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ASYLNYTT

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Arkivet har startat om och saknar material från perioden 180119 - 180513

Arkiveringsdatum 210125:

Asylnytt 21-01-25:

Ungern/ Ungern fälls i EU-domstolen för ett asylsystem som bryter mot flera direktiv till sidans topp

Ungern införde 2015 systemet med transitzoner vid gränsen och begränsningar av möjligheten att söka asyl, men hänvisning till "krissituation orsakad av massinvandring". År 2017 antogs en ny lag med ytterligare begränsningar. EU-kommissionen väckte då talan hos EU-domstolen om brott mot EU-direktiven om asylprocedur, mottagande och återvändande. Sedan dess har Ungern dömts av EU-domstolen på grund av klagomål från enskilda vilket lett till att Ungern stängt transitområdena, men samtidigt ytterligare försvårat att söka asyl i Ungern. Den nu avkunnade domen avser Ungerns regler som de var utformade 2018. EU-domstolen går i stort sett på EU-kommissionens linje och deklarerar att Ungern bryter mot direktiven i fyra avseenden: 1) Ungern har gjort det i praktiken nästan omöjligt att göra en asylsansökan vid gränsen. 2) Ungern tar i praktiken alla asylsökande (utom ensamkommande under 14 år) i förvar och tillämpar inte reglerna om hur förvarsbeslut ska fattas. 3) Ungern verkställer utvisningar utan att uppfylla några rättssäkerhetsgarantier och genom att placera människor inhägnade vid gränsövergången till Serbien så att de måste lämna Ungern för att överleva. 4) Ungern tillåter inte asylsökande att stanna kvar tills överklagande avgrjorts eller under någon tidsfrist över huvud taget.

Läs pressmeddelande i mål C 808/18, Europeiska kommissionen mot Ungern (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

Läs domen i dess helhet (Extern länk)

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Legal Centre Lesvos / Statewatch 21-01-14:

Grekland/ Legal actors express concerns regarding the lack of state free legal aid till sidans topp

A group of legal organisations active on Lesvos are demanding that the Greek state meet its legal obligation to provide free legal aid in asylum cases. As of 11 January, the Regional Asylum Office of Lesvos is to start issuing first instance rejections and accepting appeals from asylum applicants, for the first time in four months - but without giving individuals access to legal aid, making it impossible for them to file an appeal.

Mytilene, 11th of January 2021: Starting from today 11th of January, and for the first time in 4 months, the Regional Asylum Office of Lesvos will begin notifying applicants on Lesvos with first instance rejections and will also start accepting appeals against these decisions. However, the procedure is restarting without the guarantee of state free legal aid from the Register of Lawyers of the Asylum Service.

It is explicitly and emphatically reminded that the provision of free legal aid from the Register of Lawyers is an obligation of the Greek state and is clearly essential in order for the applicants to understand and exercise their legal rights and duties(1). Moreover, according to the law, the appeal should clearly specify the reasons on which it is based, otherwise it will be rejected as inadmissible(2). It is evident that without legal aid applicants cannot adequately articulate the legal and factual grounds on which their appeals are based, particularly taking into consideration the requirement that such appeals be submitted in writing in Greek language.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210111:

Public Law Project 20-12-17:

Storbritannien/ Experiencing Asylum Appeals till sidans topp

There is ongoing concern that Britain's courts are places that are overwhelming, disorientating and confusing for court users. Asylum seekers are some of the most marginalised people in society and existing research highlights the difficulties they face in disclosing evidence throughout the legal process. Without an accessible process, appellants may be unable or unwilling to speak and participate in their appeal, and therefore important pieces of evidence may not be considered and justice may not be served.

Although a lot of attention has been paid to asylum law by academics and policy makers alike, its day to day implementation often escapes critical academic scrutiny. This is arguably because relatively few non-legal scholars study the law, meaning that most analysis is focussed on substantive and doctrinal legal issues rather than questions of process, implementation and experience. It is also extremely time consuming to observe a sufficient number of hearings to be able to draw general conclusions about day to day issues.

Our project adopts an inter-disciplinary perspective on the day to day workings of asylum law within the UK's asylum appeal hearings. In the following sections we report on a project which examined what happens during asylum appeals by closely observing them from the public areas of hearing rooms. Our observations ran from 2013 to 2019. We complement the perspective our observations offer with interview evidence from appellants as well as others involved in the process.

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Arkiveringsdatum 201207:

ECRE 20-11-20:

Europa/ Study on the implementation of border procedures reveals major flaws till sidans topp

Last week, ECRE's contribution to the implementation of asylum procedures at the border, has been published by the European Parliament Research Service (EPRS) which commissioned it. The entire European Implementation Assessment paper on border procedures contains three parts. Besides the in-house research conducted by the EPRS itself, there is also part on the legal assessment of Article 43 on border procedures carried out by Dr Galina Cornelisse and Dr Marcelle Reneman of the Free University of Amsterdam, and the comparative analysis on the application in practice of Article 43 of the Asylum procedure directive that was carried out by ECRE (p.145 and further).

The study carried out by ECRE covers seven countries: France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The study relies on desk research and a variety of sources including qualitative and quantitative information on national practices extracted from the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) managed by ECRE. National experts from the analysed countries further provided thorough and valuable feedback.

Member States' practice differs significantly when it comes to both the design and use of the border procedure, as allowed by the discretionary nature of Article 43 recast APD. However, similarities occur: whether applied at land, sea or air borders, border procedures involve a variety of authorities and they are invariably characterised by short deadlines for decision-making and for lodging appeals, a lack of information to (potential) applicants, and reduced accessibility for interpreters, NGOs and legal aid providers. This due to the locations where procedures are conducted and where applicants are (officially or de facto) detained. The evidence suggests a more restrictive approach to protection claims in border procedures compared to similar caseloads examined in regular procedures, and further suggests that significant protection gaps result from the unavailability or inadequacy of procedural guarantees.

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Arkiveringsdatum 201002:

ELENA legal update 20-09-25:

Finland/ Court rules on the obligation to provide guarantees to vulnerable applicants till sidans topp

On 7 September 2020, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland ruled that an officer of the Finish Immigration Service (FIS) is obliged, under section 96(a) of the Aliens Act, to consider the individual status and circumstances of an asylum applicant by identifying an applicant in need of special procedural guarantees and providing them with the necessary support to enable them to exercise their rights and fulfil their obligations in the asylum procedure.

The case concerns the rejection of an application for international protection lodged by a Somali national who had submitted that she had suffered repeated sexual violence perpetrated by Al-Shabaab. The female applicant's interview for international protection was conducted in the presence of a male interviewer and interpreter. The FIS rejected the application for international protection and a residence permit and ordered her return to Somalia. The Administrative Court denied the applicant an oral hearing and concluded that the appeal against the FIS decision was unfounded.

The Supreme Court was asked to consider whether the FIS decision was unlawful because the applicant was not offered the opportunity to have an interviewer and interpreter of the same sex present at her interview, especially given the reliance on sexual violence as a basis for her application for international protection.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200913:

ECRE 20-08-28:

Danmark/ Are most asylum seekers really not credible? till sidans topp

By Michala Clante Bendixen, founder of the Danish organisation Refugees Welcome and the information website REFUGEES.DK.

"Rejected asylum seekers must respect the decision and return home" - it sounds plausible enough to be the political consensus. But a prerequisite for this is of course that the decision of the asylum case was correct to begin with. In Denmark, most rejections are the result of the applicant found not to be credible. I argue that the decisions are not reliable - and that many of the rejected people could therefore be in danger.

As a result of the Danish exceptions to the Maastricht treaty, Denmark is in a particular situation of having an opt-out option in relation to the development of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) as well as potential legislation related to the announced European Pact on Asylum and Migration. However, Denmark is like all other member states bound by central EU and international law and is also under the Dublin regulation.

Yet, beyond the international conventions, human rights principles and rulings from the international courts, each country has its own asylum procedure, its own legislation, and its own practise. At the core of all asylum cases are the ability of the applicants to provide a coherent and detailed account of often extremely traumatic and confusing experiences. In most cases an asylum applicant would have little or no written documentation or personal papers to support them, and the decision is therefore not based on concrete tangible evidence, witness statements, physical evidence etc. as it would be in a regular court case, but mainly on the assessment of the applicant's personal credibility and the risk he/she is facing in the country of origin. Therefore, the outcome depends to a large extent on the perceptions of the people involved in the procedure: the interviewer, the interpreter, the decisionmaker.

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Ladda ned boken på engelska (Extern länk)

På danska: "Velbegrundet Frygt - om troværdighed og risiko i asylsager" (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200831:

ECRE 20-07-27:

Europa/ Asylum in Europe 2019: human rights under pressure till sidans topp

Evidence from the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) shows that compliance with existing EU asylum law should be a priority

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing up-to-date and comprehensive information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and the content of international protection across 23 European countries. ECRE has now concluded the cycle of updating the country reports to cover the year 2019. Despite the challenging circumstances under which many of our national experts had to deliver this year's update, we collectively managed to achieve the objective of providing accurate and quality information on asylum systems in Europe. The database is widely relied upon by European and national policy makers, legal practitioners and Courts, for example, the European Commission uses it in its monitoring activities as does EASO for its annual reports.

The evidence collected through AIDA confirms the worrying trend of violations of human rights of people in need of protection both at the internal and external borders of Europe. It indicates a further restriction of rights in national legal systems and practice, raising serious questions as to compliance with EU law.

Restricting access to asylum, including access to territory

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AIDA 20-07-23:

Tyskland/ AIDA 2019 Update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Germany provides a detailed overview of the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

The year 2019 was marked by two main trends:

An extensive reform of German asylum and migration legislation: Seven laws were enacted as part of the so-called "migration package" in July 2019 and introduced numerous changes to the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz), the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz), the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) and several other accompanying laws.

A high proportion of "family protection" cases: Around 80% of the persons recognised as refugees in Germany in 2019 were granted protection status because they were family members (i.e. spouses or minor children) of a person who had already been granted protection. The proportion of such "family protection" decisions has significantly increased in recent years. In more than 50% of these cases, protection was granted to children who were born in Germany.

The main changes can be summarised as follows:

Asylum procedure

The reform introduced a state-run counselling service for asylum seekers to be established in all initial reception centres. This service is meant to provide general information to asylum seekers about the proceedings but it does not amount to legal advice. Moreover, medical grounds brought forward in the asylum procedure must now be verified through a comprehensive medical certificate.

Reception conditions

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Arkiveringsdatum 200805:

Asylnytt 20-08-05:

Ukraina/ Ukraina fälls av Europadomstolen för utvisning utan ordentlig asylprocedur till sidans topp

En ung man från Afghanistan försökte år 2010 ta sig in i Europa via Ukraina och Slovakien. Han greps i Slovakien och skickades tillbaka till Ukraina. Där togs han i förvar och fick ett utvisningsbeslut som verkställdes i mars 2011. Enligt mannen hade hans far dödats på grund av sitt arbete för Afghanistansk säkerhetstjänst och han själv hade hotats av skäl som hängde samman med detta. Inför Europadomstolen har han hävdat att både Slovakiens och Ukrainas asylprocedur varit otillräcklig, att han inte fått information på sitt språk och att utvisningen verkställts utan att han haft möljighet att överklaga. Efter utvisningen har han tvingats hålla sig undan och byta bostadsort ofta. Domstolen finner (efter nio års handläggning) att anklagelserna mot Slovakien är ogrundade, men att Ukraina bröt mot Europakonventionen om mänskliga rättigheter genom att inte utreda den sökandes asylskäl innan han utvisades genom ett beslut grundat på irrelevanta omständigheter och som innehöll motstridiga påståenden och genom att han inte informerades om beslutet förrän han förts till flygplatsen. Han hade dessutom inte informerats om varför han togs i förvar och varken fått tillgång till tolk eller juridiskt biträde.

