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
Periodic updates / Series
26
March
2018
In view of the increasing numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants entering the EU, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been collecting relevant data since September 2015. These focus 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.
This infographic illustrates the positive and negative impact on fundamental rights of using large-scale IT systems for security and border management.
Periodic updates / Series
26
February
2018
In view of the increasing numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants entering the EU, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has been collecting relevant data since September 2015. These focus 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.
For the past two years, FRA has been visiting reception centres for migrants across the EU.
Report / Paper / Summary
5
February
2018
This focus report assesses how the presence of
large numbers of persons in need of international
protection affects local communities in terms of
housing, education, the local economy and social
responses.
Report / Paper / Summary
5
February
2018
EU Member States’ legal and practical responses to migrants and refugees implicate several of their fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU). The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has regularly reported on these issues since September 2015. This report highlights key trends and persistent concerns between October 2016 and December 2017. It focuses on five areas: access to territory, reception conditions, asylum procedures, unaccompanied children and immigration detention.
16
January
2018
Guardians are a key element of a protection system for children who are temporarily or
permanently deprived of their family environment and cannot have their interests represented
by their parents. Great disparities exist between the types of guardianship provided
to children in and within European Union (EU) Member States. This report explores the key
features of guardianship systems put in place to cater for the needs of all children in need
of protection, including child victims and those at risk of becoming victims of trafficking in
human beings or of other forms of exploitation.
Easy-to-read report
3
January
2018
More than 20 million immigrants lived in the European Union in 2016. This means that 1 person in 25 was an immigrant. Having more immigrants and refugees makes it even more important for the governments to have plans to help them to integrate.
This survey involved interviews with 25,515 people with different ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds across 28 EU countries. It explores issues concerning discrimination as well as experiences of harassment, hate-motivated violence and discriminatory profiling.
This infographic illustrates the main experiences immigrants and ethnic minorities across the EU have when it comes to discrimination. It draws from the findings from FRA's EU-MIDIS II survey.
This infographic illustrates the main experiences immigrants and ethnic minorities across the EU have when it comes to victimisation. It draws from the findings from FRA's EU-MIDIS II survey.
This infographic illustrates the main experiences immigrants and ethnic minorities across the EU have when it comes to inclusion. It draws from the findings from FRA's EU-MIDIS II survey.
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 reference period was until April 2016. Any legislative developments since then have been included whenever relevant or if known.
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.
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 EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes new practical guidance on dealing with fundamental rights concerns at the EU external land borders. The guidance offers practical tips that will help border guards respect people’s fundamental rights in their daily work.
In Europe, thousands of exploited workers are forced to work endless hours with no or little pay and without adequate safety equipment. Many of those exploited workers are migrants. Their situation has become even worse during the Coronavirus pandemic, as their working conditions do not allow physical distancing or regular handwashing. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) calls on EU institutions and EU Member States to take all the necessary steps to stop the exploitation of migrant workers, ensure safe working conditions and fair pay.
The European Commission invited FRA to provide fundamental rights input to the 26th meeting of the European Migration Network (EMN) Return Expert Group.
Five people per day on average died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2019, estimates the International Organization for Migration. Ahead of World Refugee Day, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency points to ongoing difficulties facing civil society rescue efforts in the Mediterranean, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 11 June, FRA contributed to a Red Cross Europe webinar on assisting migrants at borders.