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Arkiveringsdatum 191120:

AIDA 19-11-18:

Nederländerna/ An end to legal aid at first instance till sidans topp

The Dutch State Secretary for Asylum and Migration has announced that asylum seekers will no longer receive state-provided legal assistance and representation during the examination of their claim at first instance.

Applicants in the regular procedure are currently appointed a lawyer during the six-day "rest and preparation period" following the registration of their claim. Under the plan, they will only be provided with a lawyer upon rejection of their asylum application by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

The government's decision disregards advice from the "Van Zwol" committee of inquiry (Onderzoekscommissie Langdurig verblijvende vreemdelingen zonder bestendig verblijfsrecht) to invest in frontloading and to maintain the provision of legal aid from the outset of the procedure. The committee highlighted that the early appointment of a lawyer contributes to forming a relationship of trust with the applicant and to improving the quality and accuracy of the application.

The Dutch Council for Refugees has warned the Parliament to oppose the measure on the ground that it will result in a deterioration in the quality of IND decisions. This will in turn entail heavier workload and higher costs for courts, as well as an increase in subsequent applications.

The move comes amid increasing delays in the processing of asylum applications, with over 10,000 people waiting for an interview with the IND, some of them for over a year. Persisting delays in the procedure have exacerbated a shortage of reception places in the country. The State Secretary has commissioned an external evaluation of the implementation of the asylum procedure by the IND.

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Greek Council for Refugees 19-10- 23:

Grekland/ The asylum draft bill violates international, EU and national law till sidans topp

The asylum draft bill violates international, EU and national law and exposes thousands of asylum seekers and refugees, the majority of whom are women and children, in high risk

On the evening of October 21, and mere hours after the just 5 day-long public consultations were concluded, the draft bill "on International Protection" was submitted to Parliament through the urgency procedure.

The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) underlines that the proposed draft bill leads to the blatant undermining of fundamental guarantees and rights of refugees and asylum seekers, in violation of international, EU and national law, as well as the principle of non-refoulement.

More specifically, with the submitted draft bill:

- Basic guarantees about the "fairness and effectiveness" of the asylum procedure are abolished, especially given the completely insufficient system of free legal aid and the systemically dysfunctional administration (indicatively: the shortening of deadlines within which asylum seekers can exercise their rights, fast-track procedures of application examinations, limiting of the applicant's opportunity to consult a lawyer before the examination of their application, abolishing of the right of continuation of the procedure, the interruption of which is often due to inadequacies of the administration etc.)

- The automatic suspensive effect of the appeal against the first instance decision is abolished for extended groups of asylum seekers, exposing them to the risk of being returned to countries where their lives are in danger, before the asylum procedure is completed, in direct violation of EU legislation.


Hela uttalandet (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 19-10-29: Greece: Asylum overhaul threatens rights - Remove all abusive articles before passing law (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 19-10-24: Proposed bill on asylum downgrades EU and international law standards on refugees' protection (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191025:

ECRE 19-10-18:

Grekland/ Legislation reform and chaos on the islands amid expected surge in arrivals till sidans topp

The Greek authorities have introduced an announced overhaul of the country's asylum legislation and appeals to NATO as well as the EU over the expected increase of arrivals from northeastern Syria. Fire and violence caused havoc in Samos camp.

Greek authorities are alarmed by the situation in northeastern Syria where 160,000 people have been displaced since the Turkish military operations began on October 9. Athens called for increased NATO naval control of the Aegean and are appealing for EU solidarity during the European Council meeting in Brussels. Greek minister for migration Giorgos Koumoutsakos stated that: "Europe shouldn't be caught unprepared again nobody can be certain what is going to happen."


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Arkiveringsdatum 191017:

AIDA 19-10- 04:

Italien/ Decree lists 13 countries as "safe countries of origin" till sidans topp

The Italian government signed today a decree establishing a list of countries designated as "safe countries of origin". The concept was introduced for the first time in the Italian asylum procedure following the 2018 legislative reform.

The list, approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice on a proposal of the Ministry of Interior, contains 13 countries: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Ghana, Senegal and Cape Verde.

According to the latest available statistics, Ukraine (1,090) was the sixth main nationality of asylum seekers in Italy, followed by Morocco (894), Senegal (843) and Albania (791) during the period 1 January to 2 August 2019.

Asylum seekers coming from one of the designated "safe countries of origin" may be subject to an accelerated procedure, whereby Territorial Commissions decide on their application within five days unless they can invoke serious grounds to believe that the country concerned is not safe in their particular case. Territorial Commissions can reject such applications as manifestly unfounded if they deem that no risk of persecution or serious harm exists. The border procedure, applicable at the southern and north-eastern regions of the Italy according to a recent decree, can also be applied to nationals of these countries.

The list of "safe countries of origin" has been presented as a "return decree" (decreto rimpatri). According to the Italian Council for Refugees, however, the decree per se has no impact on Italy's return policy.

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ECRE 19-10-11: List of 13 Safe Countries of Origin to Boost Return Policies (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191002:

ECRE 19-09-13:

USA/ Supreme court lifts ban on safe third country policy, legal battle continues till sidans topp

The Trump administration can start implementing a 'safe-third-country' policy that denies asylum requests to people who have travelled through another country, such as Mexico, without seeking protection.

By a vote of 7-2, the justices said the administration can enforce the rule announced in July while a legal challenge is still on-going. They did not explain the reasoning behind their decision, which came after a District Judge had initially blocked the new rule from taking effect in late July, saying "it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws." A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed that order, ruling it only applied in California and Arizona. Another intervention from the District judge was again overturned early this week.

A record number of Central American families have sought asylum in the United States. The Justice Department says there are more than 436,000 pending cases. According to the new rule, they can only claim asylum in the U.S. if their asylum claims in the country they transited has been rejected.

If asylum seekers are believed to face grave danger in their country of origin, their deportation can still be halted under the Convention Against Torture Non-refoulement principle. This "withholding of removal" is a lesser status that blocks their deportation but does not put them on a path to legal U.S. residency.

Dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that "the rule the Government promulgated topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere - without affording the public a chance to weigh in." The other dissenting judge commented "the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law."


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Amnesty International 19-09-12: Trump administration's asylum ban could be a death sentence for people seeking safety (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 19-09-25: US move puts more asylum seekers at risk (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190826:

Human Rights Watch 19-08-02:

USA/ Bill would shut doors to Central Americans till sidans topp

Legislation would effectively end asylum at southern border

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee on August 1, 2019, forwarded a bill to the full Senate that would all but shut US doors to Central American refugees, Human Rights Watch said today. The Secure and Protect Act (S.1494), introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham, would transform the Trump administration's draconian administrative measures into law, preventing Central Americans, particularly children and families, from seeking or obtaining asylum.

The bill would essentially extinguish the right of Central Americans to seek asylum, replacing it with an entirely discretionary refugee resettlement program. The resettlement program allows the United States to admit refugees from overseas but does not require it to do so. The change would leave the vast majority of Central American refugees unprotected.

"Senator Graham's bill would codify the cruel instincts of a president intent on scapegoating and vilifying refugees," said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch. "This bill would make it that much harder to undo the great damage this administration has already done to Central American child refugees and their families."

The Graham bill would establish "refugee application and processing centers" in Mexico and three locations in Central America. Any national or resident of a Central American country that has such a center or who lives in an adjacent country would be ineligible for asylum in the United States. As a result, no one from Central America who could have applied for refugee admission in those countries would be allowed to seek asylum on arrival in the United States.


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Se även:

Immigration Impact 19-08-09: Rushing immigration court cases through 'rocket dockets' deprives families of due process (Extern länk)

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Helsingforsstiftelsen June 2019:

Polen/ HFHR report: access to asylum procedure at Poland's external borders till sidans topp

HFHR report: access to asylum procedure at Poland's external borders. Current state of affairs and future challenges

A recently published report of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, entitled Access to Asylum Procedure at the external borders of Poland. Current State of Affairs and Future Challenges, discusses access to the asylum procedure at the Eastern border of Poland.

For a number of years, the HFHR has been alerting about the Border Guard's arbitrary refusals of the right to submit an application for international protection at Polish border crossing stations, in particular at Terespol and Medyka. Several judgements of Polish courts in cases concerning the refusal of entry and the ongoing legislative works on an amendment to asylum laws provided the impetus for the drafting of this report.

The report summarises the situation on the eastern border of Poland in the years 2015-2019. It presents an analysis of national, EU and international law on access to asylum, describes the case law of national courts and the European Court of Human Rights and sums up the findings of monitoring activities undertaken by non-governmental organizations, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ombudsman for Children. The report also outlines planned changes to asylum law. These changes include, among other things, new border procedures, lists of safe third countries and countries of origin and significant changes in the appeal procedure, which, according to the HFHR, will, in fact, legitimise forced returns of refugees arriving at Polish borders. A review of the proposed provisions and their rationale leads to the conclusion that the amendments' purpose is twofold: first, they aim at preventing the entry to Poland of persons declaring their intention to apply for international protection and, second, they are designed to facilitate the process of expulsion of asylum seekers while failing to provide them with any basic procedural guarantees, such as the right to an effective remedy.


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Arkiveringsdatum 190703:

AIDA 19-06-19:

Ungern/ New Police Department takes over responsibility for asylum till sidans topp

A Government Decree entering into force next month establishes a National General Directorate for Immigration (Orsz·gos IdegenrendÈszeti FQigazgatÛs·g) under the management of the Police, which will be responsible for immigration and asylum-related tasks.

The operation of the General Directorate for Immigration will be governed by the Police Act. According to Sections 1(1) and 1(2)(20) of the Police Act, as amended by Act XXXV of 2019, immigration and asylum tasks now come under the responsibility of the Police.

The General Directorate for Immigration will take over responsibility from the Immigration and Asylum Office (Bev·ndorl·si Ès Menek¸lt¸gyi Hivatal) on 1 July 2019, according to the amended Section 7/H of the Police Act and Section 6 of Decree 126/2019. The Decree specifies that employees of the Immigration and Asylum Office shall declare in writing before July 2019 whether they wish to become members of the new authority, i.e. cease their government employee status and join the police personnel.

According to Section 30 of Decree 126/2019, the Immigration and Asylum Office shall cease to exist by 1 July 2019.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project 19-05-01:

USA/ Presidential memorandum furthers attack on asylum seekers till sidans topp

In yet another step to punish refugees for seeking asylum, on April 29, 2019, President Trump released a memorandum enumerating his plans to further restrict asylum seekers' access to protection. The memo proposes policies that will fundamentally undermine asylum seekers' access to a fair day in court while also creating unnecessary and cruel obstacles that will make it exceedingly difficult for anyone to successfully navigate the asylum process. The policies that the president proposes display a complete lack of regard for established U.S. and international asylum law.

The memo instructs the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to take action to alter the asylum application process in the following ways:

1. Impose a fee to apply for asylum, thereby creating a financial bar to protection. Already, asylum seekers are denied a public defender, forcing those who are unable to pay for a private attorney- 90-95% of detained immigrants in Arizona-to represent themselves in court. Our clients come to the U.S. fleeing danger, oftentimes leaving behind everything they have. Imposing a fee for asylum would make the relief inaccessible to the vast majority of our clients. Access to lifesaving protection should not be afforded to only those who can pay.

2. Speed the processing of asylum cases. This measure would mandate that all asylum cases, including appeal, be completed within 180 days. Such a regulation threatens immigrants' rights to due process by reducing the amount of time that they have to prepare their testimony and gather evidence of persecution. This will especially affect our clients, whose detention adds a significant barrier to accessing evidence and resources needed to defend their claims.