Case of M.S. v. Slovakia and Ukraine, application no. 17189/11 (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200715:

EU-domstolen 20-06-25:

Ungern/ Kommissionen drar Ungern inför EU-domstolen för undermålig asylprocedur till sidans topp

Pressmeddelande från EU-domstolen, generaladvokaten:

According to Advocate General Pikamäe, Hungary has failed to fulfil obligations arising from EU law in relation to a substantial part of its national legislation on asylum procedures and the return of illegally staying third-country nationals

According to Advocate General Pikamäe, Hungary has failed to fulfil obligations arising from EU law in relation to a substantial part of its national legislation on asylum procedures and the return of illegally staying third-country nationals

In particular, it should be established that there has been a failure to fulfil obligations for breach of ensuring effective access to the asylum procedure, and for breach of the procedural safeguards relating to applications for international protection, to the unlawful detention of applicants for that protection in transit zones and to the unlawful removal of illegally staying third-country nationals

The Commission has brought an action for failure to fulfil obligations against Hungary before the Court of Justice seeking a declaration that a substantial part of the national legislation of that Member State on the right to asylum and on the return of illegally staying third-country nationals is contrary to EU law and more specifically the 'Procedures'1 'Reception'2 and 'Return' 3 Directives.

In particular, the Commission alleges that Hungary has infringed the procedural safeguards relating to applications for international protection, has unlawfully detained applicants for that protection in transit zones and has unlawfully removed illegally staying third-country nationals.

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AIDA 20-06-23:

Grekland/ Country Report update: 2019 till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Greece tracks numerous legislative, policy and practice-related developments relating to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, and content of international protection. While it mainly covers the year 2019, it also contains information on the first five months of 2020 as well as COVID-19 related measures.

48 % increase of arrivals in 2019

In 2019, 74,613 persons arrived in Greece. This is an increase of 48% compared to 2018. Out of those a total of 59,726 persons arrived in Greece by sea in 2019, compared to 32,494 in 2018. The majority originated from Afghanistan (40%), Syria (27.4%) and DRC (6.7%). More than half of the population were women (23%) and children (36%), while 41% were adult men.

The average processing time at first instance also increased in 2019, reaching about 10.3 months, compared to 8.5 months in 2018. Out of the total of 87,461 applications pending by the end of 2019, in 81.6% of the cases the personal interview had not yet taken place and in 67% of the cases the interview is scheduled for the second semester of 2020 or even after 2020. In certain cases, interviews have been scheduled as late as 2023 and even 2024.

Pushbacks and suspension of the asylum procedure

The increase in the number of alleged pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish border of Evros continued during 2019. The United Nations Committee Against Torture expressed serious concerns as regards the principle of non-refoulement. Incidents of pushbacks are also reported at the Aegean Sea since 2020, as pointed out by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in early March 2020.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200624:

AIDA 20-05-20:

Serbien/ Update of country report: 2019 till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Serbia documents the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Asylum procedure

Access to the territory remains a serious concern as a significant number of pushbacks persisted in 2019. At least 16,000 persons likely to be in need of international protection were pushed back by Serbian border police authorities to Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Serious concerns about the practices carried out by the Border Police Station Belgrade (BPSB) at the airport have also been reported, putting individuals at risk of refoulement.

The procedure at first instance has been significantly improved as the Asylum Office has stopped its previous practice of automatically applying the 'safe third country concept'. This means that for the first time in the history of the Serbian asylum system, the majority of applications for international protection were examined on the merits. However, inconsistencies in the decision-making process continued to be reported in certain cases - thus requiring enhanced harmonization - and the overall length of the first instance procedure remains very lengthy. No imrpovement was noted with regard to the procedure at second instance. The Asylum Commission and Administrative Courts continued to systematically uphold first instance decisions, thus rendering the chances of success of appeals extremely low.

Reception conditions

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AIDA 20-05-27:

Italien/ Update of country report: 2019 till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Italy documents the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Access to the territory and the asylum procedure

Closed ports policy, indirect refoulement to Libya and privatised pushbacks policy were reported in 2019. At least 8,406 people were tracked down by the Libyan coastguard and brought back to Libya. Despite the opposition of numerous associations including ASGI, and the call of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya, also judged by a Criminal Court to be not conform the Italian Constitution and to international laws, has been renewed in February 2020.

In 2019 the Civil Court of Rome allowed access to the asylum procedure from abroad to some Eritreans who were unlawfully returned to Libya in 2009. In two other cases, it ordered to issue humanitarian visas to allow the entry of minors, one of whom was in Libya.

A border procedure, applicable in border areas and transit zones, that was introduced last year in the legal framework has now been implemented, following a ministerial decree. This decree identifies the border and transit areas where the accelerated procedure for the examination of asylum applications applies when a person evades or attempts to evade border controls. The first applications of the decree have already revealed a controversial application of the concept of "border controls' evasion. A list of 13 safe countries of origin has also been adopted.

It has further reported that there is a disproportionate and incorrect use of manifestly unfounded decisions in asylum applications examined within accelerated procedures, which compromises the rights of defence and protection of asylum seekers.

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Se även:

Aida 2019 update: Ireland (Extern länk)

Aida 2019 update: Serbien (Extern länk)

Aida 2019 update: Grekland (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200523:

AIDA 20-04-29:

Turkiet/ AIDA 2019 update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Turkey documents the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international and temporary protection in 2019.

Turkey currently hosts both a population of over 3,5 million refugees from neighbouring Syria and several hundred thousand asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection of other nationalities, most principally originating from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Somalia. These two populations of protection seekers are subject to two different sets of asylum rules and procedures. As such, the Turkish asylum system has a dual structure. In line with the legislative framework the report is divided into two sections, the first on international protection and the second on temporary protection (for Syrian nationals and stateless Palestinians originating from Syria).

The European Union (EU) continued to provide funding and support to the Turkish authorities through the EU-Turkey statement in 2019, including considerable sums for education. The EU also provides significant funding for detention in Turkey thus supporting the construction of 6 detention centres with six more centres to be co-financed.

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Se även:

AIDA 20-04-23: 2019 update: Malta (Extern länk)

AIDA 20-04-29: 2019 update: Romania (Extern länk)

AIDA 20-05-11: 2019 update: Sweden (Extern länk)

AIDA 20-05-13: 2019 update: Portugal (Extern länk)

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AIDA 20-04-29:

Rumänien/ AIDA 2019 update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Romania documents the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Reports from UNHCR Serbia show that in 2019 1,561 persons were collectively expelled from Romania to Serbia, with higher numbers registered in the last months of the year. This is an increase in the number in comparison to 2018 (during which 746 persons were collectively expelled). The Border Police reported that a total of 2,048 persons were apprehended for irregular entry in 2019. In 2019, as well as in 2018, it was reported that unaccompanied children who were apprehended trying to cross irregularly the border from Serbia to Romania, were prosecuted for having crossed illegally the border and for migrant smuggling. The children were held in pre-trial detention.

In 2019, 2,587 first time applicants applied for international protection. The availability and quality of interpretation has remained an issue, throughout 2019, including at the border. In some regions the authorities still use double interpretation. In 2019 interviews were conducted through videoconferencing in most of the regional centres, when there was no interpreter of certain languages.

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AIDA 20-04-23:

Malta/ AIDA 2019 update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Malta provides a detailed overview of the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

2019 saw an increase in sea arrivals to Malta due to the ending of an informal agreement between Malta and Italy where Italy had agreed for migrants rescued in Maltese territorial waters to be disembarked in Italy. As a result of the rise in arrivals and the saturation of the reception system, the Maltese authorities in 2019 decided to detain each and every person arriving irregularly to the country under national health regulations. Such systematic detention is applicable to unaccompanied children, families and vulnerable persons and it has been implemented on the ground that there is a reasonable suspicion that new arrivals might spread contagious diseases. The health regulations allow the authorities to restrict a person's movements for up to four weeks - with a possible extension of up to ten weeks - on suspicion that a disease may be spread. In practice, no form of assessment is conducted, and applicants are only provided with a simple document stating the duration of detention. In addition, despite the limitation on the duration of detention as provided by the health regulations, it has been observed that applicants would not be released even after they were medically screened and cleared. Instead, individuals would only be released when a place is made available in open centres. This is also the case for children and vulnerable persons.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200426:

AIDA 20-04-16:

Polen/ AIDA 2019 update: Poland till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Poland provides a detailed overview of the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Asylum procedure

Access to the territory and to the asylum procedure at the border in Terespol remains one of the main challenges in 2019, with about 4,378 persons being refused entry there. While civil society organisations and other actors continue to document unlawful practices and incidents occurring at the border, the Polish government denies any allegations in this regard. Moreover, there is still no border procedure in Poland, but the bill that had been presented in 2017 with the aim to introduce such a procedure has been updated in 2019. The latter also provides for the adoption of a list of safe countries of origin and safe third countries. Several NGOs raised concerns and commented on the bill, which was still under discussion as of February 2020.

Other issues reported during the asylum procedure relate to improper interpretation, for which asylum seekers are sometimes being held responsible, as well as issues in the recording of interviews. Despite the new call for proposal for funding possibilities which finally opened to NGOs in 2019 after three years of suspension, access to legal assistance remains severely limited in practice.

The main development in 2019 concerns onward appeals to the Administrative Courts, as the latter have started to suspend the enforcement of negative decisions during appeal proceedings, thus protecting applicants against refoulement during this time. The Supreme Administrative Court also issued judgements in 2019 in which the suspensive effect was upheld.

Reception conditions

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AIDA 20-04-22:

Kroatien/ AIDA 2019 update: Croatia till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Croatia documents the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Access to territory and situation at Croatian border

It sheds light in particular on the situation at the Croatian border where push backs and violent police practices have been documented, affecting several thousands of persons. Overall, the Ministry of Interior stated that, from January to September 2019, it had prevented 9,487 people in their attempt to illegally cross the border, which marks a significant increase of 200% compared to the same period in 2018. This strict border regime limits access to the territory and to the asylum procedure. It puts individuals at risk of serious human rights violations, including vulnerable groups, and is particularly worrying in light of the level of violence that has been reported, involving incidents of torture, shootings, accidents and deaths of migrants in certain cases. The situation at the border is being heavily criticised by a variety of national and international organisations and is under particular scrutiny in the context of Croatia's accession to Schengen.

Asylum procedure and reception conditions

Other developments relevant to the asylum procedure include inter alia the re-structuring of the determining authority, concerns regarding the length of appeal procedures as well as the Constitutional Court's ruling highlighting the importance of thoroughly examining individual circumstances in subsequent applications.

