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
20
November
2017
International treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, European Union (EU) secondary law and national legislation provide a number of rights to citizens. The maps and tables presented show the various patterns concerning age requirements for children to acquire rights in the EU. They also identify inconsistencies, protection gaps and restrictions deriving from different age thresholds. The aim is to assist EU Member States in addressing these issues and to facilitate the EU in exercising its competence to support and coordinate Member States’ actions related to children and youth.
Report / Paper / Summary
22
September
2017
This report assesses to which extent selected EU Member States have put
in place mechanisms to ensure appropriate oversight and control of quality
standards in reception facilities. Such oversight and control is essential for
providing dignified and fundamental rights-compatible living conditions
for asylum seekers.
11
July
2017
The European Parliament requested this FRA Opinion on the fundamental rights and personal data protection implications of the proposed Regulation for the creation of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), including an assessment of the fundamental rights aspects of the access
by law enforcement authorities and Europol.
7
July
2017
Various proposals on EU-level information systems in the areas of borders and security mention interoperability, aiming to provide fast and easy access to information about third-country nationals.
The Agency, in close cooperation with the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council, held a high-level symposium where the fundamental rights issues that are currently high on the EU’s political agenda were discussed.
Listen to what children say about the situation of people, particularly children, residing in the European Union, who needed to flee from their home country or left their country of birth for any other reason and what they suggest to implement change.
Report / Paper / Summary
23
June
2017
This report outlines examples of community policing measures in select EU Member State regions and localities with recently arrived asylum seekers and migrants. It focuses on four main issues: 1) community policing, 2) related police training, 3) community involvement (for example: consultations; giving voice to the concerns of local communities; police involvement in local responses to concerns), and 4) crime prevention activities.

22
June
2017
Up to one third of migrants arriving in the European Union since the summer of 2015 have been children. The current emphasis on speedier asylum processing and making returns more effective may trigger increased use of immigration detention, possibly also affecting children. The detention of children implicates various fundamental rights and will only be in line with EU law if limited to exceptional cases. This report aims to support practitioners in implementing relevant polices in line with applicable law by outlining available safeguards against unlawful and arbitrary detention and highlighting promising practices.
30
May
2017
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
30
May
2017
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
29
May
2017
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Such a milestone offers an opportunity for reflection – both on the progress that provides cause for celebration and on the lingering shortcomings that must be addressed.
19
May
2017
This report assesses asylum seekers’ and refugees’ opportunities to access early
childhood education and primary, secondary and tertiary education and training.
It identifies measures available for their support, as well as possible areas for
improvement.
Report / Paper / Summary
7
April
2017
This note draws on past FRA materials on the fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation who cannot be removed. It draws attention to the obligation of EU Member States to provide them with a certification of postponement of removal and to grant them access to core fundamental rights.
24
March
2017
This report reviews how asylum claims based on sexual
orientation and gender identity are assessed and analyses the existence of
specific reception measures for LGBTI persons.
Miltos Pavlou, Senior Programme Manager at the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, talks about the participation of migrants and their descendants in the EU.
15
March
2017
Integrating migrants, refugees and their descendants is of critical importance for the future of the European Union. This report examines Member States’ integration policies and action plans for promoting their participation in society, focusing on non-discrimination, education, employment, language learning and political engagement.
This infographic illustrates some of the main issues when it comes to integrating migrants and their descendants in the EU.
Report / Paper / Summary
24
February
2017
This report looks at the prevalence of torture
and trauma among arrivals, as well as its impact in terms of drug use. It also
discusses the support available to victims.
The Agency’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, took part in a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 9 February.
25
January
2017
The European Parliament asked the Agency to provide its Opinion on the fundamental rights impact of the proposed revision of the Eurodac Regulation on children.
Overcrowded reception centres with no possibility to practice physical distancing or follow hygienic measures are some of the main concerns the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies in its latest migration quarterly bulletin. At the same time, closed borders make it difficult for refugees to reach safety in the EU and leave some people stranded at sea. Suspended asylum procedures leave many in limbo.
Since 2015, thousands of boys and girls arrived to the EU without their parents. Almost 1,400 of these unaccompanied children have already been relocated from France, Greece, Italy and Malta to other EU Member States through relocation schemes. As a number of EU Member States have recently started relocating some children from Greece again, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a report highlighting the challenges and good practices of past relocation programmes. This report will help national authorities to take measures that fully comply with the rights of children and are practically feasible at the same time.
Tineke Strik, Member of the European Parliament, hosted an online panel discussion on 21 April on the fundamental rights monitoring of the EU external border controls.
On 28 April, FRA contributed to the Biometric Institute’s online discussion on responsible use of biometrics in COVID 19 times.
FRA took part in a webinar on the relocation of unaccompanied children from the Greek Islands.
On 24 March, FRA delivered an online seminar organised by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) on returning unaccompanied children and fundamental rights considerations.
In a year that marked 30 years of the United Nation’s child rights convention, 2019 saw many migrant children in the EU with their rights under threat. The latest report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights draws attention to the plight of migrant children as they enter and stay in the EU or return to their home countries.
In recent weeks, states in Europe have taken measures to protect their borders to address public order, public health, or national security challenges. States also took these measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Europe. All these measures can have an impact on people’s rights, say FRA and the Council of Europe Special Representative on Migration and Refugees in a joint statement.
Thousands of unaccompanied children in Greece are living in conditions that are completely unsuitable – without adequate housing, exposed to the cold weather, facing insecurity and even violence. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) welcomes the initiative of the European Commission and some Member States to relocate these unaccompanied children.
FRA attended a workshop of representatives of migrant detention centres in Luxembourg on 28 February.
FRA provided training for Croatian border guards as part of its cooperation with the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council.
On 26 February in Athens, FRA took part in the launch event of the EEA and Norway Grants Programme on capacity building of national asylum and migration management systems.
Poor conditions in overcrowded receptions centres and violence against migrants are some of the main concerns the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) identifies in its latest migration quarterly report. An increase in arrivals of asylum seekers in Cyprus, Greece and Spain leads to further delays in processing asylum applications.
FRA joined Member States' representatives to discuss how best to protect migrant children.
On 12 December, FRA took part in a meeting of the European Migration Network (EMN) National Contact Points.
This year FRA looks forward to a new decade for fundamental human rights across Europe, as the new European Parliament and Commission hit the ground running with a raft of new strategies promoting and protecting rights.
“Migration will not go away – it will stay with us,” says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. On International Migrants Day on 18 December, FRA joins the Commission in its call to find solutions that are humane and effective.
The International Organisation for Migration, the UN Refugee Agency and FRA presented their views on the proposed recast Return Directive to the new Rapporteur and Shadow Rapporteurs in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
FRA presented findings from its report on the integration of young refugees during a conference in Brussels on 2 and 3 December.
The Greek Ombudsman held a conference on the challenges for Greece and Europe in monitoring returns.