Fundamental rights at airports: border checks at five international airports in the European Union

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.

Third-country nationals undergo more thorough border checks than EU/European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens. A majority are admitted, some after undergoing extended checks. Others may be referred to protection services. A small number are rejected after a detailed check of the entry requirements. They may be held in transit or in a special facility until all issues are verified, the decision to refuse entry is final and a return flight is available. These practical border management tasks raise questions about the application of fundamental rights such as the right to human dignity, non-discrimination, the prohibition of trafficking in human beings, the right to asylum, the rights of the child, the right to an effective remedy and the right to the protection of personal data.