As regards reception, the living conditions in the Reception Centre in Zagreb have significantly improved following renovations. These were carried out, however, because the local population voiced strong opposition against the creation of a new Reception Centre near Petrinja, in Mala Gorica, as was initially planned in 2018. Hate speech and discrimination has been reported as a growing issue in Croatia in 2019.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

AIDA 20-03-26:

Österrike/ AIDA 2019 update: Austria till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Austria documents numerous legislative, policy and practice developments relating to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, and content of international protection.

It draws particular attention to the introduction of the law establishing a Federal Agency for Supervision and Support Services (Bundesagentur für Betreuungs- und Unterstützungsleistungen, BBU-G) which will drastically change the Austrian legal aid system. This law foresees that the new Federal Agency will be in charge of providing both reception conditions (i.e. basic care) and legal assistance to asylum seekers in first and second instance as of January 2021, thus excluding the possibility for NGOs to receive funding to that end. The cancellation of their contracts with the Government has been confirmed at the end of February 2020. Moreover, the Federal Agency falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior, whose influence will inevitably affect the provision of objective and independent legal assistance.

Other persisting issues relate to the conditions in return and detention centres, as confirmed by several civil society organisations and United Nations (UN) bodies. Detention of vulnerable persons, capacity gaps and the lack of training of detention staff remain unaddressed concerns. Furthermore, the increased focus of the determining authority on procedures withdrawing the protection status, in particular of Afghan nationals, has also been reported in 2019 and seems to be exacerbated by important discrepancies in the rulings of the Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court on the matter.

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AIDA 20-04-09:

Spanien/ AIDA 2019 update: Spain till sidans topp

The updated country report on Spain documents the most recent developments in the Spanish asylum system, i.e. legislative and practice-related changes in the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection. It demonstrates that Spain still faces important difficulties in adapting to the increase of new arrivals and the number of applications for international protection.

Access to territory

Refusal of entry, collective expulsions and push backs persisted throughout 2019, as a result of which asylum applicants resort to dangerous practices and put their lives at risk to access the territory. While the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment of February 2020 in the case of N.D and N.T v Spain failed to condemn Spain for such practices, civil society organisations and other actors have continued to raise serious concerns and to document the numerous incidents occuring at the Spanish border.

Asylum procedure

The average processing times of asylum claims (which can reach up to 2 years), the significant increase of the backlog of cases (111,740 at the end of 2019 compared to 68,779 at the end of 2018) as well as the quality of the asylum procedure continue to be heavily criticised. The situation of vulnerable groups is of particular concern as identification and referral mechanisms are still lacking. More particularly, several NGOs have qualified the lack of support to victims of human trafficking as one of the most important issue in 2019, despite the Government's efforts on the matter.

Reception and detention conditions

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AIDA 20-03-26:

Slovenien/ AIDA 2019 update: Slovenia till sidans topp

The updated country report on Slovenia documents developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Reports of individuals being denied access to the asylum procedure by Slovenian police at the Slovenian border with Croatia have continued to surface in 2019, a practice which has persisted since 2018. An independent investigation by the Slovenian Ombudsman has revealed that there is an absence of a thorough assessment of the personal circumstances of individuals at the border by the police. Moreover, according to statistics in 2019, expressions of the intention to apply for asylum remain very low, despite a rise in the number of documented illegal border crossings. This has led the Slovenian Ombudsman and NGOs in the country to conclude that individuals are prevented from expressing their intention to apply for international protection; a finding which is only reinforced by data highlighting a significant increase in 2019 of the number of returns to Croatia based on the bilateral readmission agreement between Slovenia and Croatia.

In a similar vein, the updated report notes recent jurisprudential developments in Slovenia pertaining to access to the territory, notably legislative amendments which would allow the state to limit access to the territory for asylum seekers in case of a large number of arrivals. According to a recent ruling of the Constitutional Court in Slovenia, such amendments were in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.

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AIDA 20-04-09:

Schweiz/ AIDA 2019 update: Switzerland till sidans topp

The updated country report on Switzerland describes the functioning of the new asylum procedure which entered into force in March 2019. It documents the most recent legislative and practice-related changes in the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection.

New asylum procedure

The overall aim of the new system is to significantly speed up the procedure, including by bringing together the main actors of the procedure "under the same roof"; namely in federal centres located in six defined regions in Switzerland. The reform sets up several procedures (accelerated, extended, Dublin) strictly limited in time, thus shortening processing times and deadlines for appeals.

Against that backdrop, the new asylum system introduces several safeguards such as the right for asylum seekers to receive information, free counselling and legal representation at first instance, regardless of the applicable procedure. However, the shortened deadlines put the asylum authorities under significant pressure and risk to undermine an adequate examination of medical needs and related evidence. This was confirmed by the recent case law of the Federal Administrative Court which highlighted several shortcomings in this regard.

Reception conditions

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AIDA 20-04-02:

Nederländerna/ AIDA 2019 update: Netherlands till sidans topp

The updated country report on the Netherlands documents developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

2019 has been marked by a significant delay in the asylum procedure, which further continued in 2020. In February 2020, almost 9,000 asylum seekers were still awaiting - some of them for almost two years - the start of their asylum procedure. Asylum seekers stay in a rest and preparation period, which should normally take around six days after which the actual asylum procedure should start. In 2018, this period has been considerably extended. Due to capacity problems within the Immigration Authorities (IND), this has not changed in 2019. The rest and preparation period still takes about 12 months (in general 47 weeks) before the general asylum procedure takes place. The Secretary of State of Justice announced that it will be difficult to reduce the delay by 2021, but measures are being taken to limit the delay. The Dutch Council for Refugees reported that the excessive waiting time in the rest and preparation period created tension in the centers and serious concerns among asylum seekers about family reunification.

Due to the long waiting times at the IND, applicants also spend longer periods in the reception centres. The COA has announced that they will need 5000 extra places in 2020 due to this development. At the end of 2019, the State Secretary announced she wanted to open separate reception locations for applicants originating from safe countries of origin. However, at this point there have been no concrete plans for these locations.

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AIDA 20-04-02:

Frankrike/ AIDA 2019 update: France till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on France details legislative and practice-related developments in asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection.

Access to the territory

In 2019, France notified the European Commission of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders until 30 April 2020. The Council of State has further validated in October 2019 a decision of reintroduction of temporary border controls that had been taken in 2018. The practice of systematic refusal of entry of persons arriving at the Italian land border persisted in 2019 regardless of protection needs of asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors.

Asylum procedures

The length of the asylum procedure remains a concern. While the average waiting time to register asylum claims has decreased since 2018, the Council of State confirmed in July 2019 that waiting times remained an issue and ordered the authorities to take measures to comply with the time limits laid down in law. In the Ile-de-France region, asylum seekers face an additional administrative layer in the registration process resulting from the telephone appointment system operated by the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII). In November 2019, the Administrative Court of Paris thus ordered the Prefecture to increase the number of daily appointments.

Reception conditions

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AIDA 20-04-02:

Cypern/ AIDA 2019 update: Cyprus till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Cyprus documents numerous legislative, policy and practice developments relating to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, and content of international protection.

Significant changes have been set in motion with respect to the asylum system in Cyprus during 2019 and early 2020. These changes, as well as proposed amendments, have been put in place as a result of the increasingly high numbers of arrivals to the country as well as reactions to the escalation of Covid-19. In particular, the conversion of an Emergency Reception Centre into a First Registration Reception Centre with an increased capacity is underway. The centre is intended to reach a capacity of approximately 800 persons however it currently has a capacity of 350-400. Since Covid-19 developments this centre is operating as a closed centre and is hosting around 700 persons. No time-limit to this de facto detention has been announced. Such practice appears to be in stark contrast to case-law developments in 2019 where the International Protection Administrative Court of Cyprus has annulled detention decisions on the basis that there had been a lack of examination of alternative measures to detention and an absence of a proportionality and necessity examination prior to ordering the detention.

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AIDA 20-04-09:

Belgien/ AIDA 2019 update: Belgium till sidans topp

The updated country report on Belgium documents developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

2019 was marked by a significant delay in the processing of asylum applications, and the lack of reception accommodation, resulting in asylum seekers left homeless and destitute. Despite the numerous warnings of the federal reception agency for asylum seekers Fedasil as well as civil society actors, a new reception crisis emerged in 2019. This is due to the government' scaling down of capacity to adapt reception systems to a drop in asylum applications in previous years, which was therefore not able to address the increase of applications for international protection in 2019. Moreover, as a result of the lack of staff within the determining authority, asylum procedures took longer and asylum seekers had to remain in reception centers for longer periods. The saturation of Fedasil's reception network also led to a suspension of resettlement operations of refugees since July 2019.

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Statewatch News 20-03-30:

Grekland/ MEPs, migration policy experts call for urgent action to uphold refugee rights till sidans topp

Over 100 MEPs from four political groups in the European Parliament have called on the European Commission to take action so that "fundamental rights and the right to asylum" are upheld in Greece. Their calls have been echoed by dozens of migration policy experts working on EU-funded projects.

The MEPs' letter, sent on 25 March and signed by MEPs from the Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL, Socialists & Democrats and Renew Europe groups, highlights "serious concerns regarding the use of COVID 19 epidemic to justify denial of the right to seek international protection at our borders, detention of asylum-seekers and forced returns to situations of danger."

The letter from EU-funded researchers, who have worked on numerous collaborative research projects examining how to improve EU migration policy, expresses "paramount concern regarding the violent course of action that is taken by the EU and individual member states in these testing times," and notes that the EU's actions are "doubly disturbing" - firstly, because expert advice and knowledge has been totally disregarded; and secondly, because the policies being promoted and implemented on the ground "fail to meet minimal human rights standards".

The MEPs also urge the Commission "to act regarding the serious deficiencies that have started in Greece before the COVID-19 outbreak and keep deteriorating," in particular with regard to the Greek government's decision to suspend access to the asylum procedure for a month.

"This is not to be understood as a "monthly delay" in the possibility to lodge an application but, literally, as banning access to all asylum procedures for the people who enter the country irregularly in seek of international protection, whilst there are no legal entry possibilities provided," says the letter.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200324:

AIDA 20-03-12:

Ungern/ AIDA 2019 update: Hungary till sidans topp

The updated country report on Hungary documents developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

The quasi-state of exception that has been introduced into Hungarian law in September 2015, entitled as the "state of crisis due to mass migration", has been extended once again until 7 September 2020. During this state of crisis special rules apply. This means inter alia that asylum may still only be sought at the border, inside the transit zone (unless the applicant is already residing lawfully in the territory of Hungary) and that asylum seekers are continued to be held in the transit zones for the entire asylum procedure, without any legal basis for detention or judicial remedies. Police are still authorised to pushback across the border fence irregularly staying migrants (including those who wish to seek asylum in Hungary) from any part of the country, without any legal procedure or opportunity to challenge this measure. In 2019 there were 11,101 people pushed back from the territory of Hungary to the external side of the border fence and 961 were blocked entry at the border fence.

During his visit to Hungary in July 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants urged the government to immediately terminate this 'state of emergency'; he noted that he could not see a single migrant approaching Hungary from the Serbian side of the border, and deemed the extension unnecessary.

