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
11
March
2019
In November 2016, FRA formulated 21 individual opinions to address the fundamental
rights shortcomings identified in the implementation of the hotspot approach in Greece
and Italy. Despite genuine efforts to improve the situation since November 2016, many
of the suggestions contained in the 21 opinions FRA formulated at the time remain valid.
Periodic updates / Series
18
February
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 large migration movements.
17
January
2019
This Opinion by FRA aims to inform
the European Parliament’s position on the legislative proposal for a recast Directive on
common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third country
nationals (Return Directive), presented by the European Commission on
12 September 2018.
6
December
2018
This Opinion by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) aims to inform
the European Parliament’s position on the legislative proposal on the European Border and
Coast Guard (EBCG) presented by the European Commission on 12 September 2018.
5
December
2018
Last versions available are EL and NL
11 March 2021
This guide explains what profiling is, the legal frameworks that regulate it, and why conducting profiling lawfully is both necessary to comply with fundamental rights and crucial for effective policing and border management. The guide also provides practical guidance on how to avoid unlawful profiling in police and border management operations.
Black people in the EU face unacceptable difficulties in getting a decent job because of their skin colour. Racist harassment also remains all too common.
Periodic updates / Series
26
November
2018
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been collecting relevant data since September 2015, in light of the increasing numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants entering the EU. This report focuses on the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The countries covered are: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
26
October
2018
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ 2018 Fundamental Rights Forum
brought together more than 700 human rights champions at a time of
widening social divisions and increasingly polarised politics across
Europe.
1
October
2018
This note draws attention to the recent trend of criminalising search and rescue operations (SAR) in the Mediterranean Sea carried out by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other private entities. This includes seizing rescue vessels, as well as arrests for crew members, in some EU Member States. Most of such incidents concerned NGOs operating in the Central Mediterranean Sea.
Periodic updates / Series
21
September
2018
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been collecting relevant data since September 2015, in light of the increasing numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants entering the EU. This report focuses on the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The countries covered are: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
14
September
2018
This Opinion by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) aims to
inform the European Parliament’s position concerning the legislative proposal for a
Regulation on strengthening the security of identity cards of European Union (EU)
citizens and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their family members
exercising their right of free movement. It focuses on the processing of biometric data
and complements the opinion published by the European Data Protection
Supervisor (EDPS).
10
September
2018
This Opinion aims to
inform the European Parliament’s position on the legislative proposal amending the
Visa Information System, the Visa Code and other related provisions of EU law. The
European Commission presented the proposal on 16 May 2018 and EU legislators are
currently discussing it.
5
September
2018
Severe labour exploitation is widespread across the European Union. While workplace inspections can help counter this phenomenon, they need to be strengthened to do so effectively. Based on interviews and focus group discussions with almost 240 exploited workers active in diverse economic sectors, this report provides important evidence on how unscrupulous employers manipulate and undermine inspections, and on what can be done to counteract such efforts.
6
September
2018
Workers are being severely exploited for their labour across the EU, and
inspections are not effective at stopping this reality. Based on interviews with
almost 240 workers – including non-EU citizens who came to the EU and
EU nationals who moved to another EU country to work – a new FRA report
outlines the problem and identifies ways to bolster inspections.
Periodic updates / Series
23
July
2018
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been collecting relevant data since September 2015, in light of the increasing numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants entering the EU. This report focuses on the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The countries covered are: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
21
June
2018
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.
15
June
2018
The stories of the domestic workers FRA interviewed for this paper reveal appalling working conditions
and fundamental rights abuses in private homes across the EU. These stories indicate that, seven years
on from FRA’s first report on domestic workers in 2011, little has changed in terms of the risks and
experiences of severe labour exploitation domestic workers in the EU face.
6
June
2018
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of rights protection. The European Pillar of Social Rights marked an important move towards a more ‘social Europe’. But, as experiences with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights underscore, agreement on a text is merely a first step. Even in its eighth year as the EU's binding bill of rights, the Charter's potential was not fully exploited, highlighting the need to more actively promote its use.
6
June
2018
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern.
On 14 November, FRA took part in the 2020 PROTECT Expert Forum. The event explored existing and emerging issues surrounding migration management in Europe, in light of the UN Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants.
The NGOs Human Rights Watch, Refugee Rights Europe, in cooperation with the End Pushbacks Partnership network, hosted an online event on 18 November. It looked at pushbacks and rights violations at EU’s internal and external borders.
FRA and the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA) today signed off on a cooperation plan for the coming years.
The ‘Children deprived of parental care found in another EU Member State other than their own’ guide is now available in all EU official languages.
On 30 October, FRA presented the fundamental rights implications of processing data in large-scale IT systems.
