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
6
June
2014
This year’s FRA annual report looks at fundamental rights-related developments in asylum, immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society, respect for private life and data protection; the rights of the child and the protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; access to justice and judicial cooperation; rights of crime victims; EU Member States and international obligations.
Report / Paper / Summary
27
March
2014
This paper examines the sanctions applied to counteract irregular migration, building on previous work by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on the rights of migrants in an irregular situation.
5
March
2014
This factsheet presents some examples of survey findings, which are placed alongside general considerations as possible ‘ways forward’ for responding to violence against women.
20
December
2013
This thematic situation report examines the effectiveness of responses by public authorities, civil society organisations and others to counter racism, discrimination, intolerance and extremism in Greece and Hungary. The report goes on to make proposals for fighting racist crime, increasing trust in the police, and combating extremism throughout the EU.
August
2013
The majority of irregular arrivals by sea to the European Union (EU) occur in the Mediterranean. Although the phenomenon is not widespread throughout the EU, it affects the EU as a whole. This publication reviews the solidarity measures the EU has established to support those countries most affected by irregular arrivals by sea. It will focus on the fundamental rights challenges raised by such measures but will not discuss whether these measures are sufficient and adequate for genuinely sharing the costs associated with the arrivals. This publication will also touch upon EU funding instruments and intra-EU relocation from Malta and more thoroughly describe the operational cooperation with Frontex.
Report / Paper / Summary
6
August
2013
This FRA report examines the conditions at Europe’s southern sea borders with respect to the most fundamental rights of a person, the right to life and the right not to be sent back to torture, persecution or inhuman treatment. It looks at sea border surveillance and disembarkation procedures, as well as general issues such as European Union (EU) policy, training and Frontex-coordinated operations, and examines practices across the EU Member States researched – Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain.
8
March
2011
EU Member State border authorities are facing difficulties at points of entry into the EU due to a rising influx of irregular migrants. The study is based on field research carried out by the FRA in January 2011 and describes the fundamental rights situation of persons irregularly entering the EU's external border between Greece and Turkey.
18
June
2013
This year’s summary of the FRA Annual report – Highlights 2012 – puts the spotlight on key legal and policy developments in the field of fundamental rights in 2012.
18
June
2013
Against a backdrop of rising unemployment and increased deprivation, this FRA Annual report closely examines the situation of those, such as children, who are vulnerable to budget cuts, impacting important fields such as education, healthcare and social services. It looks at the discrimination that Roma continue to face and the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in political and public discourse. It considers the impact the crises have had on the basic principle of the rule of law, as well as stepped up EU Member State efforts to ensure trust in justice systems.
27
March
2013
This FRA report examines the conditions at Europe’s southern sea borders with respect to the most fundamental rights of a person, the right to life and the right not to be sent back to torture, persecution or inhuman treatment. It looks at sea border surveillance and disembarkation procedures, as well as training and Frontex-coordinated operations. It examines practices across the EU Member States researched – Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain.
7
December
2010
The arrival of thousands of separated children in the European Union from third countries poses a serious challenge to EU institutions and Member States, since, according to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they have a duty to care for and protect children. This summary highlights the key findings of the FRA research on separated, asylum-seeking children in EU Member States.
20
June
2012
This year‘s summary of the FRA Annual report – Highlights 2011 – chronicles the positive developments made in 2011 as well as the challenges facing the EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights, drawing on objective, reliable and comparable socio-legal data.
26
June
2009
A thematic discussion paper prepared for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights by Eurasylum Ltd.
5
July
2011
This report is the result of a project by the FRA on the situation of migrants in an irregular situation in the EU. It is the first of two thematic reports which complements a forthcoming comprehensive overview of the fundamental rights situation of migrants in an irregular situation in the EU's 27 Member States.