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Kristin Macleod-Ball in Immigraion Impact 19-04-17: The trump administration plans to incarcerate some asylum seekers indefinitely (Extern länk)

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AIDA 19-06-14:

Tyskland/ A controversial law package passes the Parliament till sidans topp

On 7 June 2019, the German Parliament (Bundestag) adopted several amendments which regulate immigration- and asylum-related issues. Amongst them is the very controversial "Orderly Return Law" (Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz) which toughens the rules on deportations. The amendments are not yet enacted but will be passed on to the second chamber, the Bundesrat.

The following section provides a non-exhaustive summary of key amendments introduced, with a focus on the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz, AsylG), the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, AsylbLG) and the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG).

I. Amendments to the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz, AsylG)

Counselling and legal assistance

One of the key changes is the transposition of a current pilot project into law, according to which the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) provides counselling and legal assistance to asylum seekers. This is regulated in a new provision:

Section 12a: the provision foresees that the Federal Office provides voluntary and independent legal advice on the asylum procedure in a two-step approach: (i) group counselling sessions which provide information on the asylum procedure as well as on return procedures; and (ii) individual counselling sessions, which can be carried out either by the Federal Office or by welfare organisations if necessary.

ECRE has already expressed concerns with regard to the quality of these new counselling arrangements as it raises questions over the independence and potential conflict of interests. Thus, ECRE insists both on the role and the importance of NGO counselling to adequately inform asylum seekers, as it ensures a fair and efficient asylum procedure.


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UNHCR 19-06-12:

Italien/ UNHCR urges Italy to reconsider proposed decree affecting rescue at sea till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned at a recent decree from the Government of Italy that contains several provisions affecting refugees and migrants, including fines for NGO vessels engaged in saving lives at sea.

Sea rescue is a long-standing humanitarian imperative. It is also an obligation under international law. No vessel or shipmaster should be at risk of a fine for coming to the aid of boats in distress and where loss of life may be imminent.

"At a time when European states have largely withdrawn from rescue efforts in the Central Mediterranean, NGO vessels are more crucial than ever," said Roland Schilling, UNHCR Regional Representative to Southern Europe ad interim. "Without them, it is inevitable that more lives will be lost."

Of further concern to UNHCR is that the decree may result in shipmasters being penalized for refusing to disembark rescued people in Libya. In light of the extremely volatile security situation, widespread reports of human rights violations and routine use of detention for people rescued or intercepted at sea, no one should be returned to Libya.

UNHCR has stated repeatedly its view that robust search and rescue capacity, particularly in the Central Mediterranean, needs to be coupled with a regional mechanism allowing quick, predictable and safe disembarkation. Responsibility for rescued refugees and migrants needs to be shared among States, not left to one or two.

UNHCR is calling on the Italian Government to reconsider the decree and for Parliament to amend it with a focus on refugee protection and saving lives at its core.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190609:

Human Rights Watch 19-05-16:

Italien/ Reject Anti-Rescue Proposals - Criminal penalties could deter saving lives till sidans topp

The Italian government should firmly reject a proposal to fine shipmasters up to €5,500 for every person they rescue and take to Italy, Human Rights Watch said today. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has proposed this and other problematic anti-rescue measures in a decree to be examined by the government starting as early as today.

"Salvini's latest salvo in his war on humanitarian rescue puts a price tag on the right to life," said Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The rest of the coalition government should reject this naked effort to discourage saving lives at sea, including by merchant vessels."

Since becoming interior minister, Salvini has repeatedly sought to further restrict the already extremely tight Italian policies on rescues at sea and disembarkation of people rescued at sea. Italy has cut back on search-and-rescue operations, delayed or refused taking people rescued at sea to Italy, and supported efforts by Libyan coast guard forces to interdict asylum seekers and migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe and return them to abusive detention in Libya.

The first draft of the decree would impose fines of between €3,500 and €5,500 per foreigner rescued at sea and subsequently taken to Italy in the event the rescuing ship did not comply with "the operating instructions issued by the authorities responsible for the area in which the rescue operation takes place or by the respective authorities of the flag state" or the laws of the sea.

The flag state is the country that has licensed the ship. In cases involving ships flying the Italian flag, the decree allows for temporary suspension or revocation of the license of vessels whose instances of rescue and disembarkation in Italy are considered "grave or repeated."


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Arkiveringsdatum 190318:

ECRE 19-03-01:

Danmark/ 'Paradigm Shift' Takes Race to the Bottom to a New Low till sidans topp

The L 140 bill that is presented as a 'paradigm shift' was approved by the Danish Parliament on February 21 with support from the conservative liberal governing coalition, the leading opposition party of the Social Democrats and the far-right Danish People's Party. The bill introduces among other initiatives a principle of temporality of protection for all spontaneous asylum seekers as well as resettled refugees in Denmark, a potential cap on family reunifications and a substantial decrease of social benefits for refugees now renamed 'return support.'

The reform package that includes changes of several laws on foreigners, integration, repatriation and more will mean that anyone who arrives as a spontaneous asylum seeker regardless of status as well as people granted family reunification will only have their status renewed if not doing so would constitute a clear violation of Denmark's obligations under international law. Further, the Minister for Integration can introduce a cap on family reunification at a month notice in case of an increase of applications considered to put national authorities or municipalities under pressure, a reduction of social benefits for people granted protection or family reunification as well as a severe increase of the penalty for violating entry ban or failing the duty to report regularly to authorities.

According to Christian Friis Bach Secretary General for the leading Danish INGO and ECRE member the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) the organisation is: "saddened to see that Denmark takes part - and sometimes actually put itself at the front seat - in the European race to the bottom, when it comes to limiting rights for asylum seekers and refugees." Further, DRC an organisation with extensive long-term experience of integration of migrants and refugees in Denmark regrets that: "the political focus on temporality and return creates frustration among many of the refugees in Denmark," and "limits the incentive to begin an education, to take a job, to learn the language."


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Arkiveringsdatum 190302:

ECRE 19-02-15:

Australien/ Landmark "Medevac" bill passed in parliament, but not without backlash till sidans topp

The Australian government has suffered a historic defeat, as parliament voted on Monday to pass a bill that will make it easier for doctors to evacuate critically ill refugees from offshore processing centers on Manus and Nauru Island. However, in the same week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the government will reopen the Christmas Island detention centre in the Indian Ocean.

Australia's ruling Liberal government lost its first substantive vote on the floor of the House of Representatives since 1929, after Labour and the crossbench MPs supported a bill that will give doctors more power to recommend medical transfers of refugees and asylum-seekers confined to off-shore centres on the islands of Nauru and Manus. Having witnessed numerous suicide attempts, untreated illnesses, and cases of resignation syndrome within children, medical professionals said in November the health situation in these facilities was "beyond desperate."

Despite receiving widespread attention and condemnation by some as a risk to national security, in fact the bill is limited in scope- it will reportedly only apply to some 1,000 people who are already on the two islands, but not to any new people arriving by boat. Nor will it mean that those deemed in need of transfer will be free from detention- the legislation says that "any transitory person who is brought to Australia for a temporary purpose must be kept in immigration detention while in Australia".

The bill was passed in Australia's lower house by a vote of 75 to 74. Labor leader Bill Shorten said ensuring that people in offshore detention had access to proper medical treatment was a test of national character; "It is about how we treat sick people in our care." Liberal Scott Morrison argued that the bill would increase the number of deaths at sea by encouraging people to try to reach Australia by boat; "My job now is to do everything within my power, and the power of the government, to ensure that what the Parliament has done to weaken our borders does not result in boats coming to Australia".


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FRA 19-02-18:

Europa/ Tighter laws continue to hit migrants across the EU till sidans topp

Stricter migration laws and policies continue to take their toll on migrants' fundamental rights, finds the agency's latest report on migration-related fundamental rights concerns. It highlights the hardening political stance in Member States, difficulties in claiming asylum, and poor reception conditions during the cold winter months.

The report identifies changing migration laws that will make life harder for migrants.

For example, the Italian Parliament approved significant migration reforms. They replace humanitarian residence permits with more specific temporary permits. As a result significantly fewer people will qualify for protection. They widened the types of criminal offences that can revoke protection or reject asylum claims. In addition, the Italian approach to reception has changed: the national asylum seeker and refugee protection system, often cited as a good practice, will be restricted to only those who quality for protection; asylum applicants will be kept in lower quality facilities and greater limits will be placed on access to local services, such as training.

Elsewhere, in Croatia, a new law on immigration detention is restricting migrants' access to non-governmental organisations and lawyers, making legal aid harder to receive. In Germany, asylum law amendments oblige unaccompanied children and young adults to provide supporting identity and proof of age documents during repeal and withdrawal procedures. Not only could it complicate and lengthen procedures, it also means they now have to help authorities revoke their protected status. And in Austria, proposed social welfare cuts that link benefits to employability may disproportionately affect migrants who do not have the necessary language skills yet.


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ECRE 19-02-22:

Tyskland/ Draft bill to expand detention and target civil society till sidans topp

The German interior minister has submitted a ministerial draft bill that proposes measures for more effective implementation of deportations. Refugee right organisations are concerned the law could expand the use of detention and restrict the rights of people seeking asylum. The proposal is discussed amid further deportations from Germany to Afghanistan.

The draft bill for the "Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz" (Orderly Return Law) presents the second round of measures to facilitate deportations of people obliged to leave the country, following a law passed in 2017. The proposal expands the use of detention making it easier for the government to detain people seen in danger of absconding. It shifts the burden of proof and the government no longer has to establish reasons why a person may abscond. The person affected has to prove the non-existence of such reasons.

The draft proposal also broadens the interpretation of reasons that substantiate a risk of absconding. Those having travelled to Germany via another EU country or not attending return counselling can accordingly be seen at risk of absconding and be legitimately detained. Under the proposed legislation, pre-deportation detention could be merged with criminal detention (which is prohibited by European law). As long as there are not enough places in pre-deportation detention facilities, people obliged to leave can be detained in public prisons.


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UNHCR 19-02-18:

Danmark/ UNHCR Observations on the proposed amendments to the Aliens legislation till sidans topp


(...) UNHCR is concerned with the pace and scope of the restrictions the Danish Government has introduced in the areas of asylum, integration and family reunification. The adoption of increasingly restrictive asylum policies and unilateral measures by States risk to marginalize refugees, and make durable solutions, including successful integration more difficult. Good regional ande national asylum policies and practicies are important to shape how refugee situations are managed globally, and to show solidarity and shared responsibility.


One of the proposal's most significant changes is to UNHCR's understanding the introduction of regular review of the protection status upon extention of the residence permits granted to persons afforded protection under Article 7 and 8 of the Danish Aliens Act. (...)

UNHCR has long advocated that refugees are entitled to a secure and stable status, which should not be subject to regular review. Just as refubees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection should also not have their status subject to regular review, Notably, in 2015, the UNHCTR Executive Committee, including Denmark, called on States to support refugees' ability to attain local integration through the timely grant of a secure legal status and residency rights, ant to facilitate their naturalization. The ExCom has thus recognized that short-term residence permits and frequent reviews are counter-productive to integration. Moreover, the 1951 Convention foresees a gradual attainment of rights, with the end of the continuum being naturalization in the country of asylum or the end of the refugee's protection needs and voluntary return, for example, as a result of fundamental and durable changes in the country of origin.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190209:

ECRE 19-01-25:

Island/ Equal reception conditions for resettled refugees and asylum seekers till sidans topp

This week, a new proposal was put forward by the Icelandic Minister of Social Affairs that would ensure that asylum seekers who have been granted asylum in Iceland are afforded the same reception conditions as refugees who have been resettled in the country as part of international agreements

Currently, resettled refugees receive housing, financial assistance, and community support services upon arrival to the country. However, asylum seekers who arrive through other means do not qualify for such services, even once they have been granted asylum. Municipal authorities and the Icelandic Red Cross have criticised the discrepancy in treatment of the two groups. Under the terms of the new proposal, drafted by a committee that was appointed to review the refugee reception process, local municipalities would shoulder more of the responsibilities related to refugee services and the role of the Multicultural Information Centre would also be enhanced. Additionally, the Directorate of Labor would ensure provision of Icelandic lessons and social education to newly arrived asylum seekers.

