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Trans-Regional Conference

Border Management and Protection of Refugees


Conference Report

24 26.11 2010
Hungary, Budapest

Published by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Representation for Central Europe Budapest, July 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS
GLOSSARY .................................................................................................................................... 6 Part I
INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................7 OPENING REMARKS ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................9 (Mr. Gottfried Koefner, UNHCR Regional Representative for Central Europe) WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................................................................................................................................................11 Working Group 1 .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................11 Working Group 2................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Working Group 3 ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 15

Part II
SUMMARY: DAY 1 ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................17 SUMMARY: DAY 2 ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................21 SUMMARY: DAY 3........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 29

Part III
COUNTRY PRESENTATIONS...............................................................................................................................................................................................................35 Bulgaria .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 36 Croatia ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................40 Czech Republic................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 43 Greece .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................46 Hungary.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................49 Moldova...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................51 Romania ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 54 Serbia....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 56 Slovakia .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 58 Slovenia ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................60 Turkey..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 63 Ukraine .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 65

ANNEXES
Concept Note....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 67 Agenda of the Conference ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................70 List of participants............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 73

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GLOSSARY
10-Point Plan of Action Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration: A 10-Point Plan of Action (UNHCR, rev. 1, 2007) EC Directive 2005/85/EC on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status Convention against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984) Country of Origin Information European Court of Justice European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) European Court of Human Rights European Union European ngerprint database for identifying asylum seekers and irregular border-crossers. Executive Committee of the High Commissioners Programme European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union International Organization for Migration Non-governmental organization EC Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualication and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted Rapid Border Intervention Teams Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) EC Directive 2008/115/EC on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe Schengen Borders Code Ofce of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Asylum Procedures Directive

CAT

COI ECJ ECHR

ECtHR EU Eurodac

EXCOM FRONTEX

IOM NGO Qualication Directive

RABIT Refugee Convention Return Directive

RRCE SBC UNHCR

Refugees at the Border

INTRODUCTION
From 24-26 November 2010, the UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe (RRCE) organised in Budapest the rst trans-regional conference on border management and the protection of refugees. The general aim of the conference was to raise the prole of international protection considerations in the context of regional migration dynamics at the external borders of the European Union (EU) and neighboring countries, and to encourage border management approaches which respect protection imperatives such as access to territory and to the asylum procedure, non-penalization for illegal entry, alternatives to detention and non-refoulement. The overall objective of the conference was to develop protection-sensitive migration strategies built on strong cooperation and partnerships between States, international organisations, academia and civil society organisations. Initially planned as a cross-border meeting between the UNHCR RRCE and the Regional Representation for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova with the aim to further develop existing mechanisms, invitations were later extended to ve more countries of the region. Consequently, fteen countries from the region were represented at the conference. The delegations of each country included representatives of the border authority, UNHCR and its implementing partner NGOs. The conference offered a great opportunity for the participants to identify the main protection challenges in Central Europe and neighboring countries, focusing on persons in need of international protection. Presentations by academics, representatives of EU agencies and UNHCR addressed the main topics of the conference including admission to territory and the principle of non-refoulement, alternatives to detention, EU developments on access to the asylum procedure, access to refugee status determination procedures and the FRONTEX/ UNHCR partnership. After the more general topics, the conference continued with more specic presentations. The overview of UNHCR activities and the framework related to access to asylum procedures in Central Europe and Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova was followed by fteen country presentations that outlined the major challenges countries face in identifying persons in need of international protection at the borders as well as good practices and experiences in this eld; presented current practices regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border; revealed practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection in the framework of readmission agreements; and overviewed cooperation mechanisms involving NGOs in monitoring the situation of persons in need of international protection at the borders. Participants had the chance to discuss and interact in three working groups and make recommendations on three problems: cross-border cooperation on protection-sensitive border management practices, alternatives to detention, and training, learning opportunities and tools for border police and NGO staff. The last point on the agenda was a visit to the Border Police Directorate of the Ferihegy International Airport in Budapest where participants also had the opportunity to see the detention facility at the airport. The conference offered a great opportunity for networking, information-sharing and dialogue between international organisations, State authorities and civil society with the purpose to exchange good practices related to the identication of persons in need of international protection. The Border Management and Protection of Refugees conference was the rst trans-regional conference of this size involving a large number of States with various experiences in the area of border monitoring and refugee protection.