7
December
2010
The arrival of thousands of separated children in the European Union from third countries poses a serious challenge to EU institutions and Member States, since, according to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they have a duty to care for and protect children. This report examines the experiences and views of 336 separated, asylum-seeking children and those of 302 adults responsible for their care across 12 EU Member States.
Report / Paper / Summary
30
November
2010
The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) examined law and practice in the EU 27 on the deprivation of liberty of irregular migrants pending their removal against the applicable international human rights law framework.
1
September
2011
The Fundamental Rights Conference, the flagship annual event of the FRA, focused in 2010 on ensuring justice and protection for all children, including those who are most vulnerable. This report summarises the speeches, discussion and common conclusions and issues identified during the conference.
20
June
2012
To secure and safeguard the fundamental rights of everyone in the European Union (EU), the EU and its 27 Member States pressed forward with a number of initiatives in 2011. This report chronicles the positive developments made in 2011 as well as the challenges facing the EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights.
21
November
2011
International and European human rights law impose an obligation on EU Member States to guarantee human rights to all individuals within their jurisdiction. This includes irregular migrants.
21
November
2011
This report, based on comparative research on the fundamental rights situation of irregular migrants in Europe, advises on how fundamental rights should be incorporated in policies, laws and administrative practices affecting migrants in irregular situations.
The agency joined the 7th conference of ‘Shared Awareness and De-confliction in the Mediterranean’, organised by the EU Naval Force Mediterranean.
The agency took part in the annual coordination and planning meeting of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) Network of Courts and Tribunals.
The agency took part in the 98th Meeting of National Contact Points of the European Migration Network (EMN).
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights is extremely sad to learn of the reports of 170 migrants feared dead following two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend.
Adequate and enforceable fundamental rights safeguards need to accompany proposals to return irregularly staying non-EU nationals more effectively, finds the latest Opinion from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.
The European Asylum and Support Office (EASO) has released new guidance on receiving unaccompanied children that it developed in consultation with Member States and other actors, such as FRA.
Throughout 2019, the agency will continue to work steadfastly for everyone to promote and protect human rights, in a year that marks 10 years of the European Union’s very own bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The year 2018 saw many significant anniversaries in the world of human rights. It was the year that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 and the European Convention on Human Rights 65.
The agency took part in a panel discussion on 14 December in Paris on police conduct in relation with migrants in Europe.
On 5 December in Brussels, the Agency took part in the European Asylum Support Office’s 8th annual Consultative Forum Plenary Meeting.
The Agency’s ongoing work on severe labour exploitation formed part of discussions during a high-level one-day conference at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens on 30 November.
Fundamental rights protection overall at the EU border agency needs strengthening as its mandate and tasks increase, finds the latest Opinion from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.
The European Commission hosted an expert meeting in Brussels on 3 December to discuss the implementation of the 2017 Communication on the protection of children in migration.
On 28 and 29 November, the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), in close cooperation with the European Commission (EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator’s Office), brought together at Eurojust, the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, experts and partners from across the European Union to enhance prevention of trafficking of EU children. Participants included representatives from Eurojust, Europol, senior judges and prosecutors, child protection staff, central authorities established under the Brussels II Regulation, law enforcement officials, as well as civil society experts.
On 26 November, the Agency spoke during at an event organised by the Greek Ombudsman on forced return monitoring.
As a follow-up to the Director’s visit to Spain in October, the Agency carried out a technical visit to Spain from 18 to 22 November focusing on migration and asylum.
Some governments continue to be tough on migration, placing fundamental rights in jeopardy, finds the agency’s latest report on migration-related fundamental rights concerns. It points to stricter laws and policies, friction at the borders, poor reception conditions as well as rising hate crime.
The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) adopted a code of conduct for officials they deploy during operations.
The Agency held an awareness raising session on 6 November in Chios on the prevention and management of self-harm incidents in migration hotspots.
On 12 November, the Agency took part in a conference on forced return monitoring organised by the Italian Authority for the Rights of Persons Detained and Deprived of Their Liberty.