Ásmundur Einar Da?ason, the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality, said of the proposal; "the biggest changes are that individuals who receive [asylum status] through the Directorate of Immigration and have, up until now, been on their own, will go into the same system that the [resettled] refugees do, in which they have support in learning Icelandic, getting themselves settled, and adapting to society."

In May 2018, 55% of Iceland's residents who voted in the municipal election poll supported Iceland welcoming more refugees. The remaining votes in the poll were split between being neutral, 20%, or strongly against taking more refugees (21%).


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Arkiveringsdatum 190123:

UNHCR 19-01-18:

Etiopien/ UNHCR welcomes Ethiopia law granting more rights to refugees till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes Ethiopia's historic new refugee law which will now allow refugees to obtain work permits, access primary education, obtain drivers' licenses, legally register life events such as births and marriages and open up access to national financial services, such as banking.

Ethiopia's parliament adopted revisions in its existing refugee law on Thursday (17 January 2019), making it one of the most progressive refugee policies in Africa.

"The passage of this historic law represents a significant milestone in Ethiopia's long history of welcoming and hosting refugees from across the region for decades," said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "By allowing refugees the opportunity to be better integrated into society, Ethiopia is not only upholding its international refugee law obligations, but is serving as a model for other refugee hosting nations around the world."

Ethiopia's revision of its refugee law comes just weeks after the UN General Assembly agreed to the Global Compact on Refugees on 17 December 2018. At the heart of this innovative new framework is a more comprehensive response to displacement in which refugees are included in national services like health and education, rather than setting up parallel systems. It also focuses on ensuring refugees have the opportunity to be self-reliant and can contribute to local economies in a way that also benefits their hosts.

UNHCR was involved in the drafting process of the refugee law revision, which was led by Ethiopia's Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, ARRA. It replaces the 2004 Refugee Proclamation which also upheld the key principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the 1969 OAU Convention, which restricted some refugee rights, like freedom of movement and access to education, and made no mention of integration.

Ethiopia currently hosts over 900,000 refugees, primarily from neighbouring South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea, as well as smaller numbers of refugees from Yemen and Syria.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181125:

ECRE 18-11-16:

Italien/ Salvini decree approved by senate, amid protests and institutional criticism till sidans topp

On November 7, the Italian Senate approved the new Decree-Law on immigration and security, introducing significant amendments and restrictions to the current asylum framework, prompting protests in the capital and opposition from institutions and organisations.

The law includes amendments in qualification and reception provisions, abolishes the humanitarian protection status and restricts access to accommodation in SPRAR (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) hosting facilities. Several detention and procedure-related amendments also predict significant changes in asylum standards and living conditions, while the decree includes provisions that make expulsion of aliens and citizenship revocation easier.

On Saturday, several thousand protesters participated in a march organised in Rome against the decree, which has been dubbed as the "Salvini decree" in reference to Matteo Salvini, the Interior Minister who is behind it. The protesters targeted the Minister's hostile stance on migrant and refugee rights which has been prevalent amid wider anti- EU rhetoric.

The decree has been widely criticised by local NGOs, with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) releasing a press statement concerning the destructive impact the measures could have on access to protection and the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. On Thursday, November 15, the High Council of the Judiciary issued an opinion on the content of the decree, stating that it violates the constitutional rights of refugees and migrants.

On the same day, Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, described the bill as a step back on migration and asylum that "raises several concerns regarding the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers" specifically noting the restriction of reception and integration standards.

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Se även:

Silvia Carta in EU Migration Law Blog 18-10-31: Beyond closed ports: the new Italian Decree-Law on Immigration and Security (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 181108:

Human Rights Watch 18-10-30:

USA/ Make asylum accessible to people fleeing violence till sidans topp

Any policies adopted by the United States that result in returning people fleeing violence in Central America to persecution or torture would violate US obligations, Human Rights Watch said. President Donald Trump is expected to announce an executive order on October 30, 2018 that will reportedly use various methods to block people fleeing violence from accessing asylum in the US.

Extreme violence related to organized crime, and in some instances abusive security forces, is a major problem throughout much of Central America's Northern Triangle - Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Violence and threats, often targeted, have prompted increasing numbers of people from those countries to seek asylum in the region and around the world.

"Given how dangerous life at home has become over the past few years, more people from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are claiming asylum in Mexico, the US, and beyond," said Clara Long, senior US researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The migrant caravan isn't increasing the flow in total numbers, but people told me that joining it was the safest way to escape. Traveling mostly on foot, with children, is dangerous and exhausting, and they hope for safety in numbers during the journey."

Refugee rights are human rights.

A total of 50,000 people tried to cross the Mexico-US border in September. But such surges are usually followed by much lower numbers in subsequent months. The US seems to be on target for the 25,000 for October that has been typical since 2009.

But even under flawed procedures for granting asylum, more Central American migrants are being recognized as refugees, not just in the US but regionally and globally. In 2009, Mexico granted asylum to just 15 Northern Triangle citizens, but in 2017, it recognized 1,910. US asylum grants to Central Americans have increased from 811 for the three countries in 2013 to 8,969 in 2017.


Läs mer (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 18-10-26: Amnesty International 18-10-26: President Trump must abandon plan to close southern border to Central Americans seeking asylum (Extern länk)

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AIDA 18-10-24:

Turkiet/: Constitutional Court pilot judgment on protection from refoulement till sidans topp

On 12 June 2018, the Turkish Constitutional Court delivered a pilot judgment in Y.T. concerning the prohibition of refoulement in light of the amendments introduced to the Law on Foreigners and International Protection by way of emergency decree in 2016.

An exception to the principle of non-refoulement in Turkish legislation was brought about by Emergency Decree 676 of 29 October 2016, which provides that a deportation decision "may be taken at any time during the international protection proceedings" against a person for reasons of: (i) leadership, membership or support of a terrorist organisation or a benefit-oriented criminal group; (ii) threat to public order or public health; or (iii) relation to terrorist organisations defined by international institutions and organisations.

The derogation from non-refoulement is applied in practice, bearing in mind that security-related codes are widely issued to foreign nationals by the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) - the "YTS89" code issued to "foreign terrorist fighters" (Yabanci Terorist Savasci), for example, was applied to approximately 67,000 persons in 2017.

Although administrative courts have developed positive practice with regard to upholding the non-refoulement principle, the emergency decree specifies that appeals against deportation decisions on the aforementioned grounds have no automatic suspensive effect. Since the entry into force of the decree, the only effective recourse for preventing removal is a complaint before the Constitutional Court together with a request for interim measures.


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Arkiveringsdatum 181018:

ECRE 18-10-05:

USA/ New immigration policy set to restrict immigrants from using public benefits till sidans topp

The Trump government recently announced its plans to propose further restrictions on VISAS and green cards, for immigrants who are likely to use public aid benefits, including nutrition programmes, as well as housing and medical aid.

According to the policy, proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, immigrants who have received, or are likely to receive, public benefits might be excluded from permanent residence, under a new definition of the "public charge rule". This immigration rule targets people who depend on state aid for subsistence. It has been a long-standing requirement for US immigration officials to deny residence permit to people likely to depend on public benefits, but authorities had only applied this rule on cases where dependence on state aid was primary and direct.

However, under this new definition, the Trump administration would practically expand the scope of restrictions to also apply to a larger number of public assistance programs, even if the applicants are not solely dependent on them. As such, the proposed regulation will require immigration officers to review a number of personal circumstances related to the applicant's health, family situation, income and history of public benefits use.

As a result, US immigrants have reportedly begun to refrain from using public assistance programmes, out of fear that this new rule would interfere with their residence status. Rand, co-founder of Boundless Immigration, a technology company helping people navigate through the US immigration system, said the proposal was filled with small details "designed to ensnare hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who would otherwise have been perfectly eligible for green cards or other visas".


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ECRE 18-09-21:

Storbritannien/ Home Office to offer leave to Calais children, critics warn move is unfair till sidans topp

Minister for immigration, Caroline Nokes, announced on Thursday that the Home Office is to offer children who were brought to the UK when the 'Jungle' camp in Calais was demolished, an exceptional form of "Calais leave". This leave which will included the right to study, work, and have access to public funds and healthcare, with the option to apply for settlement after 10 years.

When the makeshift camp was demolished in 2016, approximately 750 unaccompanied children were brought to the UK. A total of 549 were to be reunited with family members, but after arrival it was decided that a small number of these did not qualify for refugee status under immigration rules, and would therefore have only been entitled to unaccompanied asylum child (UASC) leave which expires as soon as the child turns 18. Qualification for the leave is highly specific- it will be granted only to those that were brought over as part of the Calais clearance exercise in October 2016, who were under the age of 18 at the time and who had recognised family ties in the UK.

While the move has been welcomed, campaigners remain critical of what they call an 'arbitrary and unfair policy', which will still neglect vulnerable children who had left Calais just months before the demolition. At the same time it is criticised that those that are entitled to the leave will have to wait twice as long to apply for indefinite leave to remain as those who have been recognised as refugees via the regular procedure. Safe Passage have voiced concern over the effect this will have on the young people that have already "been suffering in limbo for two years" uncertain as to the future of their status.


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Amnesty international 18-09-25:

Spanien/ Repeal law allowing people to be expelled without due process till sidans topp

The Spanish authorities must urgently repeal a provision of the so-called "gag law" that allows people to be expelled without an opportunity to apply for asylum or an assessment of the risks they would face if returned from Ceuta and Melilla to Morocco, Amnesty International said. It issued the call as Spain's treatment of migrants and refugees comes under renewed scrutiny at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The ECtHR will tomorrow begin hearing arguments in an appeal by the Spanish government against the Court's ruling in October 2017 that Spain violated the rights of two African men by expelling them to Morocco without following international standards.

"Spain's decision to legalize summary expulsions in 2015 completely disregards international law, which prohibits states from expelling people without considering their situation and returning them to countries where they may face torture and ill-treatment," said Francesca Pizzutelli, Amnesty International's researcher on migrants and refugees rights.

"Even though Spain's new government has committed to amending the law, we are deeply concerned by its decision to seek a revision of the ECtHR's ruling. This, combined with continuing collective expulsions of people to Morocco in recent months, raises serious questions about the Spanish authorities' willingness to end this illegal practice."

The individuals in question in the ECtHR case - an Ivorian and a Malian national - were crossing the border fence separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco in August 2014, when they were arrested by Spanish Guardia police and immediately pushed back to Morocco.

In violation of international law, they were denied the opportunity to apply for asylum and an assessment of the risks they would face if they were returned to Morocco. Their automatic rejection also deprived them of the possibility to appeal against the decision to expel them and access an effective remedy in Spanish courts.


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AIDA 18-09-26:

Italien/ Latest immigration decree drops protection standards till sidans topp

A Decree-Law on immigration and security approved by the Council of Ministers on 24 September 2018 introduces far-reaching restrictions to the Italian asylum system. The reform has been decried by civil society organisations for lowering protection standards, infringing constitutional and human rights guarantees and exacerbating social tension on migration.

The status of humanitarian protection under Article 5(6) of the Consolidated Act on Immigration (TUI) is abolished by the Decree-Law. This move follows previous efforts by the Ministry of Interior to limit the use of humanitarian status to prevent people from obtaining legal stay in the country. The reform affects a large number of persons, given that humanitarian protection is the main form of protection granted by Italy; 16,616 obtained the status in the first eight months of 2018.

The Decree-Law also restricts the System of Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR), a network of small-scale decentralised reception projects with 35,881 funded accommodation places at the moment, to beneficiaries of international protection and unaccompanied children. Asylum seekers and persons holding humanitarian protection status would thereby be excluded from SPRAR and have access only to first reception centres and temporary reception centres (CAS), where living conditions are often critical.

Among other measures, the Decree-Law also foresees detention for the purpose of establishing asylum seekers' identity and permits temporary detention in police facilities or at the border where the capacity of pre-removal centres (CPR) has been reached.

Following its publication, the Decree-Law has to be converted into law by the Parliament.

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Arkiveringsdatum 180926:

Human Rights Watch 18-09-15:

USA/ US reaches agreement in family separation cases till sidans topp

Families would be able to try again to seek aslyum in the US

After the Trump administration was slammed with lawsuits for separating migrant children and parents at the border, the US government has agreed to allow many of these parents, whose asylum claims were rejected, to reapply.

It's the official beginning of recognizing the ways this policy harmed parents and children.

In the hours and days after families were forcibly separated, immigration officials informed some traumatized parents that they would have to undergo interviews for the first step in the US asylum process.

Ariel P., from Guatemala, told me his interview took place after he had not seen or spoken to his son in over 20 days and did not even know where he was. "All I could think about was how he was and when I would see him again. Every night when I went to sleep, I would think about where he was sleeping.. . . . It was impossible for me to focus on anything else," he said.

The other separated parents I interviewed echoed these comments.

It's not surprising that many of the parents who went through these interviews weren't able to make their case for asylum, even when they had fled rape, other torture, or death threats. This settlement recognizes, and tries to remedy, this problem - for some.

But the proposed settlement doesn't correct all the harm inflicted on all families.

For example, the settlement generally excludes deported parents who were unfairly blocked from an asylum interview before deportation, or who believed immigration officials' lies that accepting deportation was the key to seeing their children again. Human Rights Watch interviewed deported parents in Honduras and El Salvador who were denied an initial asylum interview, which is not adequately remedied in the proposal.


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ECRE 18-09-15:

Spanien/ Undocumented immigrants regain the right to health till sidans topp

The Spanish Congress of Deputies has approved a legal decree that expands access to health to undocumented migrants. In 2012, the former government of Mariano Rajoy restricted access to health care for this group save in specificly determined cases.

On 6 September 2018, the Spanish Congress of Deputies approved a the decree, that foresees that from the first day that a person resides in Spain, she or he will get access to the healthcare system irrespective of whether or not this person has registered with a municipality. Social security cards, which can only be obtained with receipt of a labour contract, will also no longer be a prerequisite for access to health care. This will also assist Spanish citizens that do not contribute to Social Security due to not being in employment.

Undocumented migrants will be required to pay 40% of the cost of medicines that are prescribed to them. They will also not be able to access health care in a region different to that in which they were issued their health card - which is also the case for citizens - nor they will be able to use it outside of the country.

Médicos del Mundo estimates that 4755 persons have been excluded from the health system from 2012 in Spain.

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AIDA 18-09-11:

Frankrike/ Asylum and immigration reform codifies stricter conditions till sidans topp

Law n. 2018-778 introducing the latest asylum and immigration reform in France was published yesterday, following approval of most of its provisions from the Constitutional Court.

The law amends several articles of the French Code of Entry and Stay of Foreigners and the Right to Asylum (Ceseda), although not all new provisions enter into force immediately; the law sets out entry into force dates for some, while others are to be triggered by decree. A non-exhaustive list of key changes is included below:

Asylum procedure

+ Access to the territory: The right to protection from removal for a "full day" (jour franc) is no longer available to persons refused entry at land borders (Article L.213-2 Ceseda). This change has significant consequences, given that the vast majority of refusal of entry measures are taken at the French-Italian land border.

+ Accelerated procedure: Asylum applications lodged 90 days following entry into the territory, as opposed to 120 days prior to the reform, are channelled into the accelerated procedure. Moreover, as regards asylum seekers who pose a threat to public order or national security, OFPRA no longer has the possibility to re-channel the case into the regular procedure (Article L.723-2 Ceseda).

+ Appeal: The deadline to appeal Dublin transfer decisions is restored at 15 days, following a reduction to 7 days by Law n. 2018-187 of 20 March 2018. In relation to appeals against inadmissibility decisions and negative decisions under the accelerated procedures, the appeal no longer has automatic suspensive effect, so the asylum seeker's right to remain is no longer guaranteed automatically.

Reception of asylum seekers


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Arkiveringsdatum 180831:

AIDA 18-08-17:

Asylum seekers denied food following inadmissibility decisions till sidans topp

Following the entry into force of the latest asylum reform in Hungary, asylum seekers have their claims dismissed under a new inadmissibility ground introduced in Section 51(2)(f) of the Asylum Act, according to which an asylum application is deemed inadmissible if the applicant arrived through a country where he or she was not exposed to persecution or to serious harm, or if an adequate level of protection was available there. This provision is incompatible with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive and has formed part of the European Commission's latest infringement procedure against Hungary.

Asylum seekers whose claims are considered inadmissible on that ground are expelled from Hungary and ordered to remain in the transit zones, where they are denied food. According to the observations of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, this measure is taken with a view to deterring applicants from pursuing appeals against negative decisions on their claims and to pushing them to leave the transit zones and to return to Serbia.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has successfully requested interim measures from the European Court of Human Rights in three cases. The Court has ordered the authorities to provide the applicants with meals during their stay in the transit zones.

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AIDA 18-08-22:

Cypern/ Reforms introduce administrative court and define "risk of absconding" till sidans topp

Last month, Cyprus adopted Law No 73(I)/2018 establishing an International Protection Administrative Court (IPAC), which will be competent for examining appeals relating to provisions of the Refugee Law. This includes appeals against negative decisions on asylum applications, Dublin transfer decisions or decisions reducing or withdrawing reception conditions.

According to the Minister of Justice and Public Order, the establishment of the IPAC will contribute to a more rapid examination of pending asylum appeals, against the backdrop of a rising backlog of cases before the Administrative Court; the latter only started operations at the beginning of 2016. Currently, appeals against asylum decisions take approximately two years to be decided.

The IPAC will be composed of three judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council, who shall have extensive knowledge of administrative law and international protection or proven experience in handling cases within the competence of the Court.

Another legislative reform published in July 2018, Law No 80(I) 2018, brings about an amendment to the Cypriot Refugee Law, which sets out a list of criteria for determining the existence of a "risk of absconding", allowing for detention in a Dublin procedure. Such criteria include: non-compliance with a return decision; non-compliance with or obstruction of a Dublin transfer, or a reasonably verified intention of non-compliance; provision of false or misleading information; previous expulsion or return; false statements on the person's address of usual residence; previous absconding; abandonment of a reception centre; unfounded statements in the course of the Dublin interview; deliberate destruction of identity or travel documents and failure to cooperate with the Cypriot authorities with a view to establishing identity or nationality.

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Arkiveringsdatum 180718:

ECRE 18-07-13:

Storbritannien/ Government brings back legal aid for unaccompanied children till sidans topp

Lucy Frazer, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice, announced yesterday the decision to amend the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender Act to reinstate legal aid for non-asylum immigration cases for unaccompanied and asylum separated children.

The move comes following a judicial review brought by the Children's Society, who have campaigned on the matter since 2013 when new legislation revoking the rights to legal aid came into force. The Children's Society Chief Executive Matthew Reed said, "Legal aid is absolutely vital for ensuring that children can access justice. For children who are subject to immigration control and who are in this country on their own, it is an absolute life line. The government should be commended for this significant change for children and young people." The Children's Society estimates around 15,000 children have not been getting the legal aid they need.

Currently, legal aid is available in all asylum cases and immigration cases where a person is challenging a detention decision. For other immigration matters it is available via the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme, intended for when there is a risk of a breach of human rights, but only a small number of unaccompanied and separated children have been able to access this. Without access to legal advice and representation, children are at risk of being cut off from education, health care and other support - as well as at risk of detention.

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Arkiveringsdatum 180625:

Europarådet 18-06-22:

Ungern/ "Stop Soros" provision on illegal migration should be repealed till sidans topp

An opinion adopted today by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission criticises a key provision on illegal migration of the so-called "Stop Soros" legislation that the Hungarian Parliament adopted this week.

The new provision - Article 353A of the Criminal Code - introduces the offence of "facilitating irregular migration". EU directives from 2002 define and strengthen the penal framework to prevent facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence. The Venice Commission acknowledges that many European countries criminalise assistance to entry, stay or transit of irregular migrants against financial gain. Such a criminal offence is not necessarily contrary to international human rights standards - and may be considered to pursue the legitimate aim of preventing disorder or crime under Article 11 (freedom of assembly) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

But the Hungarian provision goes far beyond what is allowed under Article 11, as it unfairly criminalises organisational activities not directly related to the materialisation of illegal migration, including "preparing or distributing informational materials" or "initiating asylum requests for migrants." Criminalising such activities disrupts assistance to victims by NGOs, disproportionally restricting their rights as guaranteed under Article 11, and under international law. Furthermore, criminalising advocacy and campaigning activities - under the new provision - constitutes illegitimate interference with freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 10, according to the opinion.

Pressmeddelandet i sin helhet (Extern länk)

Se även

EP-parlamentet 18-06-25: Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs (Extern länk)

TT / UNT 18-06-21: Människorättschef brännmärker ungersk lag (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 18-06-20: New laws that violate human rights, threaten civil society and undermine the rule of law should be shelved (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 180614:

AIDA 18-06-12:

Schweiz/ Asylum Ordinances amended in last round of asylum reform till sidans topp

Last week, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the last set of measures towards an overhaul of the country's asylum procedure, following a referendum approving an acceleration of the procedure in June 2016. The amended Asylum Ordinances (AO) and Return and Expulsion Ordinance (OERE) will enter into force on 1 March 2019.

The main modification brought about by the reform is the provision of free legal assistance from the outset of the asylum process as a means of counterbalancing the very short time limits of the procedure.

However, the Swiss Refugee Council has expressed disappointment at the adopted measures for failing to properly incorporate the lessons learned from the pilot accelerated procedure (Testphase) implemented since 2014. According to the amended Asylum Ordinance on the asylum procedure (AO1), the time limits for crucial steps of the procedure become extremely short: the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) can inform legal representatives of asylum seekers of upcoming interviews no earlier than two days before the date of the interview, despite negative experience from the Testphase in this regard.

The Swiss Refugee Council has also criticised the absence of precise quality criteria for the designation of legal representatives in the Ordinance. These are to be defined by the bilateral agreements between the authorities and prospective legal aid providers.

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Arkiveringsdatum 180605:

UNHCR 18-05-29:

Ungern/ UNHCR urges Hungary to withdraw draft law impacting refugees till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling on the Government of Hungary to withdraw a package of laws set to be introduced in the Hungarian Parliament that would significantly restrict the ability of NGOs and individuals to support asylum-seekers and refugees. UNHCR is seriously concerned that these proposals, if passed, would deprive people who are forced to flee their homes of critical aid and services, and further inflame tense public discourse and rising xenophobic attitudes.

"Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right, it is not a crime," said Pascale Moreau, Director of UNHCR's Europe Bureau. "We are particularly concerned that the Government is targeting those who, in a purely humanitarian role, help people who are seeking asylum. We are calling upon the Government to halt any measures that would further increase the vulnerability of people who are simply looking for a safe haven."

The Government of Hungary today announced its intention to add further concerning restrictions to a package of laws first introduced to Parliament in February.

"UNHCR appeals to Hungary to remain committed to protecting refugees and asylum-seekers, including by facilitating the essential role and efforts of qualified civil society organizations," Moreau said. "Without their work, many refugees and asylum-seekers will inevitably suffer serious hardship as they would be deprived of important services such as medical and psycho-social care, housing, education, employment, access to information and legal aid. This will also ultimately negatively impact on the host communities."

Since January, Hungary has effectively closed its borders to almost all people wishing to seek international protection. On average, only two asylum-seekers a day are allowed to enter the country through the two "transit zones" at the border with Serbia and any asylum-seeker who attempt to cross the razor-wire border fences is automatically removed.


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Human Rights Watch 18-05-31: Hungary: Bill Makes Aiding Migrants a Crime (Extern länk)

The Guardian 18-06-04: No entry: Hungary's crackdown on helping refugees (Extern länk)

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AIDA 18-05-30:

Frankrike/ Acceleration of asylum procedure tested in Guiana till sidans topp

On 23 May 2018, the French government adopted a decree "experimenting certain modalities of processing of asylum applications in Guiana" with a view to testing an acceleration of the asylum procedure. Guiana is one of the main French overseas territories receiving significant numbers of asylum seekers, along with Mayotte.

Under the test procedure set out by the decree, asylum seekers will have 7 days to lodge their application with the French Office of Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA). They will only be able to lodge their claims in person and will receive their interview appointment on the same day. In contrast, asylum seekers in the rest of France have 21 days to fill in their application form and send it to OFPRA by registered mail.

OFPRA will have no more than 15 days to decide on the applications both in the regular and the accelerated procedure. This brings about a sharp reduction of the length of the asylum procedure, which is generally set at 6 months by law.

The introduction of this exceptional procedure comes against the backdrop of severe delays in access to the procedure in Guiana, where people may wait more than 4 months before accessing an orientation platform (PADA) and a few more months before getting an appointment with the Prefecture. The decree is likely, however, to serve as a blueprint for broader reform of the French asylum system.

The plan has been resisted by OFPRA experts who issued a negative opinion on the proposal prior to its adoption. The decree specifies that the test procedure shall be subject to an evaluation by the competent ministry no later than two months before its end.

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AIDA 18-06-01:

Frankrike/ Increase in allowance for asylum seekers without accommodation till sidans topp

Yesterday the French government adopted a decree to raise the level of the financial allowance granted to asylum seekers who have accepted to be accommodated but who are not yet given a reception place under the national reception scheme. This is granted in addition to the allowance for asylum seekers (ADA) available to all applicants.

According to the decree, asylum seekers who are waiting to be provided accommodation by the state are entitled to an extra 7.40 € per day in order to be able to secure private accommodation until a reception place is made available.

The previous decree of 29 March 2017, which had set the allowance at a daily amount of 5.40 €, was annulled by the Council of State earlier in 2018 on the ground that this sum was insufficient to guarantee asylum seekers housing in the private market. The Council of State had also annulled the previous iteration of the allowance, set at a daily rate of 4.20 € by a decree of 21 October 2015.

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Arkiveringsdatum 171229:

ECRE 17-12-08:

Frankrike/ French Parliament debates bill for stricter detention under Dublin procedures till sidans topp

The French National Assembly debated yesterday a proposal permitting the detention of asylum seekers who can be transferred to another Member State under the Dublin Regulation as soon as they register their asylum application at the Prefecture. The bill had already passed through the Law Commission (Commission des lois) of the National Assembly on 29 November 2017.

The proposal effectively sets out a framework whereby an asylum seeker may be detained throughout the procedure of determination of the Member State responsible for his or her claim under the Dublin system, whereas the current state of the law would only allow detention after a transfer decision has been issued.

The bill also sets out a legal definition of the "significant risk of absconding" with reference to objective criteria, following a ruling of the Court of Cassation prohibiting the use of Dublin detention in the absence of defined criteria for identifying such a risk. A significant risk of absconding is determined to exist where the applicant has stated his or her intention not to comply with the Dublin procedure. It may also exist where the person has previously evaded a Dublin procedure in another country, has had their application for asylum rejected in another country, or has re-entered France after being returned.

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Arkiveringsdatum 171208:

ECRE 17-12-01:

Ungern/ Timeline of attacks against civil society shows intensification of crackdown till sidans topp

Over the past years, the dismantling of the Hungarian asylum system carried out by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been part of a wider agenda of eroding human rights including also attacks against civil society organisations in the form of public demonization, the launching of criminal procedures against individual staff members, police raids on offices and legislative measures such as the "Lex NGO".

In order to keep track of this systematic attack against civil society in Hungary, different NGOs, including ECRE Member Hungarian Helsinki Committee, have published a detailed timeline covering the period from 2013 onwards. The timeline offers a glooming picture of the escalation of the governmental crackdown on NGOs working for the protection of human rights in Hungary.

"This is more than a line of incidents and legislative initiatives - it is a coordinated strike against the very principles of human rights targeting the individuals, institutions and laws that represents them and the people in need of protection. This is a scary development that should lead to deep concerns at EU level," says Marta Pardavi co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

In parallel, recent figures related to the situation of those in need of international protection in Hungary shows consistent violations of international human rights standards and EU law in the country. In October 2017 alone, 709 asylum applicants were denied entry at the border fence and 687 were escorted to the "external side" of the fence. For those who are able to lodge an asylum application in Hungary, the recognition rate remains low even for those coming from war-torn countries such as Syria (recognition rate of 35%). On 31 October 2017, a total of 431 people were detained in the two transit zones, including 212 children.

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Arkiveringsdatum 171124:

ECRE 17-11-10:

Frankrike/ New law formalizing state of emergency measures of border control till sidans topp

The recent adoption of the new anti-terrorism law by the French authorities, which entered into force on 1 November 2017, introduces extended border controls across the territory of France, including international transit zones in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lille. Civil society organisations raise concerns about the impact of the new law on potential push backs of people seeking protection.

The new law follows exceptional measures introduced during a nearly two-year state of emergency in France, during which authorities have inter alia applied border controls leading to push backs of asylum seekers to Italy. Organisations such as Amnesty International and Forum Réfugiés-Cosi have previously documented a practice of refusal of entry and return of asylum seekers at the Franco-Italian border without the opportunity to apply for asylum in France or receiving sufficient information about their rights.

Further concerns have been raised by multiple organizations regarding the risk of racial profiling which seems to have been legalized under this new law. Additionally, following a Minister of Interior Circular which encouraged the administrative detention of "illegal immigrants", racial profiling seems to have become the norm. As a result, the number of individuals administratively detained has doubled compared to a year ago.

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AIDA 17-11-10:

Belgien/ Adoption of asylum reform and announcement of further restrictive plans till sidans topp

The latest Policy Note of the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, issued on 19 October 2017, outlines several measures to "restrict uncontrolled migratory influx" as a matter of political priority in 2018.

The government's plans are announced in conjunction with an overhaul of the Belgian asylum system following the adoption on 9 November 2017 of a large-scale reform of the Aliens Act transposing the recast Asylum Procedures Directive and recast Reception Conditions Directive. The reform was passed without amendments, despite criticism from UNHCR.

The policy note, criticised by civil society organisations for intensifying restrictionism against those seeking protection, announces measures inter alia in the following areas:

Differentiated information provision: The note urges against a uniform approach to information provision on the asylum procedure on the basis that not all applicants have equal chances of obtaining international protection or have already applied in another EU country, and suggests "targeted and adapted" information to manage expectations and prevent "abusive" applications. During the plenary debate where the reform was adopted, however, parliamentarians criticised the assumption of abuse in the asylum procedure by the government in the absence of relevant evidence and statistics. A policy of differentiated information is likely to jeopardise objective information provision and exacerbate nationality-based discrimination in Belgium, further to practices such as targeted communications to Iraqi nationals, urging them to abandon their asylum applications and opt for voluntary return.


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Arkiveringsdatum 171027:

ECRE 17-10-13:

Tyskland/ Conservative bloc introduces cap on access for people in need of protection till sidans topp

Past weekend, the conservative bloc agreed upon a set of rules on migration including a guideline limiting the number of people receiving protection in Germany to 200.000 per year for asylum seekers, family reunification, relocation and resettlement. The joint policy document further suggests an expansion of the list of safe countries of origin by adding Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia and states the need for reforms of the Common European Asylum System and the Dublin System through cooperation with countries of origin and transit, taking the "best practice" of the EU-Turkey Statement.

The conservative bloc, Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and it's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) won 33 percent of the vote in the parliamentary election of September 24. One of the potential coalition partners, the Greens, already rejected the reform of migration policies. Simone Peter, Greens co-leader reacted on Sunday saying: "this is...far from the result of exploratory talks for a coalition.. . We will not participate in deprivation programmes," explaining, that a de facto "upper limit" on asylum seekers could violate national and international law.

Thomas Giegerich, professor at University of Saarland told media, that a "cap" on asylum opposes EU law, which guarantees the right to be protected not only for refugees but also for people fleeing violence in their country. Considering the wording of the joint policy paper, Giegerich explains that the number of 200.000 can be adjusted: "Legally, that's most likely a sound way to go, but it makes for ethically questionable politics."

"The policy paper of CDU and CSU on the occasion of the upcoming exploratory discussions spares the word "cap" - but it is not necessary to use it in particular. The even more restrictive political course further undermines asylum and human rights." says the NGO Pro Asyl and points out to possible coalition partners to intervene.


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Arkiveringsdatum 171013:

UNHCR 17-10-09:

Danmark/ UNHCR Observations on the proposed amendments to the Aliens legislation: till sidans topp

/Utdrag, ur förslaget angående Danmarks kvotflyktingprogram:/

In order be able to make decisions in a more "flexible" manner on whether to accept quota refugees during one particular year, the Proposal now wishes to give the Minister of Immigration and Integration the power to decide on the number of refugees (including whether to accept any at all) that Denmark is able to resettle each year.6 According to the Proposal, the assessment on the number of quota refugees Denmark is capable of receiving on a yearly basis, shall depend on both the social and financial capacity of the country at the time of decision.



UNHCR recommends the Government of Denmark to:

i. In the spirit of the NY Declaration, reactivate its resettlement program, at least at the previous level of 500 refugees per year.

ii. Refrain from introducing a "capacity assessment" as under paragraph 8 above, and instead recognize resettlement as a humanitarian act not reliant or dependent on non-refugee protection related parameters.

iii. In situations where the Proposal may lead to a decision not to accept any refugees on resettlement a given year, that this decision is taken through a preceding dialogue with UNHCR.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170728:

AIDA 17-07-18:

Irland/ Proposed reform easing conditions for family reunification till sidans topp

Last week, the International Protection (Family Reunification) (Amendment) Bill 2017 was submitted to the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas). The amendment concerns section 56 of the International Protection Act, governing the conditions for family reunification of refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries.

The bill abolishes the deadline for applying for family reunification. Currently, a beneficiary of international protection must apply for family reunification within 12 months of being issued with a refugee declaration or subsidiary protection declaration in Ireland. Such a deadline exists in other countries such as Belgium, whereas Germany, Sweden, Greece and the Netherlands require refugees to apply for family reunification within 3 months to avoid requirements of sufficient income, accommodation and health insurance.

The International Protection Act has also narrowed the scope of the right to family reunion compared to its predecessor, the Refugee Act 1996, by removing the possibility of beneficiaries reuniting with dependent family members such as children, grandchildren, siblings, parents or grandparents suffering from physical or mental disability and not reasonably expected to maintain themselves. The Family Reunification Amendment bill aims to reintroduce this provision in the law without allowing the Minister for Justice to exercise discretion on the notion of dependency, as was the case in the Refugee Act.

Beyond Ireland, a Refugee Family Reunion Bill is likely to be submitted in the United Kingdom with a view to broadening the definition of eligible family members and allowing refugee children to be reunited with their parents.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170712:

ECRE 17-06-30:

Belgien/ Reform reducing asylum standards in Belgium to minimum requirements till sidans topp

On 23 June 2017 the Belgian State Secretary for Asylum and Migration submitted a new legislative proposal amending the Aliens Act with the aim of transposing the recast Reception Conditions Directive and Asylum Procedures Directive. The law indicates a lowering of the Belgian standards to the minimum set out in the EU Directives. Main changes affect rules on detention of asylum seekers, inadmissibility grounds of asylum applications and the consideration of sources in the asylum procedure.

According to the proposal, an asylum seeker may be detained where he or she does not cooperate in the establishment of his or her identity, where there is a risk of absconding, where the application is made with a deliberate purpose of delaying or hindering return, or for reasons of public order and national security. The maximum duration of such detention is 2 months, except for cases related to public order and national security, where it can be prolonged.

The proposal transposes the grounds set out in the recast Asylum Procedures Directive as reasons for declaring an asylum application inadmissible. These will introduce new concepts such as the "first country of asylum" and "safe third country" concepts as inadmissibility grounds in Belgium. The Commissioner-General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS) shall decide on the admissibility of applications within 15 working days. The introduction of the "safe third country" implies abusive conduct on the part of individuals arriving in Belgium through other countries, as it mentions the "safe third country" concept under a heading entitled "Fight against abuse".


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AIDA 17-06-30: Reform reducing asylum standards in Belgium to minimum requirements (extended version), (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 170530:

ECRE 17-05-26:

Österrike/ Movement restrictions and detention ahead of EU reform till sidans topp

The asylum reform streak continues in Austria, as a new legislative proposal on an aliens law amendment (FrÄG 2017, Part II) has been tabled before the Austrian parliament. The bill presents restrictions on residence, detention and penalties for non-compliance with measures to promote return.

After passing the admissibility procedure, an asylum seeker may be ordered by the Federal Agency for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) to reside in a specific place for reasons of public interest or public order, or for the rapid processing and effective monitoring of the asylum application. The proposal specifies that an individual's compliance with his or her obligations is to be a factor relevant to the assessment of the need for effective monitoring of the application. A similar requirement to reside in a special location is introduced for persons issued a return order, where there is either no period for voluntary departure or that period has expired.

The proposal adds non-compliance with the aforementioned obligations to reside in a specific place as a ground for detention of asylum seekers. According to the bill, individuals who do not comply with the aforementioned obligations to reside in a specific place may be imposed a fine ranging from 100 to 1,000€. Repeated infringements of these obligations may lead to a higher fine of up to 5,000€ or imprisonment.

The proposal has been sharply criticised by civil society for exceeding the scope of permissible restrictions on movement, as well as detention powers, in the Reception Conditions Directive. UNHCR also highlights that these measures do not respect the right to free movement as guaranteed by the 1951 Refugee Convention. Stakeholders have also recalled the constitutional principle of proportionality and urged for an explicit reference in the law to the requirement that any measures be proportionate to the aim pursued.


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EU-kommissionen 17-05-17:

Ungern/ Commission follows up on infringement procedure against Hungary till sidans topp

The European Commission has today decided to move forward on the infringement procedure against Hungary concerning its asylum legislation by sending a complementary letter of formal notice.

Following a series of exchanges both at political and technical level with the Hungarian authorities over the past weeks, the letter sets out concerns raised by the amendments to the Hungarian asylum law introduced in March this year and comes as a follow-up to an infringement procedure initiated by the Commission in December 2015.

The Commission considers that of the five issues identified in the letter of formal notice from 2015, three remain to be addressed, in particular in the area of asylum procedures. In addition, the letter outlines new incompatibilities of the Hungarian asylum law, as recently modified by the amendments of 2017. The incompatibilities focus mainly on three areas: asylum procedures, rules on return and reception conditions.

The Commission considers that the Hungarian legislation does not comply with EU law, in particular Directive 2013/32/EU on Asylum Procedures, Directive 2008/115/EC on Return, Directive 2013/33/EU on Reception Conditions and several provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

As regards the asylum procedures, the Hungarian law does not allow for applications to be submitted outside of special transit zones at the borders, and restricts access to these zones, thus failing to provide an effective access to asylum procedures within its territory. The border procedures are not in accordance with the conditions of EU law and the special guarantees for vulnerable individuals not respected. The reduced time for appeals violates the fundamental right to an effective remedy.


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ECRE !7-05-26: Italy: Hungary is unsafe country for transferring asylum seekers under Dublin Regulation (Extern länk)

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ECRE 17-05-26:

Tyskland/ From host country to deportation country - latest asylum reform in Germany till sidans topp

Last week the German parliament passed a reform of the asylum law introducing far-reaching changes affecting data protection of asylum seekers, residence restrictions and prolongation of detention custody.

The new legal changes introduce stricter obligations on asylum seekers to cooperate in establishing their nationality and obtaining identity documents. Data carriers, such as mobile phones, sim cards and hardware can be systematically checked by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in order to establish their identity. The data collected can also be used in case an asylum seeker is suspected to pose a threat to public order. Pro Asyl warns that accessing private data of refugees circumvents a decision of the German Constitutional Court, according to which private data can only be accessed by court order. Also, Andrea Voßhoff, Federal Data Protection Commissioner, had criticised the change as disproportionate and contrary to the Constitution.

The reform also introduces an additional ground of detention for rejected asylum seekers that are suspected of constituting a public danger, this includes people awaiting Dublin transfers. This form of "security removal detention" can be used, even if the deportation cannot be conducted within the time limit of three months. Further, surveillance options for rejected asylum seekers are widened, an electronic ankle monitor will be introduced, and deportation custody is prolonged from four to ten days. The statutory notification period of one month prior to deportation for holders of tolerated stay status (Duldung) is removed for people who are alleged to be involved in identity fraud or who are allegedly prolonging their tolerated stay through lack of reasonable cooperation. Pro Asyl warns that the new law does not lay down criteria of what constitutes reasonable cooperation and that lifting a time limit of security-based detention might trap Dublin returnees indefinitely, as less than 10 percent of Dublin returns are in fact ultimately carried out.


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Arkiveringsdatum 170515:

Human Rights Watch 17-05-09:

Grekland/ NGOs decry policy limiting asylum appeal rights till sidans topp

15 NGOs urge the Greek Government to immediately reverse the recent policy excluding asylum-seekers on the Greek islands who appeal negative asylum decisions from the possibility of participating later on in the International Organisation for Migration's (IOM) Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme and forcing those who wish to participate to forego their right to appeal. The decision follows the direction set by the recommendations in the European Commission's and Greek Government's Joint Action Plan on the European Union (EU) - Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016, which aims to limit the steps in the appeals process and remove so called "administrative obstacles to swift voluntary return".

IOM's AVRR programme provides migrants who cannot or no longer wish to remain in a host country with the support to return and reintegrate into their country of origin. According to IOM, "voluntariness remains a precondition for all its AVRR activities."[i]

In direct contradiction to this precondition however, the recently announced policy restricts access to AVRR on the Greek islands as of early April, by dictating that, upon receipt of a negative first instance decision (i.e., inadmissible or rejection on merit), asylum seekers are provided with a choice: appeal this decision as per their right under Greek, EU, and International Human Rights law,[ii] or forego their right to appeal and benefit from the AVRR package (which includes €1,000). If they ultimately choose to exercise their right to appeal, they lose the opportunity for future AVRR, and if their appeal is negative, they face deportation to Turkey. This policy is not applicable for those on the Greek mainland who remain eligible for AVRR after having appealed their negative asylum decision. Under the new policy, individuals are meant to be given five days to decide. However, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) have already received reports of people being pressured, without allowing time to consult with a lawyer, to make the decision on the spot.


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Arkiveringsdatum 170504:

Migrationsverket 17-04-28:

Ungern/ Stopp för Dublinöverföringar till Ungern till sidans topp

Nu stoppar Migrationsverket tills vidare alla överföringar till Ungern enligt Dublinförordningen. Det beror på Ungerns nya asyllagstiftning och det försämrade mottagandet för asylsökande i landet.

På grund av att asylsökande har svårt att få sina skyddsskäl prövade i Ungern, har Migrationsverket bestämt att tills vidare stoppa alla överföringar av asylsökande dit.

Migrationsverket har sedan tidigare överfört asylsökande till Ungern endast i begränsad omfattning eftersom Ungern inte tagit emot de sökande. I praktiken innebär det nya beslutet att Migrationsverket fortsätter att fatta beslut om överföringar till Ungern, samtidigt som verket beslutar att överföringarna tills vidare inte ska genomföras.

Ny asyllagstiftning i Ungern

Bakgrunden är den nya ungerska asyllagstiftning som trädde i kraft den 28 mars i år. Den innebär bland annat att alla asylsökande i landet kommer att hållas i "transitzoner" vid landets södra gräns mot Serbien under den tid som deras ansökningar behandlas. Endast barn under 14 år är undantagna.

Ungern har också klargjort att landet inte kommer att acceptera några överföringar enligt Dublinförordningen om den sökande inte har visum till Ungern, är asylsökande från västra Balkan eller är ett barn utan vårdnadshavare och överföringen till Ungern bedöms ligga i barnets bästa intresse.

Migrationsverket gör vidare utredning

Migrationsverket kommer nu att närmare utreda i vilken utsträckning asylsökande kan få tillgång till den ungerska asylprocessen samt om asylsystemet och mottagandet har sådana systematiska brister som utgör omänsklig eller förnedrande behandling av de sökande.*

I dag har Migrationsverket cirka 100 ärenden där verket beslutat om överföring till Ungern enligt Dublinförordningen, men där överföringarna inte har genomförts.

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Arkiveringsdatum 170330:

AIDA 17-03-29:

Cypern/ AIDA Updates Greece, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands and Cyprus till sidans topp

+ The updated Country Report on Cyprus provides a detailed analysis of the recent transposition of the recast Asylum Procedures and Reception Conditions Directives, completed in October 2016. The reform has led to substantial amendments to the Refugee Law and Legal Aid Law.

Cypern (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-03-29:

Europa/ AIDA Updates Greece, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands and Cyprus till sidans topp

+ The updated country report on Greece provides a thorough analysis of the transformation of the Greek asylum system in the light of the closure of the Western Balkan route and the EU-Turkey statement.

+ The updated country report on Germany provides in-depth insight into the transformation and reform of the German asylum system in the aftermath of large-scale arrivals of asylum seekers. According to estimates by the Federal Ministry of Interior, 280,000 asylum seekers came to Germany in 2016, in comparison to an estimated 890,000 in 2015.

+ The updated Country Report on Ireland tracks developments in the country's asylum system following substantial reforms introduced in 2016. The main change is the commencement of the International Protection Act, which was signed into law in December 2015 and officially entered into effect on 31 December 2016.

+ The updated Country Report on Croatia documents the transformation of the Croatian asylum system following the closure of the Western Balkan route and the exponential rise in the number of asylum seekers entering Croatia compared to previous years.

+ The updated Country Report on the Netherlands analyses recent developments in practice and case law governing asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of protection.

+ The updated Country Report on Cyprus provides a detailed analysis of the recent transposition of the recast Asylum Procedures and Reception Conditions Directives, completed in October 2016. The reform has led to substantial amendments to the Refugee Law and Legal Aid Law.

Grekland (Extern länk)

Tyskland (Extern länk)

Irland (Extern länk)

Kroatien (Extern länk)

Nederländerna (Extern länk)

Cypern (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-03-29:

Tyskland/ AIDA Updates Greece, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands and Cyprus till sidans topp

+ The updated country report on Germany provides in-depth insight into the transformation and reform of the German asylum system in the aftermath of large-scale arrivals of asylum seekers. According to estimates by the Federal Ministry of Interior, 280,000 asylum seekers came to Germany in 2016, in comparison to an estimated 890,000 in 2015.

Tyskland (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-03-29:

Nederländerna/ AIDA Updates Greece, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands, Cyprus till sidans topp

+ The updated Country Report on the Netherlands analyses recent developments in practice and case law governing asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of protection.

Nederländerna (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-03-29:

Kroatien/ AIDA Updates Greece, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands and Cyprus till sidans topp

+ The updated Country Report on Croatia documents the transformation of the Croatian asylum system following the closure of the Western Balkan route and the exponential rise in the number of asylum seekers entering Croatia compared to previous years.

Kroatien (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-03-29:

Irland/ AIDA Updates Greece, Germany, Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands and Cyprus till sidans topp

+ The updated Country Report on Ireland tracks developments in the country's asylum system following substantial reforms introduced in 2016. The main change is the commencement of the International Protection Act, which was signed into law in December 2015 and officially entered into effect on 31 December 2016.

Irland (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 170320:

UNHCR 17-03-07:

Ungern/ UNHCR deeply concerned by Hungary plans to detain all asylum seekers till sidans topp

UNHCR is deeply concerned at a new law which has been voted this morning at the Hungarian Parliament and which foresees the mandatory detention of all asylum seekers, including many children, for the entire length of the asylum procedure.

In practice, it means that every asylum-seeker, including children, will be detained in shipping containers surrounded by high razor wire fence at the border for extended periods of time.

This new law violates Hungary's obligations under international and EU laws, and will have a terrible physical and psychological impact on women, children and men who have already greatly suffered.

We already expressed serious concern about the physical barriers Hungary has already erected, together with legislative and policy obstacles, making it nearly impossible for asylum-seekers to enter the country, apply for asylum and receive international protection.

Under International and EU laws, the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers can only be justified on a limited number of grounds, and only where it is necessary, reasonable and proportionate. This requires authorities to consider whether there are less coercive or intrusive measures to achieve these goals, based on an assessment of the individual's particular circumstances. Alternatives to detention should always to be considered first. Failure to do so could render detention arbitrary.

Children should never be detained under any conditions as detention is never in a child's best interest.

Europarådets parlament: rapporteurs express deep concern at new law to automatically detain asylum seekers (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 17-03-09: Detain all asylum-seekers a deliberate attack on the rights of refugees (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch 17-03-10:

Grekland/ Reject EU pressure on asylum seekers till sidans topp

Proposed law changes would harm vulnerable people

The Greek Parliament should resist external pressures and reject any changes to legislation based on the European Commission's Joint Action Plan for the EU-Turkey agreement, that will further worsen the situation for people seeking safety and a better life in Europe, 13 nongovernmental organizations said today in an open letter.

As the Greek Parliament is expected to vote within the coming days on these changes, the organizations are calling on Greek Members of Parliament not to support amendments to Greek Law 4375/2016 already published in the EU Joint Action Plan that will remove safeguards for vulnerable people and families. The parliament should stand by the protections enshrined in Greece's current asylum legislation by making sure that most vulnerable persons and those eligible for family reunification under the Dublin Regulation are exempted from accelerated admissibility procedures aimed at sending them back to Turkey.

Removing existing safeguards for vulnerable people and those with prospects for family reunification in other EU member states would mean keeping more people on the already overcrowded islands and putting further undue pressure on the islands' population. The result would be the creation of more detention centers, fast-tracking asylum proceedings, and limiting appeals steps, all with the goal of facilitating deportations, and possibly sending people into harm's way.

The organizations urged Parliament to make Greece an example of a country willing to uphold the human rights of and protection for people seeking safety and security in Europe, and not to allow Greece be used as a laboratory for testing migration policies at the expense of the most vulnerable.


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Arkiveringsdatum 170224:

AIDA 17-02-22:

Europa/ AIDA 2016 updates on Belgium, Austria, France and Switzerland till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Belgium contains information on recent developments in case law and policy related to asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of international protection.

The Updated Country Report on Austria documents the rapid evolution of the asylum system in the aftermath of successive legislative reforms and prospective amendments.

The updated Country Report on France provides a thorough overview of developments in legislation, policy and practice in relation to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of international protection.

The updated Country Report on Switzerland tracks recent developments in practice and case law governing asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of protection.

Belgium (Extern länk)

Austria (Extern länk)

France (Extern länk)

Switzerland (Extern länk)

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ECRE 17-02-17:

Italien/ Italy curtails appeal rights and expands rebranded detention centres till sidans topp

On 10 February, the Italian Council of Ministers adopted a law that foresees the acceleration of asylum procedures and returns, following heavily criticised plans set out in the second half of 2016. The Decree Law is only provisionally binding until it is voted on in the Parliament.

The new law creates specialised immigration chambers to hear asylum appeals. These chambers are established in 14 courts (Bari, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Catanzaro, Florence, Lecce, Milan, Palermo, Rome, Naples, Torino and Venice), and are competent to decide on asylum appeal cases under a single judge. The reform also limits the possibility to be heard in such appeals: asylum appeal procedures are to be accelerated, as a decision by the specialised chamber must be taken within four months instead of six, and the decision can no longer be appealed to the Court of Appeal.

In regard to return, Identification and Expulsion Centres (Centri di identificazione ed espulsione, CIE) are renamed Return Detention Centres (Centri di permanenza per il rimpatrio, CPR). While currently only four CIE are operational in Italy, the new closed detention centres will be rolled out across the Italian territory. The location of the new CPR is to be decided in consultation with the Presidents of the Regions concerned, on the basis of "easily accessible" sites and structures. By "easily accessible" the government is said to envisage small-scale CPR, hosting up to 80 to 100, which will be located close to airports or highways so as to facilitate returns.

"We are very skeptical about the possibility that the text of the law will be approved by the Parliament. It will be clearly an unconstitutional law, among others because it abolishes one of the three levels of proceedings," told Dario Bellucio, lawyer and member of ASGI (Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration) ECRE.

Artikeln med länkar (Extern länk)

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Linkedin 17-02-09: Italien/ From Hotspots to Repatriation Centres: How Italy Gets tough on Immigration (Extern länk)

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AIDA 17-02-22:

Österrike/ AIDA 2016 updates till sidans topp

The Updated Country Report on Austria documents the rapid evolution of the asylum system in the aftermath of successive legislative reforms and prospective amendments.

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UNHCR 17-02-13:

Norge/ UNHCR Observations on amendments to the Immigration Regulation till sidans topp


Firstly, according to the Proposal, the income/subsistence requirement (that has to be fulfilled by the sponsor/family member in Norway) in family reunification cases will be reduced from NOK 305.000 to NOK 253.704. In UNHCR?s understanding, this change will apply to both refugees under Section 28(1) a and Section 28(1) b of the Norwegian Immigration Act.

Secondly, the Proposal seeks to introduce a requirement that an electronic application for family reunification must be submitted within three months after the granting of status in order to be exempt from the subsistence requirement. According to the current Norwegian Regulations, Section 10-8, paragraph 5,10 refugees are exempt from the general subsistence requirement if they apply for family reunification within one year from receiving status in Norway. With the proposed change, the period during which refugees are exempted would thus be reduced from one year to three months.

Thirdly, it is proposed to increase the administrative service fee for applications for family reunification, cf. Section 17-10 of the Norwegian Regulations [Fee for processing an application for a temporary or permanent residence permit or for renewal of a residence permit] from NOK 5 900 to NOK 8 000.

UNHCR welcomes the reduction in the income/subsistence requirement. However, UNHCR is concerned that the shortened exemption period and increase in administrative fees will restrict the impact of such a provision and the rights of refugees applying for family reunification and will below provide detailed comments on these two aspects.

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UNHCR 17-02-22:

Danmark/ UNHCR Observations on proposed amendments to the Aliens legislation till sidans topp

Lov om ændring af udlændingeloven (Mulighed for i en krisesituation at afvise asylansøgere ved grænsen)


According to the Proposal, the possibility to introduce an "emergency brake" during times of high influx to prevent asylum-seekers, coming through another country covered by the Dublin Regulation, from entering Denmark should be considered. Such suspension of the system would only be put into practice through a separate decision by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration, and only for a maximum period of four weeks. The decision can be extended for another four weeks at a time, however, the Proposal is silent as to how many times it can be extended.


The Proposal also provides that authority will be delegated to the Police to issue written refusal (Danish term "afvisning") decisions based on Article 28 of the Danish Aliens Act at the border.


UNHCR finds the proposed measures problematic, not only from a refugee and human rights law perspective, but also as the effects of the Proposal may be chaos and possible security risks. In view of the above, UNHCR recommends the Government of Denmark to:

i. Abstain from adopting the proposed measures as a way to shift the responsibility to other countries bound by the Dublin Regulation through which the asylum-seeker may have passed;

ii. Adhere to the Dublin Regulation, and to fully apply its provisions concerning the rights of asylum-seekers. In order for asylum-seekers to be able to exercise their right to seek asylum and for these procedures to be fair and efficient, they need to have access to territory and asylum procedures;


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Arkiveringsdatum 170214:

Amnesty International 17-02-10:

Ungern/ stoops to new low with plan to round up asylum seekers in container camp till sidans topp

The Hungarian government's announcement that it will detain all asylum seekers in containers near the border is yet another disturbing move in a pattern of demonizing this already very vulnerable group, Amnesty International said today.

The government will submit its proposal to Parliament which will then debate and vote on the measures within weeks. If adopted, it will be in clear contravention of EU law and the Refugee Convention.

"Rounding up all men, women and children seeking asylum and detaining them months on end in container camps is a new low in Hungary's race to the bottom on asylum seekers and refugees," said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Europe.

Under the measure, all current and future asylum seekers would be transferred to container camps in a so-called "transit zone" near the border with Serbia, where they would be held for the duration of their asylum application process. Asylum appeals would by default be conducted with the asylum seeker attending only via video-link to a court rather than in person.

"By amending a raft of laws to lock up all asylum seekers, the Hungarian government will inflict unnecessary trauma, compounding what people seeking protection have already suffered. The government has in no way proven that the detention of each asylum seekers would be reasonable, necessary and proportionate. Detention should always be the last resort and not an immediate knee-jerk reaction as is the case here," said Gauri van Gulik.

"This is further evidence that the EU needs to stand firm on Hungary's flagrant disregard for European and International law."



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Amnesty International 17-01-26:

Slovenien/ Amendments to Aliens Act denies protection to refugees till sidans topp

New law passed this evening strip refugees and asylum seekers of protections to which they are entitled under international and EU law and are a serious backward step for human rights in Slovenia, said Amnesty International.

The amendments to the Aliens Act allow for special emergency measures that would deny entry to people arriving at the borders and automatically expel migrants and refugees who have entered Slovenia irregularly, without properly assessing their asylum claims or the risks to which they would be exposed upon return.