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AIDA 20-03-19:

Storbritannien/ AIDA 2019 update: United Kingdom till sidans topp

The updated country report on the United Kingdom documents developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

As the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, there is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate future arrangements. The post 2020 arrangements regarding people seeking asylum, particularly in relation to the Dublin III Regulation, are not yet clear. At the beginning of 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the UK's notification of intention to leave the EU does not entail an obligation on other Member States to make use of the sovereignty clause or to take into consideration the best interests of the child and to examine asylum applications themselves. There has been much discussion about the future of the family unity clauses in the Dublin Regulation once the UK leaves the EU.

In 2019 there were 44,494 applicants for international protection in the United Kingdom. No major legislative changes regarding international protection took place in 2019. A report entitled "Lessons not Learned: the failures of asylum decision-making in the UK" was published in 2019 documenting flawed credibility assessments. It finds that the current system places an unrealistic and unlawful evidential burden on asylum applicants. It compiles findings from over 50 publications issued over the last fifteen years on the quality of decision-making processes in the UK Home Office. Built on an analysis of over 1,800 asylum cases and 140 interviews, the report charts the consistent failure of the Home Office to implement recommendations to improve procedures.

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ECRE 20-03-06:

Serbien/ Report on the Right to Asylum in 2019 till sidans topp

ECRE member Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) has released the report 'Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia 2019' providing a thorough analysis of developments related to asylum procedures, reception conditions and integration in Serbia. While recognising overall improvements BCHR concludes that the Serbian asylum system is not yet fully functional and identifies significant remaining challenges.

According to the report, despite a solid legal framework in place, the lack of effective coordination and systematic solutions from state authorities means that: "legal gaps and inconsistent enforcement of the existing legislation impede the exercise of both the right to asylum and many other refugee rights...".As a result, refugees and asylum seekers depend to a large extent on NGO assistance.

The practises of competent authorities, the combination of strict deadlines and slow processing, inadequate information and translation, and inability of applicants to launch applications on their own initiative in some cases prevent people wishing to seek protection in Serbia from accessing the asylum procedures.

While there are examples of good practise and thorough examination form the Asylum Office (first instance) the BCHR finds "inconsistent Asylum Office practice in terms of the findings of facts, considering that the first-instance authority does not always assess carefully and fully the evidence in all cases." Regarding the Asylum Commission (second instance) BCHR points to a general lack of transparency on the grounds of decisions and finds that it rarely enters the merits of the cases but return approved appeals to and rely almost entirely on the Asylum Office in first instance.

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Human Rights Watch 20-03-20:

Grekland/ Greece: Grant asylum access to new arrivals till sidans topp

Authorities prevent access to services, plan transfers to mainland detention

Greek authorities have denied at least 625 people who arrived on the island of Lesbos between March 1 and 18, 2020 the right to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said today.

The authorities are detaining 189 new arrivals on the island of Lesbos in unacceptable conditions. The other 436 were transported to a closed center in Malakassa, north of Athens, in conditions that are as yet unknown. On March 1, the Greek government suspended access to asylum for 30 days for people irregularly entering the country.

"For up to two weeks, the authorities have been holding women, men, and children - many of them fleeing war and persecution - in the open in cold temperatures, denying their right to seek asylum and preventing them from getting the humanitarian and legal assistance they need and are entitled to," said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Greece may be facing challenges on many fronts, from the coronavirus to a surge in arrivals, but it does not mean it can suspend fundamental rights or humane treatment."

The authorities have been holding the migrants and asylum seekers in three locations in northern Lesbos and at Mytilene harbor, and have prevented journalists from speaking with them. The March 1 decision calls for immediately deporting new arrivals "where possible, to their countries of origin" or to transit countries, such as Turkey, without registering them.

On March 17 the government, ostensibly as part of its response to the COVID-19 virus, announced that they are planning to transfer those detained and others who arrived on the islands after March 1 to closed facilities on Greece's mainland. On March 14, a Greek naval vessel transferred 436 migrants to a closed camp in Malakassa, north of Athens, pending their return to Turkey, local media reported.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200306:

AIDA 20-02-21:

Bulgarien/ AIDA 2019 update: Bulgaria till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Bulgaria documents developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

Asylum procedure

+ Draft amendments: In response to the European Commissions' (EC) letter of formal notice on 8 November 2018 concerning the incorrect implementation of European Union (EU) asylum legislation in Bulgaria, the government tabled for public consultations a draft proposal to amend the Law on Asylum and Refugees (LAR). However, the core of the proposal does not address the issues raised by the EC, namely the accommodation and legal representation of unaccompanied minors; the correct identification of and support to vulnerable asylum seekers; the provision of adequate legal assistance; and safeguards for detention. Moreover, while the draft proposal introduces additional provisions on the access to information for unaccompanied children, it deletes the present safeguards that outline the obligations relating to their legal representatives, thereby raising additional concerns in this regard.

+ Access to the territory: Push backs at the main entry point of the country, which borders Turkey, persisted in 2019. Moreover, the Turkish authorities reported that 90,000 individuals were held in the first nine months of the year in the Edirne Province, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece. In 2019, the national border monitoring registered 337 alleged pushback incidents which affected 5,640 individuals. Those who are able to access the territory are also able to transit and exit the country without being detected by the authorities, which is a strategy operated by the latter so as to avoid any responsibility under the Dublin Regulation or under readmission arrangements. As a result, the official statistics on new arrivals are at the lowest since the first influx in 2013.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200208:

EASO 20-01-28:

Grekland/ EASO operations in Greece to expand significantly till sidans topp

The Agency's operations in Greece are expected to double in size to over 1000 personnel in 2020; Hosting agreement signed to improve efficiency of support through legal and administrative clarity.

On 28 January 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the Greek government signed a Seat Agreement for the Hosting of the EASO Operational Office in Greece. The agreement was signed in Athens by the Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori, and the Greek Alternate Minister for Migration and Asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Ms Gregori stated: "EASO has been continuously increasing its operational support and cooperation with the Greek authorities since 2011. We have already started further expanding our support in the country in these weeks, and today's agreement gives us the needed administrative and legal framework to do so effectively. I want to thank Alternate Minister Koumoutsakos for the renewed effort he put into ensuring that the agreement was finalised as a priority. This continued constructive approach reflects the long-standing and ongoing excellent working relationship EASO has in partnering with our Greek colleagues."

The hosting agreement gives legal and administrative clarity to the status of EASO in the country, including that of its staff and assets, thus allowing the Agency to be better able to support the Hellenic asylum and reception authorities.

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EASO 20-01-07: EASO operations to double in size this year (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200125:

Sciendo 19-10-11:

Finland/ "Because Migri Says So" - Legitimation in negative asylum decisions in Finland till sidans topp

Erna Bodström, University of Helsinki, Finland

Abstract

This article argues that authorisation and moral evaluation are the dominant legitimation strategies used in asylum decisions by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). After the migration events of 2015, the percentage of accepted asylum claims dropped dramatically in Finland, causing concern about the legal rights of asylum seekers. Drawing on theoretical literature concerning asylum decisions, borders and language, this article is based on a systematic analysis of 77 asylum decisions. It aims to answer the following questions: What strategies of legitimation does Migri use to support their negative asylum decisions? How are these strategies used? The study reports that the reasons behind negative asylum decisions are often not openly provided. Instead, the decisions largely rely on authorisation and implicit moral evaluation; the decision is so 'because Migri says so'. This lack of transparency has adverse consequences for the due process of asylum seekers, and these consequences can be life-changing.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191017:

AIDA 19-10- 16:

Europa/ Asylum authorities: an overview of internal structures and available resources till sidans topp

A comparative report published by AIDA, managed by ECRE, provides an overview of the structure, composition and functioning of asylum authorities at first instance. It aims to offer a better understanding of their operation and demonstrates that their ability to conduct a rigorous and fair examination of applications for international protection is inherent to their internal organisation and resources.

Despite the overall decrease of the number of applications for international protection in the European Union (EU), figures on the first half of 2019 indicate that asylum authorities continue to face important difficulties in processing asylum claims. The number of pending cases remains at a very high level, exceeding the number of first instance decisions in several countries, and the average processing time of these remains a matter of concern, with asylum applicants being scheduled an interview up to several months - or even years - after lodging their application in certain countries.

Taking these deficiencies into consideration, the report analyses the institutional architecture of determining authorities and the administrative arrangements that have been set up to carry out the asylum procedure efficiently. It further looks at the implementation of the legal guarantees foreseen by the EU asylum acquis, as Member Stares are required to provide asylum authorities with appropriate means, including competent personnel. The report thus sheds light on the financing, staffing and training of asylum authorities as well as on the tools used to examine and decide on applications for international protection. A final part analyses the quality assurance and control mechanisms that have been established in certain countries with a view to continuously improve the quality of decisions.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191002:

ECRE 19-09-27:

Storbritannien/ Report catalogues fifteen years of home office failures till sidans topp

A new report entitled "Lessons not Learned: the failures of asylum decision-making in the UK" compiles findings from over 50 publications issued over the last fifteen years on the quality of decision-making processes in the UK Home Office. Responding to the upcoming publication "Windrush Lessons Learned review" by the Home Office, the Refugee Council, Freedom from Torture and six other organisations warn that the Home Office is instead set to repeat the mistakes made in Windrush.

Built on an analysis of over 1800 asylum cases and 140 interviews, the report charts the consistent failure of the Home Office to implement recommendations to improve procedures. A negligence with devastating impact on individual asylum seekers. It documents flawed credibility assessments and finds that the current system places an unrealistic and unlawful evidential burden on applicants. It also describes a starting point of disbelief for applicants and a broader 'refusal culture' in the approach of the Home Office.

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, stated "That those who have looked to Britain for protection from the violence, persecution, rape or torture they have endured, should be treated so unfairly and insensitively at the hands of the UK Home Office, is simply unacceptable." The report describes the current approach of the Home Office as a "legal and a moral failure with a high human and economic cost for applicants" and calls for radical reform.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Refugee Council UK 19-05-24:

Storbritannien/ Court of Appeal rules age assessment policy as unlawful till sidans topp

The Court of Appeal yesterday (23rd May) ruled that the Home Office's policy on deciding the age of young people seeking asylum is unlawful and must be rewritten, as it fails to ensure that children are not mistakenly treated as adults. In ordering the guidance to be revised, the judge stated that the term 'significantly over 18' was not sufficiently precise as to avoid huge differences in how it was applied, giving rise to the risk that children would be wrongly deemed adults and treated as such in the asylum system.

The judgment is a very important step in protecting unaccompanied children seeking asylum from being identified as adults; the Refugee Council works with many children in this situation and has been raising concerns for many years, both directly with the Home Office and through publicising the issue. We published Not a Minor Offence in 2012 and just last month participated in a BBC Newsnight investigation.

Responding to the judgment Refugee Council's Head of Children's Services Helen Johnson OBE said

"We got involved in this case because every day we see children who have been deemed adult under this Home Office policy, leaving them feeling unsafe, frightened and unsupported. We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal agreed with us that the current wording of the policy does not provide sufficient guidance to ensure that children are not wrongly treated as adults. This ruling means that the Home Office must be much more cautious before it makes this decision and we hope that revised guidance will put an end to these errors once and for all."

The challenge to the policy was the residual issue remaining in the case known as BF (Eritrea) who was represented by Scott Moncrief Solicitors and Matrix Law Chambers. The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened.