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Organisers and participants of the conference propose to use the results of the discussions to improve access to the territory and asylum procedures for persons in need of international protection, within the framework of tripartite agreements among UNHCR, State border authorities and NGOs. This report on the conference is published in an effort to continue cooperation and information-sharing on access to territory and asylum procedures.

Refugees at the Border

OPENING REMARKS
by Mr. Gottfried Koefner UNHCR Regional Representative for Central Europe Dear Participants, I would like to welcome all of you to the Border Management and Protection of Refugees Conference. Initially planned was a cross-border meeting between the Regional Representation for Central Europe and the Regional Representation for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, in order to further develop the existing mechanisms and synergies between our regions. Soon we came to understand, though, that this meeting would not be complete without the participation of neighbouring countries with which we are working on issues of access for people in need of protection to territory and to asylum procedures. Therefore, we did consider it benecial to extend our invitation to ve more countries, namely Turkey, Russia, Serbia, Greece and Croatia. We are grateful for the cooperation with our colleagues from the Regional Representation in Kiev as well as for the nancial contribution of the European Commission which covers part of the costs of the conference. The overall objective of the conference is to discuss the most recent developments related to protection-sensitive migration strategies for refugees and the promotion of a holistic and collaborative approach built on strong partnership between States, international organisations, academia and civil society organisations. More specically the conference will aim to raise the prole of international protection considerations in the context of regional migration dynamics at the EU external borders and in neighboring countries. It will encourage border management approaches which respect protection imperatives such as ensuring access to territory and to asylum procedures, non-penalization for illegal entry for those who seek and are in need of protection, as well as alternatives to detention, the observance of the principle of non-refoulement, the UNHCR/FRONTEX partnership and cooperation, and the identication of training and learning opportunities for all actors ensuring protection for refugees. The conference will offer opportunities to exchange good practices and lessons learned related to the identication of persons in need of international protection, including women, unaccompanied minors and persons with special needs; and also to actively participate to enhance cross-border cooperation mechanisms, information-sharing and dialogue between international organisations, State authorities and civil society at national and trans-regional level; as well as, last but not least, to participate in the elaboration of practical recommendations on cross-border cooperation on protection-sensitive border management practices, alternatives to detention and training opportunities. Therefore, the three day event will try to analyze and discuss recent developments in regard to the so-called asylum-migration nexus. No doubt, in many cases, refugees and migrants travel together and use the same routes and employ the same smugglers and equally become victims of exploitation by them. Obviously this makes it difcult for States to identify those who are in need of international protection. Growing security concerns make the effective control of borders, a duty of State authorities, an even more urgent priority for most governments. At the same time, today, governments face many new challenges. They include the difculty of identifying those who are in need of international refugee protection from other individuals who may be leaving their homes for other, non-refugee related, yet compelling reasons. Equally importantly, they include the need to preserve the in-

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tegrity of the asylum system and to prevent its abuse by criminal elements. It is also a fact that the majority of the worlds refugees seek refuge and are found in developing countries who already face their own difculties and often lack the required capacities. Numerous safeguards are in place against the arrival of undesirable migrants. The toolbox, as it were, includes visa requirements, interception practices, carrier sanctions, and out-posted immigration ofcials. Foreign search and rescue operations seem to be becoming a new point of reference in the context of decisions on the disembarkation of rescued boat-people and where rst asylum should happen, which State should become responsible, inter alia to deal with protection obligations in respect of refugees. No doubt governments have a right and an obligation to control their own borders. Interestingly enough though, it is the increased freedom of movement within the European Union for instance which seems to cause the need of more effective control and management of movements across the external borders. At the same time it is essential to remember particularly in the context of the management of mixed migratory movements that refugees are victims of serious human rights abuses for whom States have a responsibility. Immigration control and related measures need to be implemented in a protection-sensitive manner that does not prevent refugees from exercising their human right to seek asylum e.g. at borders. The principle of non-refoulement as also enshrined in Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention should protect refugees from being turned back or returned to countries where they are persecuted or where they are not protected against such return. Hence, potential receiving countries need to pay attention in their border and migration management activities and in their cooperation with countries of origin so that they do not become part and parcel of policies that prevent individuals from escaping persecution and other dangers. If that happened they would no longer be able to leave the State where they are in danger since no access to other countries would be granted. It is also a most recent development that many countries are placing those in need of international protection in detention. It is very heartbreaking to know that a person after enduring so much to reach a safe place would be again de facto punished and end up in a prison. Unfortunately in far too many cases these practices are quite protracted and refugees do not know what to expect and what future s/he will have. Innovative forms of alternatives should be explored. There is a clear need to create more space for a humanitarian approach. A prerequisite for any migration management system to be effective and reliable is an asylum system which deals in a fair and efcient manner with the needs of persons seeking protection. Every asylum system must include clear and specic provisions relating to the admission of asylum seekers at the borders and their referral to the refugee status determination procedures/authorities. An effective asylum system must ensure the involvement of trained and well-equipped staff both at the border and inland to deal with asylum requests. To this end, joint efforts must be made by the governments, civil society, UNHCR and other international organisations to contribute effectively to the protection of refugees. This conference tries to make a contribution to that. I again thank you for your committment to join this effort and I am looking forward to interesting presentations, debates and forward-looking conclusions. Thank you for your attention.