"Rather than recognizing refugees and asylum seekers as people fleeing from the horrors of war and in need of protection, these amendments treat them as a threat to national security and strip them of vital protections under international law," said Jelena Sesar, Amnesty International's Researcher for the Balkans and the European Union.

"By sealing its borders to these desperate people and turning its back on its international obligations, Slovenia is treading the same unseemly path as its neighbours - Hungary and Austria. This is deeply regrettable for a country which has traditionally upheld core human rights values and has been a true leader in the region."

Countries in the Balkans must refrain from employing measures to push back and deny protections to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, many of them unaccompanied children fleeing war and persecution.

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AIDA 16-02- 13:

Schweiz/ AIDA 2016 Update: Switzerland till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Switzerland tracks recent developments in practice and case law governing asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of protection.

The planned reform of the Asylum Act which mainly aims at accelerating the procedure was accepted by the Swiss people in a referendum on 5 June 2016. The reform will introduce a country-wide accelerated procedure, modelled along the "Testphase" procedure piloted in Zurich, entailing shorter time limits to complete the examination of asylum claims but also free legal assistance and representation throughout the process.

During 2016, Swiss courts have also laid down important principles concerning the application of the Dublin Regulation, which remains a core instrument for the country. Switzerland issued a total 15,203 outgoing Dublin requests in 2016, mainly addressed to Italy, followed by Germany and Croatia. The number of transfers carried out during the same period is 3,750.

In May 2016, the Federal Court established some ground rules for detention in Dublin cases, namely confirming that there needs to be an individual assessment of the risk of absconding and that such a risk cannot be inferred by the sole fact that the person had previously asked for asylum in another country.


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UNHCR 17-02-03:

Danmark/ UNHCR Observations on the proposed amendments to the Aliens legislation till sidans topp

(...) According to the Proposal, the requirements for permanent residency will apply to all aliens, including refugees and beneficiaries of other forms of protection. The proposed changes to the basic eligibility requirements are the following:

1) Legal residence: Eight years of legal residence (instead of the current six years);

2) Criminality: A conviction resulting in a prison sentence of six months or more precludes eligibility for permanent residence altogether (instead of the current one year prison sentence);

3) Employment: Full-time employment during three and a half (3.5) out of the last four years at the time of application (instead of the current two and a half (2.5) out of the last three years); and

4) Self-sufficiency: No reliance on social benefits during the last four years at the time of application (instead of the current three years).

6. UNHCR wishes to reiterate that the timely grant of a secure legal status and residency rights are essential factors in the integration process. In order to take into account the special position of refugees, UNHCR recommends that permanent residence should be granted, at the latest, after a three year residence period, and that this time-frame should also apply to beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. Furthermore, UNHCR wishes to underline that the proposed measures are contrary to the guidance provided in Conclusion No. 104 on local integration of UNHCR's Executive Committee, of which Denmark is a member, which affirms "the particular importance of the legal dimension of integration, which entails the host State granting refugees a secure legal status and a progressively wider range of rights and entitlements that are broadly commensurate with those enjoyed by its citizens and, over time, the possibility of naturalizing".


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Arkiveringsdatum 170109:

Amnesty International 17-01-05:

Slovenien/ Proposals to strip asylum-seekers of their rights must be rejected till sidans topp

The Slovenian parliament must reject amendments to the Aliens Act that, once triggered, would deny refugees and asylum seekers the protections to which they are entitled under international and EU law, Amnesty International said following the adoption of the amendments by the government today.

Emergency measures set out in the bill would give authorities the possibility to adopt special measures that would deny entry to people arriving at the borders and automatically expel migrants and refugees who had entered Slovenia irregularly, without assessing their asylum claims or the risk of them being tortured or persecuted upon return. The application of the measures would be conditional on the decision of the parliament to trigger their enforcement, following government's assessment that the public order and national security are under threat.

"Stripping people fleeing for their lives of their right to claim asylum and pushing them back at the border is a breach of international and EU law. Instead of treating refugees and asylum-seekers as a security risk, the Slovenian authorities should recognize their responsibility to protect people who have made terrifying journeys and risked everything in search of safety," said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International's Deputy Europe Director.

"This bill resembles similar efforts of Slovenia's neighbours - most notably, Hungary, but also Austria - to seal their borders to those fleeing horrors of war. It rides roughshod over both the right that every individual has to ask for asylum and the obligation Slovenia has to fully assess each claim."

Rejecting an asylum seeker or a migrant at the border without due process and consideration of their individual circumstances is a pushback, and is prohibited in all circumstances under EU and international law.


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AIDA 17-01-02:

Frankrike/ Allowance insufficient for asylum seekers without accommodation till sidans topp

In a judgment of 23 December 2016, the French Council of State examined the appropriateness of the level of the ADA, the allowance for asylum seekers (Allocation pour demandeur d'asile), for asylum seekers who are not placed in a reception centre throughout their asylum procedure. The ADA was introduced by the 2015 asylum reform and replaced the previously applicable monthly subsistence allowance (AMS) and temporary waiting allowance (ATA) available to applicants.

According to the Decree of 21 October 2015 relating to the ADA, the amount of the allowance depends on the family composition of the applicant. For example, a single adult asylum seeker is entitled to 6.80€ per day. An additional 4.20€ per day is provided to persons who have accepted to be accommodated but cannot be placed in a reception centre. The Council of State found the latter amount "manifestly insufficient" to ensure an adequate standard of living in accordance with the recast Reception Conditions Directive. The court specified that the standard set out in the Directive requires the state, where accommodation cannot be provided to an asylum seeker, to provide an allowance sufficiently high to allow the individual to obtain housing in the private rental market. This has also been affirmed by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Saciri ruling.

The Council of State has ordered the Prime Minister to set a higher amount for the ADA for this category of asylum seekers within two months.

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Arkiveringsdatum 161221:

Human Rights Watch 16-12-15:

Egypten/ Immigration law lacks key protections till sidans topp

Egypt's first law addressing irregular migration is a positive step toward shielding asylum seekers and migrants from criminal responsibility but fails to affirm important refugee rights, Human Rights Watch said today.

The new law imposes serious penalties for human smuggling activities but lacks guarantees for the rights to seek asylum or to freedom of movement and education. It also does not guarantee protection against refoulement - deportation to a country where the migrant might be at risk of serious harm.

"Punishing human smugglers is an important element for protecting asylum seekers and migrants against abuses," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "But refugees remain vulnerable unless their fundamental rights are protected."

The law, in article 2, states that criminal liability lies with smugglers and not migrants, who are regarded as victims, but it remains ambiguous about punishments migrants could nevertheless receive, stating in article 27 that they will be prosecuted "if they commit offenses punishable under Egyptian laws." Crossing Egypt's borders without permission can be a crime.

The government should issue regulations clarifying the law and removing the ambiguity regarding whether migrants can be prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said. Parliament should amend the law or pass supplementary legislation to protect basic refugee rights, in line with international standards.

Parliament passed the new law on October 17, 2016, several weeks after a boat carrying people from Egypt capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, leaving at least 300 dead or missing. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed the law on November 7.


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AIDA 16-12-09:

Belgien/ Policy note announces more deportation, detention and cessation in 2017 till sidans topp

On 30 November 2016, the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration presented a general policy note to the Parliament on the future of Belgium's refugee protection and migration policy.

Already in 2016, the Secretary of State took various initiatives to respond to the increase in arrivals of asylum seekers in the country. One such measure was the postponement of the examination of applications by Iraqi nationals, with a view to re-evaluating the conditions in the country, coupled with a deterrence information campaign targeting the protection seekers concerned. The note explains that an 80% decrease in the number of Iraqi asylum seekers and a rise in voluntary returns to Iraq resulted from this. Another initiative was legislative reform aimed at restricting the duration of stay afforded to refugees from permanent residence to a five-year permit.

The State Secretary's priority for 2017 is to accelerate the examination of asylum applications in order to relieve pressure from Belgian asylum and reception authorities. Some of the priority actions contained in the policy note and listed below raise crucial protection risks and tension with Belgium's human rights obligations:

+ Dublin system: Belgium already increased its use of the Dublin Regulation in 2016, which is rigorously applied to all nationalities according to the note. The Secretary of State commits to increasing the number of Dublin transfers in 2017 and to reintroducing transfers to Greece, as the "only way for candidate applicants to understand that they may not choose their country of asylum." Belgium therefore seems to support the European Commission's efforts to recommend the reinstatement of transfers by the beginning of next year. In the context of the reform of the Dublin system, the Secretary of State clarifies the need for asylum seekers to be obliged to apply in the first country of entry, to avoid disproportionate numbers of arrivals in Northern and Western Europe.


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Arkiveringsdatum 161123:

AIDA 16-11-02:

Storbritannien/ Reform of strategy on unaccompanied asylum seeking children till sidans topp

On 1 November, Edward Timpson, the Minister of State for vulnerable children and families, published a written statement on the UK Government's plans to develop a new strategy aimed at prioritising the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children. Through cooperation with the Home Office Minister of State for Immigration, Mr Timpson attempts to publish the new strategy by 1 May 2017. Recognising that the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the UK has risen, partially resulting from the situation in Calais, the statement mentions the need for a system identifying children that have family or potential carers in the UK and a system to effectively reunite them. Furthermore, the new strategy will focus on increasing the number of foster carers, the need for additional training for carers and support workers and an increase of supported lodgings. Ministers also promised to examine whether or not more can be done to help prevent unaccompanied children going missing from care.

The reform will include a revision of the statutory guidance published in 2014 on the care of unaccompanied and trafficked children so that it covers the safeguarding of children transferred under provisions of the Dublin Regulation and unaccompanied asylum seeking children who arrive spontaneously who then explain that they have family in the United Kingdom with whom they wish to live. Judith Dennis, AIDA expert for the UK and Refugee Council Policy Manager, welcomed the intention of the UK Government to develop a new strategy and stressed that children's safety and wellbeing should always come first.

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Arkiveringsdatum 160831:

AIDA 16-08-24:

Italien/ Plans for curtailment of onward appeal to expedite asylum procedures till sidans topp

The Italian Justice Minister has announced in a recent hearing the intention to abolish the second-instance judicial ("onward") appeal before the Court of Appeal (Corte d'Appello) available to asylum seekers whose appeal against a negative asylum decision has been dismissed.

The Minister noted that the Italian courts have registered 15,008 appeals relating to international protection in the first five months of 2016, the majority being submitted to the Tribunali of Naples and Milan. The average processing time of appeals during that time was reported to be 167 days - less than 6 months. However, information provided by ASGI legal practitioners refers to an average duration of 18 months for first instance judicial appeals.

In addition to abolishing the second-instance judicial appeal procedure, the reform would also bring about changes to the first-instance appeal procedure. For the first appeal, the proposed reform would introduce specialised sections within the court system, dealing with asylum and immigration matters. This institutional design is followed in countries such as France, where the National Court of Asylum deals specifically with asylum cases. The specialisation was presented by the Justice Minister as a key tool towards expedited appeal procedures.

The proposed appeal system would in principle entail a written procedure. The court would have the possibility to access the video recording of the personal interview and would not hold a hearing with the applicant, although this would be provided where deemed necessary. Appeals are mostly examined through written procedures in countries such as Greece, where further restrictions on asylum seekers' right to be heard were brought about by recent reforms.

Civil society organisations including ASGI and CIR have criticised the compatibility of the proposed reform with the right to an effective remedy, which is guaranteed by the recast Asylum Procedures Directive.

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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, #vistårinteut och InfoTorg Juridik (betaltjänst) samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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