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Refugee Council Policy Briefing: Age disputed young people in the asylum system (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

Home Office Guidance updated: Assessing age, Version 3 (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190610:

ECRE 19-05-19:

Tyskland/ ECRE report on the airport procedure in Germany till sidans topp

In a report published following a visit to Germany in April 2019, ECRE examines gaps and compliance with procedural guarantees in the airport procedure implemented in the airports of Frankfurt/Main and Munich.

The airport procedure in Germany has been described as a "black box" due to its obscurity, lack of quality, and limited amenability to scrutiny. Although the number of claims processed at airports representing less than 1% of the total caseload before the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the airport procedure is marred by severe deficiencies in practice.

Among other concerns, the report highlights that asylum seekers navigate highly truncated procedures without comprehensible information and adequate interpretation. The BAMF is reported to make superficial and inadequate assessments of the reasons for flight from the country of origin and maintains a restrictive stance aimed at filtering out claims, going beyond the scope of cases that should be deemed "manifestly unfounded" in line with the German Asylum Act.

Furthermore, applicants with special procedural needs such as pregnant women or persons with disabilities are subjected to lengthy interviews with the BAMF without benefitting from "adequate support" guaranteed to them by the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

Finally, the report emphasizes that procedural deficiencies are exacerbated by the conduct of the entire airport procedure in a regime of de facto deprivation of liberty, without effective access to means of communication or remedies against arbitrary detention. In that respect, ECRE is particularly concerned by the persisting failure of German authorities to comply with Strasbourg jurisprudence on the right to liberty in airport transit zones.

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Danish Refugee Council / ECRE 19-05-17:

Italien, Grekland/ The Implications of a Closer Asylum-Return Nexus till sidans topp

The strong linkage between asylum and return procedures in the hotspot approach puts fundamental rights at risk, according to a policy brief published by the Danish Refugee Council.

Whereas hotspots in Italy and Greece were set up with a view to ensuring greater effectiveness and efficiency in migration management, experience from practice has demonstrated critical gaps in registration, access to procedures and identification of vulnerabilities, as well as violations of the right to liberty through systematic detention.

The brief places particular emphasis on the implications of the channelling of people into different procedures and the automatic detention of certain groups upon arrival, for example through the nationality-based "low profile" scheme on Greek islands. Persons subject to that scheme are automatically placed in pre-removal detention centres and can only seek asylum whilst in detention.

The Danish Refugee Council recommends access to proper and immediate legal assistance for all persons in such procedures, systematic identification of visible and non-visible vulnerabilities, and compliance with the duty to resort to detention only as a measure of last resort.

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Rapporten "Rights at risk: Implications of a closer nexus between asylum and return procedures" (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

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Danish Refugee Council / ECRE 19-05-17:

Grekland/ The Implications of a Closer Asylum-Return Nexus till sidans topp

The strong linkage between asylum and return procedures in the hotspot approach puts fundamental rights at risk, according to a policy brief published by the Danish Refugee Council.

Whereas hotspots in Italy and Greece were set up with a view to ensuring greater effectiveness and efficiency in migration management, experience from practice has demonstrated critical gaps in registration, access to procedures and identification of vulnerabilities, as well as violations of the right to liberty through systematic detention.

The brief places particular emphasis on the implications of the channelling of people into different procedures and the automatic detention of certain groups upon arrival, for example through the nationality-based "low profile" scheme on Greek islands. Persons subject to that scheme are automatically placed in pre-removal detention centres and can only seek asylum whilst in detention.

The Danish Refugee Council recommends access to proper and immediate legal assistance for all persons in such procedures, systematic identification of visible and non-visible vulnerabilities, and compliance with the duty to resort to detention only as a measure of last resort.

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Rapporten "Rights at risk: Implications of a closer nexus between asylum and return procedures" (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190517:

ECRE 19-05-10:

Tyskland/ PRO ASYL recommendations for decision-making and asylum procedures till sidans topp

In a comment on the Green Party's proposal for the improvement of asylum procedures in Germany ECRE member PRO ASYL made recommendations for improving the quality of decision-making in asylum procedures and adjusting asylum procedural law to ensure that individual circumstances are taken into account on a case-by-case basis and guarantee access to legal remedies.

Decision-making practices in the German Federal Office for Asylum (BAMF) have come under increased scrutiny as data revealed that in 2018 31.4% of negative asylum decisions were overturned upon appeal (without cases not proceeded to judgment); for applicants from Afghanistan the rate is as high as 58%. As 310,000 appeals regarding asylum decisions are pending at the end of 2018 PRO ASYL is concerned that political pressure leading to the acceleration and truncation of asylum procedures, e.g. in AnkER Centres, is affecting the quality of decision-making, shifts a disproportionate burden on administrative courts and lawyers and effectively limits asylum seekers' access to rights.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190503:

AIDA 19-04-16:

Tyskland/ AIDA 2018 Update: Germany till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Germany provides a detailed overview of developments in the asylum procedure, reception conditions and detention, as well as content of international protection. The political agreement of 12 March 2018 between German federal coalition partners CDU, CSU and SPD announced plans for a restructuring of the asylum procedure in March 2018. According to the coalition agreement, all asylum seekers should spend the first phase of their procedures in so-called "Arrival, Decision and Return" (AnkER) centres. However, most Federal States refused to implement the concept, claiming that existing institutions (especially the "arrival centres") already fulfilled the purposes that had been set out in the coalition agreement. At the end of 2018, only three Federal States (Bavaria, Saxony and Saarland) had agreed to establish AnkER centres, in most cases just by renaming their existing facilities. Asylum seekers may be required to stay for up to 24 months in AnkER centres if their applications are rejected as manifestly unfounded or inadmissible, with limitations on freedom of movement and no access to the labour market. AnKER centres are drawing important criticism from refugee associations, NGO's and other local actors.

Other key developments in Germany are outlined below:

Applications and decisions: The number of first asylum applications dropped to 161,931 from 198,317 in 2017. In particular, fewer applicants were registered for several of the most important countries of origin of asylum seekers, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. About 35% of decisions resulted in a protection status for applicants, but an exceptionally high number of asylum procedures were abandoned without an examination of the substance of the case (either because the application was considered "inadmissibile" or because the procedure was discontinued for other reasons). If only those procedures in which a decision on the substance of the asylum claim took place are taken into account, the overall recognition rate was at 50.2% in 2018.

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ELENA Weekly Legal Update 19-04-04:

Schweiz/ Tribunal rules in case regarding evidentiary assessment in age determination till sidans topp

On 4 March, the Federal Administrative Tribunal of Switzerland overturned a decision on an asylum request due to lack of proper reasoning and evidentiary assessment of the applicant's age claim.

The applicant, an Eritrean national, applied for asylum as an unaccompanied minor in Switzerland and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) ordered a bone test to assess his age. According to the results of the test, the applicant was found to be 18 years old. The applicant had stated that he did not possess an identity document but he had a baptism certificate and his student card in support of his argument. The authorities rejected his claim due to lack of identification, the test results and his physical appearance, and proceeded to issue a take charge request to Italy, as they had received a Eurodac hit.

After Italy refused the request, the SEM examined the applicant's asylum claim and rejected the application noting the lack of identity documents and his late mention of draft evasion-related claims. On appeal, the Tribunal first cited the scientific sources documenting the margin of error and individual variability of age assessment medical examinations. Due to inevitable deviations after the age of 16, the bone analysis alone cannot prove the applicant's age when it comes to the age of 18, the latter being the threshold of majority.

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AIDA 19-04-16:

Italien/ AIDA 2018 Update: Italy till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Italy provides a detailed analysis of legislative developments introduced by Decree Law 113/2018, implemented by L 132/2018, as well as practice relating to asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of protection.

Among other elements, the 2018 reform has codified the concept of internal protection alternative for the first time in Italian law. In addition, the humanitarian protection status, frequently granted before the 2018 law reform, has been abolished. The Territorial Commissions may only refer the applicant to the Ministry of Interior for certain national statuses.

Asylum procedure

The 2018 reform has established a border procedure applicable at border areas and in transit zones, which applies to persons apprehended after evading or attempting to evade border controls and to persons coming from a safe country of origin. Several elements of the procedure appear to be incompatible with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

It has also introduced an "immediate procedure" for persons under criminal investigation where grounds for detention apply, or for persons subject to a non-definitive conviction for crimes involving acts which may trigger exclusion from international protection. During appeals in the immediate procedure, suspensive effect is not granted, nor can it be requested. Therefore the procedure appears to be incompatible with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

Moreover, the 2018 reform has removed the possibility to obtain suspensive effect in appeals against the rejection of subsequent applications. It has also introduced the possibility of automatically declaring inadmissible a subsequent application made "during the execution phase of a removal procedure". This has led to subsequent applications being automatically dismissed by Territorial Commissions but also directly by Questure.

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AIDA 19-04-16:

Europa/ AIDA 2018 Update: Italy till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Italy provides a detailed analysis of legislative developments introduced by Decree Law 113/2018, implemented by L 132/2018, as well as practice relating to asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of protection.

Among other elements, the 2018 reform has codified the concept of internal protection alternative for the first time in Italian law. In addition, the humanitarian protection status, frequently granted before the 2018 law reform, has been abolished. The Territorial Commissions may only refer the applicant to the Ministry of Interior for certain national statuses.

Asylum procedure

The 2018 reform has established a border procedure applicable at border areas and in transit zones, which applies to persons apprehended after evading or attempting to evade border controls and to persons coming from a safe country of origin. Several elements of the procedure appear to be incompatible with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

It has also introduced an "immediate procedure" for persons under criminal investigation where grounds for detention apply, or for persons subject to a non-definitive conviction for crimes involving acts which may trigger exclusion from international protection. During appeals in the immediate procedure, suspensive effect is not granted, nor can it be requested. Therefore the procedure appears to be incompatible with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

Moreover, the 2018 reform has removed the possibility to obtain suspensive effect in appeals against the rejection of subsequent applications. It has also introduced the possibility of automatically declaring inadmissible a subsequent application made "during the execution phase of a removal procedure". This has led to subsequent applications being automatically dismissed by Territorial Commissions but also directly by Questure.

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AIDA 2018 Update: Germany (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Portugal (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190415:

AIDA 19-03-29:

Turkiet/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Turkey offers a comprehensive analysis of legislative, policy and practice developments relating to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, and content of international protection. The report draws on field visits and information collected from stakeholders and legal practitioners in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Konya, Hatay, Gaziantep, ?anlžurfa, Kayseri, Afyon, Antalya and Mu?la.

Following the inauguration of Turkey's presidential system in 2018, several changes have been made to the authorities in charge of migration and asylum. The role and responsibilities of the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) have been specified a Presidential Decree.

Moreover, the derogation from the principle of non-refoulement for reasons such as public order, security and terrorism, introduced by way of emergency decree in October 2016, was consolidated by law in February 2018. Removal decisions against Syrian and non-Syrian nationals have increasingly been used on these grounds in 2018. The Constitutional Court delivered a pilot judgment in the case of Y.T., on 12 June 2018, launching the pilot procedure to examine whether requests for interim measures it has received stem from a structural problem to protection from refoulement and, if so, what measures can be taken. From the entry into force of the decree until June 2018, the Constitutional Court had received 866 individual applications with requests for interim measures against deportation. Of those, the Court granted interim measures in 784 cases. The Constitutional Court has continued to grant interim measures to prevent deportation of persons in cases involving public order or security, although these were often valid only for several days.