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WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS


WORKING GROUP NO. 1 Cross-border cooperation on protection-sensitive border management practices: what support/actions are needed to ensure that asylum seekers get access to the territory and asylum procedure? Moderated by Armen Yedgaryan, Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. General Comments: 1. There is a need for increased lobbying and advocacy for the adoption of the necessary legal framework that would ensure independent protection monitoring and access of UNHCR and NGOs to border and detention venues. MOUs may be considered to foster and regulate protection and detention monitoring. 2. Access to procedures should be understood as effective access to entering the procedure by having the opportunity to complete an application, duly reecting the reasons communicated by an asylum seeker, who is properly informed of the legal aspects and consequences of ling an asylum application. 3. Possible aws in the initial asylum application process and registration have a long-term impact on the asylum procedure itself, by affecting the credibility of the asylum seeker, by the application of a certain procedures for the determination of the applicants claim (e.g. accelerated procedures, manifestly unfounded procedures), and by the application of necessary procedural safeguards (e.g. for victims of trauma or violence). Refugee status determination often offers a very limited possibility to actually remedy those ows, usually to the detriment of the asylum seeker. 4. Access to procedures (in the border context) refers not only to new arrivals, but also to returnees from other countries (most notably under the Dublin II Regulation), and persons ling a second application upon receiving a negative decisions (e.g. where there has been a recent change in the situation in the country of origin). 5. Positive practice can be enhanced in the form of sub-regional cooperation and meetings in the Western Balkans. Such meetings could be organised 5-6 times per year. Initial agreement on the exchange of information on asylum seekers has been reached and is currently in the process of nal endorsement. Recommendations: 1. The identication of asylum seekers and persons with specic needs in mixed migration ows should be enhanced (e.g. through uniform standard operating procedures), in order to ensure that they are referred to the competent asylum authority, or appropriate procedure, and to ensure that persons with specic needs receive specic guarantees and services. The development and use by entry and law enforcement ofcials of a proling questionnaire or screening form for identication of asylum seekers and persons with specic needs (amongst irregular migrants) has been recommended. The screening form developed by UNHCR and IOM in 2009 could serve as a basis in this respect. The placement of information boards on asylum at border crossing points should continue.. 2. Improvement of in-country and cross-border dialogue between agencies, civil society actors and humanitarian organisations should be pursued, and the establishment of clear communication channels among the various asylum actors on both sides of the border should be formalised.

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3. An annual regional meeting and sub-regional meetings/missions, as appropriate, should be organised to foster cross-border cooperation and dialogue and exchange of good practices. Given geographical considerations, the following sub-regional groupings are suggested: Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania; Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia; Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland; and Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. 4. Appropriate translation and interpretation services should be developed, in order to ensure that asylum claims are properly communicated and that the contents of the claim are fully transmitted. Cross-border cooperation in establishing a pool of interpreters in unfamiliar languages would maximise cooperation and the use of resources. Development and sharing of a manual for interpreters, including a code of conduct and condentiality provisions, has been recommended regionally. 5. Capacity building should continue in respect of border, law enforcement and asylum authorities, as appropriate, through cross-border joint trainings, experience-sharing and inputs from experts from countries generally acknowledge to lead with good practices. In particular, training on detention and expulsion, as well as extradition of asylum seekers and refugees has been recommended. UNHCR guidelines on these subjects need to be communicated to respective authorities and civil society organisations involved in refugee and human rights protection. 6. With regard to asylum seekers who are returned under the Dublin II Regulation or a readmission agreement, it is recommended that standardised ways be elaborated of informing them of the possibility, as applicable, to le a new asylum application or reopen the procedure, or to continue the suspended procedure. 7. Similarly, the establishment of a standardised means of informing accompanying family members of an asylum seeker of the possibility, as applicable, to le their own asylum claims is also recommended.

