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

  • Periodic updates / Series
    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.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    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.
  • 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.
Products
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.
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.
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.
FRA took part in the online expert meeting of the Frontex Technology Foresight on Biometrics for the future of Travel group.
This week, Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), visited the reception facilities on the island of Samos in Greece.
FRA delivered online training on 30 March on the fundamental rights considerations of returning unaccompanied children. The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) organised the webinar.
The Consultative Forum of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) issued its fundamental rights considerations to the Frontex Management Board Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations in the Aegean Sea.
On 12 March, FRA participated in an online roundtable organised by regional authorities in Catalonia responsible for the protection of unaccompanied children. Several NGOs, medical associations, trade unions and child protection authorities of different cities participated.
On 10 March, the European Migration network launched its report on the state of implementation in 2019 of the EU’s Communication on protecting migrant children.
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’.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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People from all walks of life will come together in FRA’s inclusive, innovative and forward-looking Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna from 20-23 June 2016 under the banner of Rights, Respect, Reality: the Europe of Values in Today’s World.