cooperation arrangement with our colleagues at the FRA will provide us with access to valuable expertise in the pursuit of this aim", he added.
"I do not know [a legal guardian]. Do I have one?" (Boy, aged 14) "Age assessment was a disappointment for me. [...] I do not have any proof, because there is no government in my country. How could I have any evidence? The worst thing is that  they think I am a liar." (Boy, aged 17) "The policeman said that his child is 15 and understands everything. Then he said: ‘you are 15 and do not understand anything at all. How is that possible?" (Girl, aged 15).