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WORKING GROUP NO. 2 Practical recommendations for alternatives to detention Moderated by Michele Cavinato, Policy Ofcer, UNHCR Bureau for Europe (Brussels) General Comments: 1. Art. 14(1) of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. 2. Art. 31(1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention provides that no penalties should be imposed on refugees, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened on Convention grounds, on account of their illegal entry or presence in the territory of the State. 3. The detention of asylum seekers, in the view of UNHCR, is inherently undesirable. UNHCR guidelines on the detention of asylum seekers inter alia provide practical guidance on the interpretation and application of Art. 31(1), specify exceptions to the general rule that asylum seekers should not be detained, establish procedural safeguards, and suggest alternatives to detention (see UNHCR Revised Guidelines on Applicable Criteria and Standards relating to the Detention of Asylum-Seekers, 26 February 1999). The Agenda for Protection also urges States to explore more concertedly appropriate alternatives to the detention of asylum seekers and refugees, and to abstain, in principle, from detaining children. 4. The Working Group further noticed that the detention of Asylum Seekers/refugees should only be permitted in the framework of the general regime disciplining detention in a given country. It should only be possible when it is foreseen by the general legal framework applying to all the citizens of a State. In other words, asylum seekers can be detained only if they violate criminal law, otherwise the non-discrimination principle would be violated. Recommendations: 1. In accordance with the international legal framework and the EU Aquis, the rule is that asylum seekers and refugees should enjoy the right to freedom of movement. 2. If for any reason Member States need to ensure the presence of asylum applicants in certain specic places, this can be done through one or more of the following means: Reporting mechanisms Sureties by 3rd parties (guarantors) including by associations/organisations Release to case worker or coach Bail Surrender of passport Electronic monitoring (with the proviso that electronic monitoring be conducted in a manner in full compliance with fundamental human rights, noting the experience of Belgium and Australia in this regard) 3. As highlighted in UNHCR guidelines and other documents, alternatives to detention must be considered in each and every case. If, for individual reasons alternatives to detention are found not to be feasible, the following non-exhaustive list of procedural guarantees, at a minimum, must be put in place: Anyone arrested must be informed immediately in a language that s/he understands of the reasons for her/his arrest.

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The person arrested should be entitled to a speedy judicial review by an independent authority so that a court can decide without delay on the lawfulness of the arrest and detention. Should the arrest prove unlawful, the detained person has a right to compensation. The grounds for detention must be established by law. The shortest possible time limit for detention must be established. The detainee should be notied in a language s/he understands of the reasons for custody and on how to appeal. Asylum seekers should not be detained in the same premises as criminals. UNHCR and NGOs must have accelerated access to the person in custody. Detention should be regularly reviewed by a court. Detention must not be an obstacle to asylum. Applications for protection made by asylum seekers in detention should be prioritised. Conditions of detention must be in accordance with the full respect of the human rights of the detained person. Persons with specic needs and children should not be detained. Children should not be separated from their parents or guardians. 4. The Working Group noted that each State has a right to control those entering its territory, but also highlighted the serious implications of an arbitrary deprivation of liberty. For this reason, it is long established that the deprivation of liberty may only be exercised in accordance with a legal framework established in legislation. For detention of asylum seekers to be lawful and not arbitrary, such a framework must be consistent with Art. 31 of the 1951 Refugee Convention and other international instruments, and must be exercised in a non-discriminatory manner and subject to review. The Working Group recommends that the threshold for detention of asylum seekers should be a breach of criminal law, short of which the non-discrimination principle would be violated.

