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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.