Scaling up Refugee Resettlement in Europe: The Role of Institutional Peer Support

With pressure mounting on EU Member States to create and scale up refugee resettlement programs, many have turned to peers in other countries for information, advice, and operational support. This report maps the many forms resettlement-focused peer-support initiatives take and discusses common stumbling blocks and strategies for policymakers and program designers looking to make the most of these critical exchanges.

Mainstreaming 2.0: How Europe’s Education Systems Can Boost Migrant Inclusion

Rising numbers of young immigrants and refugees entering European schools following the 2015–16 migration crisis strained system capacity and injected new urgency into debates about how to support diverse learners and their families. This report examines the challenges facing European education systems and identifies key lessons to improve migrant inclusion in schools and integration more broadly.


Migrant Vulnerability to Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Evidence from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Migration Routes

There are specific risk factors associated with increased migrant vulnerability to exploitation, violence, abuse and human trafficking, according to a new report published yesterday (21/12) by IOM, the UN Migration Agency. The report, titled Migrant Vulnerability to Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Evidence from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean Migration Routes, analyses quantitative data on vulnerability factors, as well as personal experiences of abuse, violence, exploitation, and human trafficking collected over the past two years from 16,500 migrants in seven countries. While other IOM reports have documented the scale of exploitation on the main migration routes to Europe, this report is the first to identify key factors associated with increased vulnerability to exploitation and human trafficking during the journey. The data comes from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).


Desperate Journeys

UNHCR remains extremely concerned about the dangers many people in need of international protection face while attempting to seek safety in Europe. As of the end of September, it is estimated that almost 2,700 refugees and migrants have died at sea en route to Europe while at least another 55 are known to have died along land routes in Europe or at Europe’s borders in 2017. UNHCR continues to call for access to territory and protection for those who arrive to Europe, in addition greater access to safe and legal pathways is also needed, including via resettlement and family reunification.


ECRE/ELENA Legal Note on Access to Legal Aid in Europe

ECRE and the ELENA Network have published a new Legal Note on asylum applicants’ access to legal aid in Europe. The note outlines relevant European legislation and jurisprudence from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), as well as international legal standards. It identifies the main obstacles faced by asylum applicants in relation to legal aid, while also identifying good practices at the national level. Access to quality legal aid is an indispensable feature of a fair asylum system and safeguard against erroneous decisions and arbitrariness. ECRE/ELENA firmly believes that the provision of legal aid is crucial to safeguard the fundamental rights of people applying for asylum and is beneficial to both applicants/beneficiaries of international protection and asylum authorities. Access to legal aid at an early stage of the asylum process not only enhances the fairness and efficiency of the procedure, it may also reduce financial costs by strengthening the quality of decisions with the potential reduction of appeal rates. Importantly, it enables asylum applicants to fully understand their rights and obligations during the procedure and helps to establish trust in the asylum authorities, which is essential to ensure quality and efficiency in decision-making. Yet, recent developments in Europe point to a worrying trend of measures undermining asylum applicants’ access to legal aid. Even in countries where legal aid is available in general and where good practices can be identified, obstacles regarding the quality, funding or availability of legal aid for asylum applicants are increasingly reported. For that reason, ECRE/ELENA call on European states to ensure that legal aid is provided to all asylum applicants without sufficient means, at all stages of the asylum procedure and regardless of the specific asylum procedures that they may fall under.

Roma Belong. Statelessness, Discrimination and Marginalisation of Roma in the Western Balkans and Ukraine

Produced by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) and the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) this new report synthesises the findings of the #RomaBelong project, which set out to explore the nexus between statelessness, discrimination and marginalisation of Romani people in European Union candidate and neighbourhood countries in the Western Balkans and Ukraine.

Age assessment of young migrants: child’s best interests must be safeguarded, invasive methods avoided

A new report “Age assessment: Council of Europe member states’ policies, procedures and practices respectful of children’s rights in the context of migration” has been issued today. This report, prepared by an independent expert, is based on a survey conducted in 37 Council of Europe member states1 in spring 2017, as well as on secondary sources analysis. The aim of the report is to provide a factual overview of the current situation in the member states and support the Council of Europe’s work in developing guidelines on age assessment which respect children’s rights in the context of migration.


Engaging Communities in Refugee Protection: The Potential of Private Sponsorship in Europe

Across Europe, grassroots efforts have emerged in the wake of crisis that draw members of the public into the process of receiving refugees and supporting their integration. This policy brief examines the many forms community-based or private sponsorship can take,
what benefits such approaches may hold for European communities, and the tradeoffs policymakers face in their implementation.