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Refugees at the Border

WORKING GROUP NO. 3 Identication of training, learning opportunities and training tools for border police and NGO staff. Moderated by Julia Ivan, Project Coordinator, Lawyer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee General Comments: The Working Group discussed matters pertaining to capacity-building for those persons working with persons of concern to UNHCR, including Border Police Ofcers and NGO staff. The Working Group considered the challenges faced, and the needs and opportunities available to setting up training and/or learning programmes. Recommendations: 1. Training programmes for border guards, and the curricula of police and border guard academies, should cover international refugee law and modules on asylum, including on the identication of persons in need of international protection in mixed migration ows. 2. UNHCR, border authorities and NGOs must collaborate further in improving the impact of training. This could be ensured by including the border management and protection of refugees as part of the general induction training package, instead of leaving it as a stand-alone, ad hoc training. 3. Refugee law and practice should be included as a standard part of all border police training curricula. Governments should aim at encouraging and supporting development and education of border guards by promoting a training package in their own curriculum. Including Border Management and Protecting Refugees Training (BMPRT) in the Border authorities regular curriculum will contribute to the sustainability of training delivery. Such training should be made accessible and more comprehensive to ofcers in a user friendly and interactive manner, hence putting less burden on junior ofcers. 4. Border Guards from EU Members States, as well from non-EU States, should be trained on EU law and fundamental rights, both through formal training programmes and cross-postings. The exchange of best border practices from one Member State to another should be ensured through continuous cooperation with UNHCR, NGOs and other relevant international organisations, which should actively participate in elaborating the content of border guard trainings. 5. There is a need to initiate and strengthen training programmes that will lead to changing the mindset of police ofcers in order to be more broadminded towards migrants and persons seeking international protection in general, and to be more sensitive to vulnerable persons, in particular. Thus, there is a need to have components of training programmes with specic focus on vulnerable individuals and groups and persons with specic protection needs, including families, women, children, UAMs, the disabled, survivors of torture or trauma, etc. 6. It is of high importance that the attitudes and knowledge of those who work at entry points and borders is improved in order to ensure that the rst interview/interaction with persons in need of international protection after interception is undertaken in a humane and dignied manner. 7. The high turnover and rotation of ofcers endangers continuity and considerable professional experience is lost. Training should be addressed at the senior level to make senior ofcers understand that quality management is also in their interest and the interest of their organisations. Moreover, training programmes should take advantage of hierarchical command structures, with the intention of facilitating the rapid implementation of orders and policy decisions.

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8. Taking into consideration that legislation changes frequently, the content of the training needs to be updated correspondingly frequently, in order to remain accurate and relevant. Alternative, creative and interactive approaches to training are encouraged, along with practical components, because case studies make human rights more easily understandable. 9. Alternative sources of funding are needed to ensure adequate training. Border management authorities, UNHCR, and relevant EU agencies, NGOs and international organisations should undertake concerted efforts to identify funds available annually for this purpose. 10. Human rights lawyers, NGOs, and UNHCR will need to establish an approach that demonstrates awareness of the specic challenges of border management, with due regard to the needs and concerns of ofcers being trained. For example, a training module on the psycho-social aspects of border management work could be included in the overall training package. 11. The role of UNHCR in the context of EU and regional dynamics should be further enhanced by promoting a stronger position and stronger guidance. 12. For training and learning programmes to be effective, it is necessary that facilitators should be possessed of identied knowledge, skills and attitudes.

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SUMMARY: DAY 1
The conference was opened by Mr. Gottfried Koefner, UNHCR Regional Representative for Central Europe (RRCE), who spoke about the importance of raising the level of protection within the region through strengthening cooperation among governments, NGOs and UNHCR. He mentioned the signicance of quality border procedures, also taking into account the context of mixed migration ows. Mr. Papp Karoly, Brigadier General of the Hungarian National Police, spoke about the practical aspects of cooperation among government, NGOs and UNHCR. He briefed the participants on the Hungarian Tripartite Border Agreement and its implementation in practice. Mr. Igor Ciobanu, UNHCR Regional Protection Ofcer, RRCE, briefed the participants on the house rules and the course of the conference. The opening lecture on Admission to territory and the principle of non-refoulement under international human rights law was delivered by Dr. Boldizsar Nagy, Associate Professor of Public International Law at Etvs Lornd University, International Law Department, and at the Central European University, International Relations and European Studies Department. It started with an introduction of issues related to admissibility to territory, both in the context of the 1951 Refugee Convention and in the broader human rights context. Prof. Nagy spoke about the legal aspects of time limits to apply for protection after entering the territory of a State (Jabari v Turkey, ECtHR, 2000). Prof. Nagy also referred to the 1999 UNHCR Revised Guidelines on Applicable Criteria and Standards Relating to the Detention of Asylum Seekers (the Detention Guidelines), according to which no strict time limit can be applied as a reasonable time for transit before entering the country of asylum. Participants also learned about the notion of the territory with regard to sea borders. Following this thought The position of the Council of Europe regarding the detention of asylum seekers was noted, namely that detention should not be applied to penalise asylum seekers, but rather only to to establish identity and the basis of claims, where no effective alternative to detention is available. In cases of prima facie refugees, in the opinion of Prof. Nagy, detention is not necessary, as it is not a preventive measure. The second part of the lecture was dedicated to the issue of non-refoulement and the possible interpretations of Art. 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. When does it apply? Is persecution and threat to life or freedom the same? Who is responsible or authorised to apply the principle? Where not to return and why not to refoule? Participants learned about situations of mass inux and the application of Art. 33 in that context. It was noted that a denial of protection in the absence of an assessment of individual circumstances would be inconsistent with the prohibition of refoulement contained in Art. 33(1) Nevertheless, in situations of mass inux, enormous challenges are presented to States, some of which had questioned whether such situations should be exempted from the non-refoulement principle. Although arguments could be made on both sides, Prof. Nagy stated that the text of the 1951 Refugee Convention clearly denies such an exemption. Similarly, a mass inux situation could not justify mass refoulement. Art 33.2 refers to a refugee meaning an individual refugee who poses a danger to the security of the country. The text clearly requires an individual assessment before Art. 33(2) can be applied. Prof. Nagy also explained the broader context of the non-refoulement principle, particularly in respect of persons at risk of human rights violations. He noted that the non-refoulement provision contained in Art. 3 of the 1984 Convention against Torture (CAT) is absolute (Saadi v Italy, ECtHR, 2008), unlike the non-refoulement provision contained in the 1951 Refugee Convention, which is subject to a national security exception. This means in practice that a State may not return a person to a place where the person would be tortured, even if the person constitutes a threat to national security. This part of Prof. Nagys presentation brought the majority of questions from participants, especially with regard to the scope of this broader meaning of nonrefoulement. The presentation by Ms. Jana Gajdosova, Legal Advisor at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Justice Department in Vienna entitled Alternatives to detention: an overview of practices in 27 coun-

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tries started with an introduction of the EU Agency for Fundamental Freedoms, its mandate and objectives, as well as its working plans for the near future. It was explained that the Agency provides guidance and advice to EU Member States and collaborates with other EU institutions, agencies and international organisations like UNHCR. Ms Gajdosova presented the results of research conducted by the EU Agency for Fundamental Freedoms in 2009 on detention of third country nationals in return procedures. One of the studys chapters relates to alternatives to detention, which was the main topic of the presentation. The entire research project arose from the commentaries to the Return Directive, during discussions at the EU level. Participants learned about various administrative measures imposed on asylum seekers by Member States, and different methods of their use. It was noted that two-thirds of EU Member States have in their legislation provisions allowing the use of these alternatives, but that practice sometimes varies and the use of alternatives to detention is not so common. There were almost no statistics available on the use of alternatives to detention. Indeed, the EU Agency for Fundamental Freedoms had identied only three countries employing such alternatives: France, Austria and Bulgaria. It was acknowledged that States rarely use alternatives to detention due to the fear of absconding from the procedure, but it was also noted that hardly any statistics had been produced that could justify that concern. Specic solutions implemented in Belgium and Australia were given as examples of alternatives to detention. Two presentations followed on EU developments on access to the asylum procedure: proposal for amending the Asylum Procedures Directive and its links with the Schengen Borders Code, the Return Directive and readmission agreements. The presentations were made by Mr. Vladimiras Siniowas, expert and former staff member of the European Commission and UNHCR and Mr. Michele Cavinato, Policy Ofcer, UNHCR Bureau for Europe in Brussels. Participants were briefed on a proposal prepared by the European Commission on the amendment of the Asylum Procedures Directive. The proposal seeks both to address deciencies regarding the level of procedural guarantees for asylum seekers and to ensure greater harmonization of asylum procedures. The most important provisions that are discussed in the proposal relate to the consistent application of the EU asylum acquis and the right of every person to seek asylum. As a general principle, it was noted, a person applying for asylum should have an effective possibility to le application for protection. Concern had been raised in many quarters, (by NGOs, governments, etc.) regarding insufcient accessibility to asylum procedures. In fact, the Council has started one infringement procedure against one Member State regarding access to procedures, a rare action, as there are few infringement procedures in the eld of asylum. An additional concern related to the lack of binding provisions in the Asylum Procedures Directive, leaving to the discretion of the Member State where the application was led to determine how the Directive should be applied. Another eld of interest covered by the proposal is changes that need to be introduced in the Directive in respect of the protection of minors. The proposed amendment clearly species the right of minors to apply for international protection. The Directive, as currently conceived, is based on the assumption that a minor will benet from all rights but does not speak about the practicalities. The proposed amendment also species that border authorities should be enabled to le an application on behalf of the minor if needed. The proposal obliges Member States to ensure procedural guarantees are implemented, including specic guarantees for minors. Another issue relates to the border authorities and their scope of obligations and role in the asylum procedure as well as the time limits for the authorities to process the asylum application. The proposal singles out border guards, police, and personnel of detention facilities, in the context of providing instruction and necessary training on obligations regarding persons in need of international protection. Border guards are obliged to receive and register asylum applications and must transmit them to the competent authority for further procedures. Regarding time limits, the proposal states that from the moment that a person expresses the wish to apply for asylum, the authorities have 72 hours to register the application.

