The strong linkage between asylum and return procedures in the hotspot approach puts fundamental rights at risk, according to a policy brief published by the Danish Refugee Council.
Whereas hotspots in Italy and Greece were set up with a view to ensuring greater effectiveness and efficiency in migration management, experience from practice has demonstrated critical gaps in registration, access to procedures and identification of vulnerabilities, as well as violations of the right to liberty through systematic detention.
The brief places particular emphasis on the implications of the channelling of people into different procedures and the automatic detention of certain groups upon arrival, for example through the nationality-based “low profile” scheme on Greek islands. Persons subject to that scheme are automatically placed in pre-removal detention centres and can only seek asylum whilst in detention.
The Danish Refugee Council recommends access to proper and immediate legal assistance for all persons in such procedures, systematic identification of visible and non-visible vulnerabilities, and compliance with the duty to resort to detention only as a measure of last resort.
For further information:
- AIDA, Country Report Italy, 2018 Update, April 2019
- AIDA, Country Report Greece, 2018 Update, March 2019