FRA presented the third edition of its future handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration on 28 October. The presentation was part of an online training course for judges on the detention of protection seekers.
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to severely affect migrants and refugees. Difficulties to enter the EU, increasing reports of pushbacks and violence at the borders, and worsening conditions in reception centres are some of the main concerns the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies in its latest migration quarterly bulletin. At the same time, the European Commission’s new Migration and Asylum Pact kicks off new discussions about the future EU migration and asylum framework.
FRA took part in discussions on 28 October related to the regulations setting up the interoperability of EU large-scale information systems.
FRA held a webinar with representatives from integration and youth welfare authorities on 20 October on integrating young refugees when turning 18.
FRA spoke about fundamental rights safeguards in the EU’s Entry-Exit system during training at Vienna Airport for Member States from 6 to 7 October. It drew on its biometrics, EU IT-systems and fundamental rights report.
FRA took part in the EASO vulnerability network annual conference, which took place through four online meetings during September.
The handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child is now also available in Georgian.
FRA discussed key guardianship challenges and good practices during the bi-annual meeting of the European Guardianship Network.
FRA held an inception meeting on 23 October with its research network, FRANET, to discuss updating its report on Guardianship systems for children deprived of parental care in the EU.
As co-chairs of the Frontex Consultative Forum, FRA and the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) presented the Forum’s 2019 Annual Report to the Council of the EU's Frontiers Working Party on 11 September.
On 23 September, FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty addressed the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard, Frontex, for the first time.
On the 27th of August, FRA joined the hearing of the European Economic and Social Committee on diversity management and the future of EU diversity policies for migrants and ethnic minorities.
Living with COVID-19 continues to constrain our daily lives, as a new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report shows. Moving forward, governments need to ensure existing fundamental rights challenges do not worsen and vulnerable members of society do not suffer disproportionately.
Restrictions for migrants, difficulties accessing asylum procedures or entering the EU territory and lack of information are some of the main concerns the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies in its latest migration quarterly bulletin. Furthermore, the lack of online learning tools and stable internet connection deprives many asylum-seeking children of access to education.
On 21 July, FRA presented the fundamental rights issues related to the Entry-Exit System during an awareness-raising webinar organised by eu-LISA for Member States.
The Agency will give a presentation at the European Asylum Support Office’s Consultative Forum Regional Thematic Meeting on ‘EASO Operations: Lessons Learned’ on 29 September in Trapani, Italy.
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The Agency will join other EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies from 28 to 29 September in Lisbon in the third of their regular network meetings, currently being chaired by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
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The Agency’s Director Michael O’Flaherty will deliver a keynote address on the importance of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights during the European Law Institute’s annual conference.
The UN Special Rapporteur for international migration, Ms Louise Arbour, will meet the Agency in Vienna on 5 September.
The UN Special Rapporteur on human trafficking, especially women and children, Ms Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, will visit the Agency on 4 September.
The Agency and the European Committee of the Regions’ Commission for citizenship, governance, institutional and external affairs (CIVEX) will hold their Annual Dialogue in Brussels on 6 July.
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The Agency will take part in the second 2017 meeting of the network of EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies from 20-21 June 2017 in Lisbon.
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From 13 to 15 June, the FRA Director will be in Athens to discuss the situation in the migration hotspots.
The Director has been invited to contribute to the joint policy debate of the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) ministers on the protection of children in migration, taking place at the upcoming JHA Council on 8 June.
The European Investment Bank is hosting an event in Luxembourg on 1 June as part of a series of events to promote international labour standards throughout its operations.
On 29 May, the FRA Director will take part in a presentation of the results of the European Commission’s High-Level Working Group on Interoperability (HLEG) at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
On 29 May, the FRA Director will take part in a presentation of the results of the High-Level Working Group on Interoperability (HLEG) at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
The Agency will take part in a high-level meeting in Stockholm on 24 April on Europe’s challenge to ensure a rights perspective for children in migration.
The Agency will take part in the Alliance against Trafficking in Human Beings conference in Vienna on 4 April.
The European Commission is holding a seminar to explore ways of implementing the Paris Declaration 2015.
The Agency will take part in a conference in Berlin on 14 March on labour market integration of refugees in Germany and other OECD Countries.
On 1 March, FRA will participate in a policy roundtable organised by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU in the context of its asylum policy consultations in Brussels.
The FRA Director will give the closing speech at a conference on refugees organised by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Holy See.
The Agency will contribute to a workshop in Brussels on 9 February organised by the European Network for Rural Development.
The Agency will join the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the UN Alliance of Civilisations for their anti-hate speech symposium.