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
10
November
2014
Together with two FRA sister reports on the
EU’s air and southern sea borders, this report’s findings serve to inform EU and Member State practitioners and
policy makers of fundamental rights challenges that can emerge at land borders. Increased awareness should
also help to create a shared understanding among border guards of what fundamental obligations mean for
their daily work, ultimately enhancing fundamental rights compliance at the EU’s external borders.
Report / Paper / Summary
10
November
2014
The report examines the procedures for and conduct of checks that border guards carry out on third-country national passengers entering European Union (EU) territory at five international airports.
29
October
2014
Primarily using data and information collected from five EU Member States, this paper briefly describes the phenomenon of forced marriage and selected legislative measures taken to address it. It lists promising practices
for the prevention of forced marriage and for supporting victims. The paper covers only one among many forms of violence against women analysed by FRA in its Violence against women: an EU-wide survey. Main results report (2014).
Report / Paper / Summary
27
October
2014
This summary, and the related full report, look at how fundamental rights obligations
translate into practical border management tasks.
The report points out challenges as well as promising practices of integrating fundamental
rights compliance into operational tasks that do not compromise but instead enhance the
effectiveness of border checks.
9
July
2014
The EU and its Member States took a variety of important steps in 2013 to protect and promote fundamental rights by
assuming
new international commitments, revamping legislation and pursuing innovative policies on the ground. Yet, fundamental
rights violations seized the spotlight with distressing frequency: would‑be migrants drowning off the EU’s coast,
unprecedented mass surveillance, racist and extremist‑motivated murders, child poverty and Roma deprivation.
30
June
2014
This handbook aims to strengthen the protection of children, specifically addressing the particular needs of child victims of trafficking.
27
June
2014
** Please note than an updated 2020 edition of this handbook is now available.** The Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration is jointly produced by the European Court of Human Rights and the FRA. It examines the relevant law in the field of asylum, borders and immigration stemming from both European systems: the European Union and the Council of Europe. It provides an accessible guide to the various European standards relevant to asylum, borders and immigration.
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.
FRA presented its focus paper on returning unaccompanied children and fundamental rights considerations to a workshop of the Intergovernmental Consultation on migration, asylum and refugees.
The recent tragedy where 39 people were found dead in a lorry in the UK underlined the extreme price people pay to unscrupulous people smugglers. In the wake of this, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reiterates its call for more safe legal pathways to Europe to help stem the tide of human smuggling.
On 24 October, FRA contributed to the training of migration experts in Brussels from the Belgian institution responsible for the reception of asylum seekers, Fedasil.
At the invitation of the European Commission, FRA contributed to NGO discussions on the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to migrants.
FRA presented the 10 keys to effectively communicating rights and its implementation during a roundtable discussion in Brussels on 18 September.
On 20 September, FRA took part in a National Contact Points meeting of the European Migration Network (EMN).
Upon request by the Spanish authorities, FRA has carried out its fourth capacity building workshop from 10 to 11 September for staff working in El Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes (CETI) Ceuta.
Last year, almost 20,000 unaccompanied children sought asylum in the EU; some inevitably have to leave. FRA’s latest focus paper guides national authorities when deciding whether to return children, not accompanied by parents, to their home countries to ensure compliance with EU and international law.
FRA spoke about migration narratives during a European Migration Network seminar in Slovakia that ran from 20 to 22 August.
Across the EU, various promising initiatives have sprung up to support young migrants become part of European society, following the large-scale influx of migrants and refugees to the EU. Marking International Youth Day on 12 August, FRA draws attention to their situation and urges Member States to do more to help them fully integrate.
Food deprivation, removals with no prior notice and the arrest of humanitarian workers carrying out search and rescue operations at sea are some of the fundamental rights concerns FRA identifies in its latest migration quarterly. It reports on some of the fallout in EU Member States as they continue to harden their migration policies and laws. It also highlights longstanding problems resulting from overcrowding and asylum processing.
FRA has just updated its annual overview of effective forced return monitoring systems across the EU.
FRA attended and provided expert input to a Council of Europe ad-hoc expert meeting on statelessness.
FRA research published today highlights the urgent need for European governments to do more to tackle severe labour exploitation in firms, factories and farms across the EU. First-hand interviews with hundreds of exploited workers reveal the illegal practices in sectors including agriculture, construction, domestic work, hospitality, manufacturing and transport.
On 19 June, FRA gave a presentation to the Council of the EU’s FRONTIERS Working Party in Brussels.
FRA joined a panel debate on rethinking the way you cover migration during the Global Editors Summit in Athens that took place from 13 to 14 June.
Following a request from the Spanish authorities, FRA carried out its third capacity building workshop for staff working in the Spanish migrant reception centre, El Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes (CETI), in Melilla from 12 to 13 June.
Over six people per day on average died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2018. Tougher migration policies have been undermining civil society rescue efforts to save lives and bring migrants in distress at sea to safety, as recent FRA research shows.
Almost one quarter of trafficked victims registered in the EU are children. EU child victims are twice the number of non EU child victims, with girls especially targeted. So what can be done? A new guide developed by FRA suggests 10 ways to protect children moving across EU Member States without parental care.
Many people across the EU risk being left behind, as growing intolerance and attacks on people’s fundamental rights continue to erode the considerable progress achieved to date, finds FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019.