International protection

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Europa/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Reports on Spain and France document developments in the two countries' asylum systems, against the backdrop of increasing numbers of asylum applications. A total of 55,570 asylum seekers registered applications in Spain, while 139,330 were registered in France.

Prompt registration and access to the procedure remain key concerns in both countries. In Spain, applicants wait 6 months on average for an appointment to lodge their claim, while some persons in Madrid have received appointments as late as December 2020. In France, asylum seekers continue to face obstacles to accessing an orientation platform (PADA) with a view to obtaining an appointment with the Prefecture single desk (GUDA). A telephone appointment system set up in the Ile-de-France region in 2018 has been criticised as inefficient by NGOs, as well as courts referring to "virtual queues" of asylum seekers.

Läs mer om asylprocedur och mottagande i dessa länder och hämta landrapporter (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Croatia (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Cyprus (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Belgium & the Netherlands (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Hungary (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Austria (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Greece (Extern länk)

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AIDA 2018 Update: Turkey (Extern länk)

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AIDA 19-03-27:

Österrike/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Austria provides a detailed overview of developments in the asylum procedure, reception conditions and detention, as well as content of international protection.

Asylum procedure

Length of procedures: The 20-day period for the admissibility procedure was deleted and the in-merit procedure can be carried out during the admissibility procedure. Moreover, the extension of the decision period from 6 to 15 months for the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) and to 12 months for the Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) has expired on 31 May 2018. However, it still applies to proceedings that were pending in first instance or in Court at that time.

Appeal: In 2018, the appeal period had been shortened to 2 weeks for accelerated procedures and in cases in which the application for international protection has been refused and a return decision, along with an order to leave the territory, has been issued. However, the Constitutional Court recently overturned the shortening of the appeal period in several decisions, on the ground that it would be disproportionate to extend the decision-taking period of the authorities beyond 6 months, while asylum seekers can only make an appeal within 1 or 2 weeks.

Suspensive effect: An appeal has no suspensive effect in cases where an asylum seeker has attempted to mislead the Federal Office by providing false information or documents, by concealing important information or by withholding documents about his/her identity or nationality.

Detention of asylum seekers

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AIDA 19-03-27:

Ungern/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Hungary provides a detailed overview of developments in the asylum procedure, reception conditions and detention, as well as content of international protection.

A quasi-state of exception introduced into Hungarian law in September 2015, entitled as the "state of crisis due to mass migration", was again prolonged until 9 March 2019. During this state of crisis special rules apply to third-country nationals irregularly entering and/or staying in Hungary and to those seeking asylum, and certain provisions of Asylum Act are suspended.

Asylum procedure

A new inadmissibility ground was introduced into the Asylum Act in July 2018, consisting of a hybrid between the safe third country and first country of asylum concepts. Compliance of such a ground with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive was raised in a preliminary reference by the Metropolitan Court, while it also led the European Commission to start an infringement procedure. There is no automatic suspensive effect of the appeals against the inadmissible decision based on the new ground. All asylum seekers applying for asylum after July 2018 have received inadmissible decisions, except for the former Prime Minister of North Macedonia who was granted refugee status.

In 2018, no transfers to Hungary were implemented under the Dublin Regulation. With regard to outgoing Dublin procedures, improvements were noted in the efforts of the Immigration and Asylum Office (IAO) to organise transfers to other countries.

Reception conditions

No major changes occurred. Still very few asylum seekers reside in open reception centres. By the end of 2018, only 3 persons were accommodated at the open reception centres, as the majority of asylum seekers continued to be de facto detained in transit zones.

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Spanien/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Reports on Spain and France document developments in the two countries' asylum systems, against the backdrop of increasing numbers of asylum applications. A total of 55,570 asylum seekers registered applications in Spain, while 139,330 were registered in France.

Key developments in Spain

Access to the territory: In order to respond to the increasing number of arrivals, during 2018 the new Spanish Government started putting in place new resources in order to manage arrivals and to carry out the identification of persons' vulnerabilities in the first days of arrival. Specific facilities for emergency and referral have been created: these are referred to as Centres for the Temporary Reception of Foreigners (Centros de Acogida Temporal de Extranjeros, CATE) and Centres for Emergency Reception and Referral (Centros de Acogida de Emergencia y Derivación, CAED).

Differential treatment of specific nationalities: At the end of 2018, the number of pending claims by Venezuelan nationals was 28,547. On 5 March 2019, the authorities announced a policy granting one-year renewable residence permits "on humanitarian grounds of international protection" to Venezuelan nationals whose asylum applications have been rejected between January 2014 and February 2019.

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Nederländerna/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA reports on Belgium and the Netherlands document the latest developments and practice relating to the reception and treatment of people seeking international protection. Access to the asylum procedure was a particular concern in both countries, as Belgium had introduced a quota for asylum applications and the rest and preparation period currently takes around 12 months in the Netherlands.

Key developments in the Netherlands

Access to the asylum procedure: The rest and preparation period should take maximum 6 days before the regular asylum procedure starts. However, due to capacity problems within the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), the rest and preparation period currently takes around 12 months and thus substantially delays the start of the asylum procedure.

Supervised reception centres: As of 2019, minors that are at least 16 years old can be transferred to the Extra Guidance and Supervision Locations (Extra begeleiding en toezichtlocaties, EBTL). These are special and restricted reception centres for asylum seekers who have caused tensions or any form of nuisance at an AZC, e.g. by bullying other inhabitants, destroying material, being aggressive or violating the house rules of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA).

Detention centres: During the last months of 2018, there has been a drastic reorganisation of the three detention centres. As of 2019, most immigration detention will take place in Rotterdam. The Dutch Council for Refugees has therefore started providing consulting services to asylum seekers in the Rotterdam detention centre, along with the ones that already existed at the Schiphol detention centre.

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Kroatien/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Croatia details legislative and practice-related developments in asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection.

Asylum procedure

Reports of refoulement or push backs at the border have continued in 2018. The Ombudswoman requested an investigation but was denied access to data and information. Non-governmental organisations Are you Syrious and the Centre for Peace Studies, as well as attorneys, accused the Ministry of Interior of putting pressure on human rights organisations and lawyers with the aim of diverting public attention from an investigation into the death of a six-year-old Afghan girl, Madina Hosseini, who died in 2017 after her family was pushed back to Serbia from Croatian territory. The case M.H. v. Croatia was brought by the family of Madina Hosseini before the European Court of Human Rights and was communicated on 11 May 2018.

A new Protocol on the treatment of unaccompanied children was adopted. The protocol establishes am Interdepartmental Commission for the protection of unaccompanied children.

Reception conditions

In July 2018, the Ministry of Interior's Independent Sector for Schengen Coordination and EU Funds decided to allocate funding for the implementation of the project Establishing Infrastructure and Capacity Building of the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers in Mala Gorica within the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund . In accordance with this decision, the Government of the Republic of Croatia plans to build a Reception Centre for asylum seekers near Petrinja, in the place of Mala Gorica.

Access to health care remained a persistent issue for asylum seekers. Mental health has also been highlighted as a key concern.

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AIDA 19-03-29:

Grekland/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Greece tracks numerous legislative, policy and practice developments relating to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, and content of international protection.

Substantial asylum reforms, driven by the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement, took place in 2018. Law 4540/2018 provided the possibility of participation of Greek-speaking EASO personnel in in the regular procedure, and transposed the recast Reception Conditions Directive.

Following an increasing number of cases of alleged push backs at the Greek-Turkish border of Evros in 2017, cases of alleged push backs have been systematically reported in 2018. The persisting practice of alleged push backs has been decried inter alia by UNHCR, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the National Commission for Human Rights and civil society organisations.

Asylum procedure

Access to asylum on the mainland continued to be problematic throughout 2018. Access to the asylum procedure for persons detained in pre-removal centres is also a matter of concern. The average period between pre-registration and full registration was 42 days in 2018.

The average processing time at first instance is reported at about 8.5 months in 2018 Out of the total number of 58,793 applications pending as of the end of 2018, in 80.5% the interview had not taken place. Thus, the backlog of cases pending for prolonged periods is likely to increase in the future.

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Frankrike/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Reports on Spain and France document developments in the two countries' asylum systems, against the backdrop of increasing numbers of asylum applications. A total of 55,570 asylum seekers registered applications in Spain, while 139,330 were registered in France.

Key developments in France

Asylum reform: Law n. 2018-778 of 10 September 2018 brought a significant number of changes to the Ceseda. Asylum procedure

Access to the territory: The practice of systematic refusal of entry of persons arriving at the Italian land border continues, despite widespread criticism and condemnation by Administrative Courts. The Border Police has implemented similar measures of push backs on the Spanish land border in the course of 2018. Following the 2018 reform, the right to a "full day" (jour franc) protecting the person against removal can no longer be claimed at land borders.

Accelerated procedure: Applicants under accelerated procedure on grounds of safe country of origin, subsequent application or threat to public order lose their right to remain on French territory from the moment of notification of a negative decision from OFPRA. They may nevertheless request suspensive effect before the Administrative Court for their appeal before the CNDA.

Freedom of movement: Asylum seekers must report to and remain in the region allocated to them by OFII, even if no housing is granted to them. Asylum seekers will automatically lose their reception conditions in case they do not report to or remain in that region, or if they do not abide by the requests of the authorities.

Duration of detention: A person can remain in administrative detention for a maximum of 90 days, up from 45 days prior to the reform.

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ECRE 19-03-29:

Frankrike/ Bone tests to determine migrant age ruled constitutional till sidans topp

A "disgraceful" decision

On 21 March 2019, the French Constitutional Court ruled that bone tests determining the age of young migrants are not unconstitutional, despite massive criticism of NGOs, lawyers and medical experts.

The case concerned a young Guinean, Adama. S, who declared to be 15 years old upon his arrival in France in 2016. A bone test concluded that his age was between 20 and 30 years. With the support of several civil society organisations, including Gisti, la Cimade, Médecins du monde and the Catholic Relief Service, he brought the case before the Constitutional Court as a preliminary priority question. The applicant claimed that the radiological examination of bones violated the principle of the 'best interests of the child'. Due to its margin of error it led to unaccompanied minors being excluded from the beneficial provisions designed to protect them. Although the Court confirmed the constitutional character of the principle of the 'best interest of the child', it stated that the existence of a margin of error does not make the use of the test unconstitutional.

The League for Human Rights called the decision "disgraceful" and 10 civil society organisations reiterated their concerns through a collective action, which underlined the necessity to put an end to such practice. Concerns over the lack of scientific reliability of bones tests have been voiced persistently by medical experts and institutions such as the French Academy of Medicine, the Defender of Rights, the High Council for Public Health or the Committee on the rights of the child (CRC). The CRC has highlighted that in the event of uncertainty, the individual must be accorded the benefit of the doubt: if there is a possibility that the individual is a child, he or she should be treated as one.

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Cypern/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Cyprus tracks developments in the areas of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection, against the backdrop of a significant increase in the number of people seeking asylum in the country.

