Asylum and migration

We are engaging with the EU institutions to ensure that EU laws and policies respect and protect the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

The EU hosts only a fraction of the world’s forcibly displaced people. The vast majority of them, 85 per cent, are hosted in the world’s poorest nations. Yet EU member states have adopted increasingly restrictive and punitive asylum rules and are focusing on reducing migration flows, with devastating consequences.

EU attempts at forging rules for EU countries to show solidarity with those hosting refugees outside Europe and with each other have seen little success so far.

We are witnessing tremendous human suffering caused by the EU-Turkey deal and by the EU-Libya cooperation, both of which are leaving men, women and children trapped and exposed to suffering and abuse.

In the Central Mediterranean, the journey across the sea has become deadlier than ever, with the work of NGOs providing search and rescue services obstructed by EU governments and disembarkation becoming difficult and unpredictable. At the same time, there has been little progress in establishing legal pathways for refuges and migrants to safely reach the EU.

Internally, hostile immigration policies and a toxic narrative are leading to unsafe deportations, the criminalisation of civil society actions in solidarity with migrants and refugees, and reduced protection for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.  

We advocate for EU legislative reform which couples solidarity among member states with access to protection in the EU for those who need it, rather than externalizing the responsibility to protect asylum seekers to countries outside Europe.

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The following commitments and instruments guide the EU and its member states in their actions on migration and asylum:

  • Chapter 2, Treaty on European Union, concerning policies on border checks, asylum and migration
  • Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

The following Amnesty International reports document the human rights violations related to the current migration and asylum policies implemented by the EU and its member states: