The position of vulnerable asylum applicants from a comparative perspective,

Research Theme: Cross-border Mobility

The position of vulnerable asylum applicants from a comparative perspective

The tension arising from the desire of EU member states to control migration streams and their obligation to respect international human rights standards is at the heart of the common European migration and asylum policy. Refugees should receive the same treatment of protection, procedures and reception conditions regardless in which Member State the asylum application has been lodged. Hereby, the position of children as well as family ties should be taken into account when deciding on asylum applications. However, there are major deficiencies with the current EU legislation on asylum. A central contentious issue within the common European asylum system is the ‘Dublin system’. This system regulates which Member State is responsible to examine an asylum claim. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg and also the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg have condemned Member States implementing this mechanism for direct and indirect breaching of the ‘non-refoulement’ principle, which prohibits the expulsion or return of persons to countries where their life or freedom would be threatened. This research project will examine the implementation of the new EU asylum legislation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to investigate to which extent it addresses current deficiencies with regard to the human rights protection. Special attention will be given to the position of families with children and unaccompanied minors, in the light of international obligations and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights.

Project leaders: Hildegard Schneider (Faculty of Law), Maarten Vink (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences). Other member of the team: A. Coomans (Faculty of Law), Dersim Yabasun (Faculty of Law). External and societal contacts: Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies), UNHCR, Open Society Foundations.