The number of asylum applications has significantly increased in recent years with 2,871 in 2016, 4,459 in 2017, and 7,761 in 2018, bringing Cyprus first in the per capita number of applications among the 28 EU Member States. The upward trend has continued in early 2019 with 1,090 persons applying in January 2019 compared to 440 in January 2018.

Asylum procedure

The law on the establishment and operation of the International Protection Administrative Court (IPAC) was enacted in 2018. The new Court is expected to start operating in May 2019 and will take over from the Administrative Court. It has yet to be clarified if the existing backlog of the Administrative Court, which is reported at the end of 2018 to be 555 cases, will be transferred on to the new Court; as had happened in 2016 when the backlog of asylum cases was transferred from the Supreme Court to the Administrative Court, which hampered the speedy examination of asylum cases. If the backlog is indeed transferred it is expected to have similar results.

The Refugee Reviewing Authority remains in operation and continues to receive new cases, with a backlog of 1,490 cases, despite a significantly low number of staff. There is no indication as to when it will cease to receive new cases.

Reception conditions

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AIDA 19-03-20:

Belgien/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA reports on Belgium and the Netherlands document the latest developments and practice relating to the reception and treatment of people seeking international protection. Access to the asylum procedure was a particular concern in both countries, as Belgium had introduced a quota for asylum applications and the rest and preparation period currently takes around 12 months in the Netherlands.

Key developments in Belgium

Access to the asylum procedure: In November 2018 the Belgian Aliens Office introduced a quota allowing the registration of no more than 50 asylum seekers per day at the "Petit-Château" / "Klein Kasteeltje" in central Brussels. As a result, more than one hundred people, including families with children, were queuing outside the facility every day, many of them unsuccessfully. Civil-society organisations challenged the measure before the Council of State. On 20 December 2018, the latter concluded that the contested measure was a barrier to the effective exercise of the fundamental right to make an asylum application, as enshrined in the 1951 Geneva Convention and national law. It therefore suspended the measure introducing a cap on the number of asylum applications.

Following the judgment of the Council of State, the authorities did not manage to provide access to the asylum procedure to all applicants on their first day at the Aliens Office. During a couple of weeks, the access to the asylum procedure was therefore automatically refused almost one day per week, during the weekend, or during a holiday period. Asylum applicants, particularly single men, who were refused access were requested to come back the next day and were not accommodated for the night.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190326:

AIDA 19-03- 14:

Storbritannien/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on the United Kingdom provides a detailed account of developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of protection.

Two new policies were introduced in relation to unaccompanied children brought by the UK government from other EU Member States. The first states that children transferred under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 ('Dubs Amendment') would be granted leave even if they do not qualify for refugee or subsidiary protection. The second provides for similar leave to be granted to children transferred here when the Calais camp was cleared in October 2016.

Asylum procedure

Revised guidance in relation to inadmissibility, including the safe third country concept, policy and practice was published in October 2018. The Home Office also published updated guidance on the registration of asylum applications.

The Upper Tribunal found in the case of SM that the situation of a particularly vulnerable person warranted suspension of a Dublin transfer to Italy, as circumstances were "markedly different" from established High Court case law on transfers to Italy.

Reception conditions

There are no substantive differences in relation to the overall support available to asylum seekers, although significant developments include a successful legal challenge to the level of financial support given to people who are recognised as likely victims of modern slavery (trafficking).

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AIDA 19-03-12:

Serbien/ AIDA 2018 Update: Romania & Serbia till sidans topp

The updated AIDA reports on Romania and Serbia track legislative developments and practice relating to the treatment of people in need of international protection. Access to the territory remains a critical regional problem, as successive push backs continue to be reported at the borders of the two countries, as well as others such as Bulgaria.

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AIDA 19-03- 12:

Rumänien, Serbien/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA reports on Romania and Serbia track legislative developments and practice relating to the treatment of people in need of international protection. Access to the territory remains a critical regional problem, as successive push backs continue to be reported at the borders of the two countries, as well as others such as Bulgaria.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190318:

AIDA 19-02-28:

Schweiz/ AIDA 2018 Update: Switzerland till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Switzerland documents the latest developments in policy and practice, as the country is preparing for transition to a large-scale restructuring of its asylum procedure of 1 March 2019.

Asylum procedure

In April 2018, as part of the restructuring of the asylum system, the state Secretariat for Migration (SEM) launched a second test phase of the accelerated procedure - following on from the first test phase in Zurich - in the federal centres of Boudry and Chevrilles, both located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. The accelerated procedure itself is conducted in Boudry while the purpose of the centre of Chevrilles is to accommodate asylum seekers while they are waiting either for a decision or for their return to the Dublin State responsible or to their country of origin

The Federal Administrative Court confirmed the Swiss practice of determining age assessment by mostly relying on medical procedures such as wrist, collarbone and teeth X-rays even if such an approach is not entirely respondent to international best practices.

Reception conditions

The first specific centre for uncooperative asylum seekers opened its doors in Les Verrières, Canton of Neuchâtel on 3 December 2018. The SEM has indicated that only men would be placed in such centres. As it is still too early to learn from the experience currently underway in Les Verrières, it will be necessary to carefully examine whether adequate access to legal assistance and adequate residence conditions are ensured in centres which are geographically isolated.6

Content of international protection

In 2018, SEM launched a project to review the temporary admission of 3,400 Eritrean nationals. This project follows a significant tightening of the practice of both SEM and Federal Administrative Court with regard to asylum applications submitted by Eritreans.

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AIDA 19-03-11:

Polen/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA country report on Poland maps the latest developments in the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention and status of persons obtaining international protection in Poland.

Asylum procedure

Access to the territory and to the asylum procedure remains problematic at the Terespol border crossing border point between Poland and Belarus. Notwithstanding several interim measures imposed by the ECHR on the Polish authorities prohibiting removal where the applicant expressed an intention to apply for asylum, this practice continued in 2018 and the Commissioner for Human Rights as well as NGOs continued to challenge this practice. A May 2018 judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court, dismissing Border Guard practice whereby only a memo instead of a full protocol is issued concerning interviews to establish the purpose of stay, is ignored by the Polish authorities on the basis that this is not required under the Schengen Borders Code.

In 2018 asylum seekers continued to face obstacles in accessing state funded free legal aid, while lack of funding for NGOs further undermined their capacity to provide legal assistance.

Detention of asylum seekers

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AIDA 19-03-11:

Malta/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Malta provides the latest developments in the country concerning the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection.

Asylum procedure

In 2018, the debate on asylum was dominated by a number of stand-offs between the Malta and Italy over the disembarkation of migrants rescued at sea, following the decision of the new Italian government to no longer accept disembarkation on its territory of persons rescued within the Maltese territorial waters or by the Maltese Armed Forces. Beyond the fact that the safety and health of migrants and ship's crew were put at risk, Maltese NGO's have highlighted several flaws the treatment of the migrants concerned following disembarkation in Malta following ad hoc informal relocation agreements with other EU Member States.

In practice, many asylum seekers were prevented from having access to the asylum procedure in Malta and could not lodge an asylum application. Having no access to the procedure, these potential asylum seekers were systematically detained (at times for prolonged periods of time) and they had limited access to assisting NGOs and lawyers. They also lacked information regarding the rights and obligations of asylum seekers prescribed by Maltese and EU law as well.

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AIDA 19-02-28:

Bulgarien/ AIDA 2018 Update till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Bulgaria provides the latest developments and persisting gaps in the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention and content of protection in Bulgaria.

Shortcomings in the Bulgarian asylum system have led to a European Commission letter of formal notice on 8 November 2018 for non-compliance with EU law, raising concerns related to: accommodation and legal representation of unaccompanied children; correct identification and support of vulnerable asylum seekers; provision of adequate legal assistance; and detention of asylum seekers, as well as safeguards in detention procedures

Asylum procedure

Push backs, violence, robbery and humiliating practices continue to be widespread along the border with Turkey. Low new arrivals figures in Bulgaria in the first half of 2018 and the triple increase in the second half indicate unofficial, though effective, cross-border cooperation between Bulgarian and Turkish governments to fully prevent the access through this external EU border, at least for the duration of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council.

Nationalities from countries such as Turkey, Ukraine, China and Algeria are treated as manifestly unfounded, with 0% recognition rates. The recognition rate of Afghan asylum seekers improved from 1.5% in 2017 to 24% overall in 2018, but still only as a result of litigation before domestic courts, and still far below the average EU rates. Recognition of Iraqi applicants continued to be very low with 12% overall recognition - 3% refugee status and 9% subsidiary protection.

Reception conditions

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Se även:

AIDA 2018 Update: Poland (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Switzerland (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Ireland (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Slovenia (Extern länk)

AIDA 2018 Update: Malta (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190111:

Springer 2019:

Europa/ Asylum Determination in Europe: Ethnographic Perspectives till sidans topp

Editors: Nick Gill, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK. Anthony Good, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Drawing on new research material from ten European countries, Asylum Determination in Europe: Ethnographic Perspectives brings together a range of detailed accounts of the legal and bureaucratic processes by which asylum claims are decided. The book includes a legal overview of European asylum determination procedures, followed by sections on the diverse actors involved, the means by which they communicate, and the ways in which they make life and death decisions on a daily basis. It offers a contextually rich account that moves beyond doctrinal law to uncover the gaps and variances between formal policy and legislation, and law as actually practiced.

The contributors employ a variety of disciplinary perspectives - sociological, anthropological, geographical and linguistic - but are united in their use of an ethnographic methodological approach. Through this lens, the book captures the confusion, improvisation, inconsistency, complexity and emotional turmoil inherent to the process of claiming asylum in Europe.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181018:

AIDA 18-10-11:

Europa/ ECRE publishes comparative analysis of entry & registration systems till sidans topp

Access to protection in Europe: Border controls and entry into the territory

The report provides an analysis of legal frameworks and practice relating to access to the territory for the purpose of seeking asylum. Push backs, through incorrect use of refusal of entry procedures or an avoidance of formal procedures altogether, remain an endemic problem across internal and external borders of the continent. The persisting practice of push backs does is closely connected to policy discussions on the Common European Asylum System, and the EU's discourse shift from the plight of refugees to prevention of "illegal migration" at any cost. It is also driven by misconceptions about the Dublin system and the erroneous view that a person can be turned away at the border without being able to make an asylum claim due to another state being responsible under the Dublin Regulation, as evident in political statements as it is in practice by police officials.

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Access to protection in Europe: The registration of asylum applications

Further challenges to accessing asylum stem from obstacles to prompt registration. The recast Asylum Procedures Directive refers to the terms of "making", "registering" and "lodging" a claim, without however detailing how these notions are to be understood in practice. These complex concepts and registration stages do not necessarily reflect consistent practice across the continent. For several countries, the formal introduction of an asylum application entails a single procedural step, while others construe "registration" and "lodging" as discrete stages with different legal effects.

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Access to protection in Europe: Border controls and entry into the territory (Extern länk)

Access to protection in Europe: The registration of asylum applications (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 171208:

TRAC Immigration 17-11-20:

USA/ Asylum outcome continues to depend on the judge assigned till sidans topp

The outcome for asylum seekers continues to depend on the identity of the immigration judge assigned to hear the case. If you, for example, were one of the 6,922 asylum seekers whose cases were decided in the San Francisco Immigration Court over the last six years, the odds of denial varied from only 9.4 percent all the way up to 97.1 percent depending upon the judge you had. For the 1,233 individuals whose cases were heard by the Newark Immigration Court, the odds of denial ranged between 10.9 percent all the way up to 98.7 percent depending upon the judge you appeared before. Stated another way, the odds of being granted asylum could be as high as 90 percent or as low as 3 percent in these two courts depending upon which immigration judge you were assigned.

The two courts with largest number of asylum cases, New York and Los Angeles, also had sizable judge- to-judge differences in judge asylum decisions. Although disparities were not quite as extreme as in San Francisco and Newark, the New York Immigration Court judge denial rates ranged from a low of only 3.0 percent up to a high of 58.5 percent. Denial rates were generally higher in Los Angeles. However, they were equally varied. The disparity in asylum outcomes among the judges on the Los Angeles court ranged from a low of 29.4 percent denied to a high of 97.5 percent. The remainder of the Los Angeles judges ranged widely between these two extremes.

TRAC's 2016 detailed analysis of asylum decision disparities noted that while judge-to-judge decision disparities have long existed, between 2010 and 2016 judge-to-judge decision disparities got worse. Increased disparities were found in 12 out of the 16 courts studied last year. This year's report shows that these sizable disparities remain. For both Newark and San Francisco, in fact, disparity levels had worsened, as had judge-to-judge differences for the Chicago Immigration Court. The Los Angeles and San Diego courts saw modest improvement.

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Arkiveringsdatum 171001:

Europarådet 17-09-20:

Europa/ Age assessment of young migrants: child's best interests must be safeguarded till sidans topp

A new report "Age assessment: Council of Europe member states' policies, procedures and practices respectful of children's rights in the context of migration" has been issued today.

This report, prepared by an independent expert, is based on a survey conducted in 37 Council of Europe member states1 in spring 2017, as well as on secondary sources analysis. The aim of the report is to provide a factual overview of the current situation in the member states and support the Council of Europe's work in developing guidelines on age assessment which respect children's rights in the context of migration.

Age assessment is a formal procedure by which the authorities seek to establish the chronological age of a person and determine whether he/she is an adult or a child, to take a decision on his/her entitlements, rights and duties.

The report reveals a highly fragmented situation in Europe; the rights and procedural safeguards afforded under international and European standards are not upheld consistently across member States.

Among the key challenges is the lack of common approach to age assessment procedures in Europe. A deficit of scientific and empirical basis creates a risk of an arbitrary result. As the main principle, the margin of error in age assessment should always be applied in favour of the person: he/she should be treated as a child. Otherwise, the children risk being detained in unsuitable facilities and consequently exposed to abuse and violence. Out of 37 countries surveyed, only 20 take the margin of error into account.

The child and his/her guardian should give their consent to the age assessment, which is the case only in 26 out of 37 countries surveyed. The child should have the right to refuse participation, especially in medical examinations.

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Pressmeddelandet med länk till rapporten (Extern länk)

Europaparlamentet 17-09-20: Unaccompanied migrant children: a call for child-friendly age assessment procedures (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-09-22:

Tyskland/ must comply with Dublin timeframes to transfer applicants from Greece till sidans topp

On 15 September 2017, the German Administrative Court of Wiesbaden ruled that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) must comply with the time limit of six months for carrying out a Dublin transfer as set out in Article 29 of the Dublin III Regulation.

The case concerned a Syrian minor who applied for international protection in Germany and whose family (parents and three siblings) applied for asylum in Greece, where they currently reside. His family has had a pending transfer from Greece to Germany since 30 March 2017, when Germany accepted the "take charge" issued by the Greek Dublin Unit.

Firstly, the Administrative Court recognised the existence of logistical problems in Germany, which poses obstacles to the transferring of the applicants within the required timeframe, and which is under the control of the BAMF. Secondly, it recalled that the minor's family members have a subjective right to be transferred within the six-month period, as required under Article 29 of the Dublin III Regulation and established by analogy to the Court of Justice of the European Union's Mengesteab judgment. Thirdly, in reply to the alleged agreements between the German and Greek authorities to establish a cap of transfers and to expand the available timeframe to carry out the transfer without the transfer of responsibility under the Dublin III Regulation, the Court affirmed that this guarantee represents an additional legal claim on behalf of the applicant, but does not have the effect of obviating Germany's responsibility to execute the transfer within the required time limit of six months. Fourthly, the Court stated that this time limit starts to run from the day the German authorities accepted the "take charge" request, and not from the day the Greek authorities confirmed receipt of that acceptance.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170728:

ECRE 17-07-27:

Tyskland/ Organisations raise concern over violations of right for family reunification till sidans topp

The undersigned organisations would like to express our serious concerns on a de facto violation of the right for family reunification and breach of relevant provisions stipulated in the EU Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin III Regulation), regarding asylum seekers' transfers from Greece to Germany under family reunification procedure. We refer specifically to a practice recorded during the last months according to which, asylum seekers entitled to be transferred to Germany under the relevant provisions of the Dublin III Regulation, are "blocked' in Greece for periods exceeding the deadlines provided by the above mentioned provisions, for reasons related to supplementary terms of a maximum number of transfers per month. This situation is jeopardizing the whole process and undermines the right of asylum seekers to family reunification, as provided by Dublin III Regulation and violates further their right to family life as stipulated in article 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights as well as article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In particular, during the last months we have become aware of many cases of asylum seekers whose taking charge requests have been accepted by Germany though their transfer 2 to Germany has not taken place, although the six-month deadline (art. 29) has expired. We have also been aware of many other cases for which the above deadline is to expire soon, but nevertheless no arrangements have been made for their transfer.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170530:

AIDA 17-05-18:

Europa/ AIDA Comparator 2016 Update till sidans topp

The AIDA Comparator has now been updated with the information provided in the 2016 Update of the Country Reports. Reflecting the addition of the chapter on content of protection in the Country Reports, this new section has been added to the topics discussed in the Comparator. The Comparator allows users to compare legal frameworks and practice between the countries covered by the database in relation to the core themes covered: asylum procedure, reception, detention and content of protection. The different sections of the Comparator define key concepts of the EU asylum acquis and outline their implementation in practice.

Access to the comparator (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-05-19:

Europa/ AIDA Briefing: Accelerated, prioritised and fast-track asylum procedures till sidans topp

An AIDA legal briefing published today examines the use of special procedures to accelerate, prioritise and fast-track asylum applications in European countries. Practice reveals a wide diversity and complexity of procedural models, tools and concepts across national systems.

Several countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany have set up specific "track" or "cluster" systems to manage cases efficiently. The channelling of applications under specific procedures tends to run in parallel to, or even exceed, regular legal frameworks - a trend illustrated in practices of nationality-based differentiation, which often depend on administrative practice and circumvent the framework of the "safe country of origin" concept under the recast Asylum Procedures Directive. Transparency and predictability of the procedures, as well as essential safeguards for the individuals navigating them, are to some extent jeopardised at the altar of efficiency.

The briefing also discusses the need for procedural safeguards and necessary guarantees for asylum seekers undergoing accelerated, prioritised or fast-track procedures. The recommendation is an emphasis on sufficient time for preparing for the examination of the asylum application, reasonable deadlines and suspensive effect of appeals against negative decisions, as well as legal assistance from the outset of the process.

These considerations should inform the negotiations on the proposal for an Asylum Procedures Regulation, which envisions a substantial transformation of European asylum procedures in the name of further harmonisation and efficiency. The lessons from Europe's fragmented procedural landscape are crucial to a better understanding of the challenges at hand: speedy decision-making can only be a realistic target where asylum procedures are straightforward, transparent, easily comprehensible and navigated with appropriate support and legal assistance from the outset.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170330:

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) 17-03-27:

Europa/ LGBTI asylum seekers lack adequate support till sidans topp

Significant numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people have come to Europe fleeing persecution in their home countries but asylum barriers hinder them from receiving the protection they are entitled to. These are some of the findings from the latest summary report of FRA on migration-related fundamental rights concerns in selected EU Member States. It examines some of the difficulties LGBTI asylum seekers face in order to draw attention to gaps in their protection.

Nearly 80 countries worldwide still criminalise sexual orientation; in five the sentence can be death. Although such persecution is a ground for claiming asylum under EU law, official figures are not collected, making it difficult to assess numbers of LGBTI applicants. However, civil society estimates of those seeking help, point to significant numbers. For example, in The Netherlands, one organisation alone was contacted by up to 3000 applicants.

While the EU offers sanctuary to LGBTI people who may be tormented in their home countries, many Member States are failing to adequately support LGBTI asylum seekers, as this latest report shows. Some of the report's main findings include:

1. Only a few Member States have national guidelines or training on interviewing LGBTI people.

2. Interviews are often too short to specifically assess claims of LGBTI persecution. This is particularly problematic as applicants may be uncomfortable about revealing intimate aspects of their life.

3. Asylum officers also tend to have stereotypical views on sexual orientation or gender identity such as knowledge of gay bars in their home country which applicants may not be aware of if they have lived in anti-LGBTI societies. In addition, interpreters may also have an anti-LGBTI bias.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170109:

AIDA 17-01-02:

Frankrike/ Council of State upholds list of safe countries of origin till sidans topp

The French Council of State delivered a judgment on 30 December 2016 concerning the legality of the latest list of "safe countries of origin", adopted by the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) on 9 October 2015.

The list had been challenged in relation to Georgia and Kosovo, which were deemed not to fulfil the safety criteria introduced into French law following the 2015 asylum reform transposing the recast Asylum Procedures Directive. Kosovo was reintroduced as a safe country of origin on 9 October 2015 following its removal by the Council of State on 10 October 2014.

In its ruling of 30 December 2016, the Council of State upheld the list of safe countries of origin as formulated by OFPRA. As regards Kosovo more specifically, it found that the country was in the process of an association agreement with the European Union and ensures a satisfactory level of protection against persecution and serious harm. The court also took into account the fact that Kosovo has been proposed as a safe country of origin in the European Commission proposal for a common EU list and has been designated as safe by at least six Member States.

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Arkiveringsdatum 161015:

AIDA 16-10-03:

Europa/ Length of asylum procedures: new AIDA briefing till sidans topp

A new legal briefing published today examines the length of asylum procedures across 20 European countries. The recent rise in large-scale arrivals in Europe has fuelled debates on the rapidity and efficiency of the Common European Asylum System and Member States' migration management efforts. It is, however, doubtful whether speed is appropriate, or even realistic, as a criterion of efficiency for asylum procedures, in isolation from questions of quality.

The briefing analyses the transposition and implementation of time limits set out in the recast Asylum Procedures Directive for completing the regular asylum procedure, special procedures applicable to specific caseloads, as well as appeals against negative decisions. Overall, European practice confirms the non-binding character of procedural deadlines, which do not seem to be followed by asylum authorities in most cases.

Whereas the Directive provides for the examination of an asylum application within 6 months, a number of countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and Serbia have laid down deadlines shorter than 6 months for processing asylum applications under the regular procedure. These have often proved difficult to comply with in recent practice, however.

Regulating procedural deadlines meets further complexity in the context of special procedures, designed to process ostensibly unfounded claims or examine the admissibility of applications. European countries' frameworks and practice indicate more disparities, with extremely truncated deadlines for accelerated procedures in certain countries.

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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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