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It remains unclear whether the proposal will survive the amendment process. Mr. Siniovas expressed the opinion that it will not. Another issue discussed was the situation of asylum seekers in the context of mixed migration ows and the sequence of the application of legal instruments in that situation. In the case of third country nationals who do not fulll the requirements for entry into the territory of Member States, the Schengen Borders Code (SBC) immediately applies. The question raised is how the SBC applies in respect of persons seeking international protection. Art. 13 of the SBC stipulates that it applies without prejudice to the application of special provisions concerning the right of asylum and to international protection. Therefore, it clearly gives priority to the rules governing asylum procedures (i.e. EC Directives). It at least suspends the application of the SBC until the conclusion of refugee status determination procedures. As a general principle, asylum seekers should not be subject to the Return Directive. According to Kadzoev v Bulgaria (ECJ, 2009),, which examines the relationship between detention for the purpose of removal and asylum applications, it was found that in the case of asylum seekers, there is a need for a separate detention order in connection with the asylum procedure. The Return Directive should enter into force in one year. It does not apply to the United Kingdom, but does apply to Liechtenstein.) It requires Member States to follow human rights principles, promote voluntary returns, and establishes an EU control mechanism over the returns. It was noted that the title of the Directive refers to illegally staying third-country nationals, with Art. 3 dening third-country national and illegal stay. Entry into the Member State for the purpose of seeking international protection does not constitute illegal stay, according to Schengen Borders Code. As such, it was felt that the Return Directive would not have a large impact in this area. In terms of safeguards and guarantees, the Return Directive and readmission agreements, were seen to give rise to potential risks for persons in need of international protection. For example, the issue of re-entry bans comes into question. In 2009, 7,000 alerts were made in the Schengen registry, preventing signicant numbers of persons from entering EU territory. In such cases, Art. 11(5) of the Return Directive ensures that the right to international protection prevails over entry bans. Another situation that could potentially put persons in need of international protection at risk occurs where appeals are without suspensive effect. Ms. Jadwiga Maczynska, Deputy Project Coordinator of the Further Developing Asylum Quality Project, in her presentation on Access to Refugee Status Determination Procedure: Quality Initiative Projects presented the issues related to the quality of asylum procedures as an aspect of the right to seek and to enjoy asylum from persecution. She spoke about quality itself, different means of assessing quality, as well as different approaches to improving quality. She presented two UNHCR projects on quality, run on the international level: the Quality Initiative, which ended in 2009, and Further Developing Quality, currently on-going. She presented the scope of both projects, the report and recommendations issued as a result of the rst, as well as the stage of implementation of the latter. Ms. Maczynska also presented as an example some national implementations of Further Developing Quality, as well as other projects focusing on the improvement of asylum procedures. For example, in the UK the project is no longer referred to as Quality Initiative but rather as Quality Integration to emphasize its long-standing and sustainable character. In Austria the authorities focus on the specic areas of concern while implementing the quality projects. It is encouraging, in the opinion of Ms. Maczynska, that most of the ndings resulting from the Quality Initiative/ Further Developing Quality projects correspond to the ndings by UNHCR and addressed in various documents and policy instruments (such as the 10-Point Plan of Action). For example, the following were identied: The need to deal with mixed migration situations, which create a risk of improper identication of persons in need of international protection; The similar situation of vulnerable persons that may not necessarily be properly identied by the respective authorities; The use of detention, which may hamper the ability of individuals to play an active role in RSD procedures (to cooperate throughout the procedure and take full advantage of their rights);

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That appropriate translation and interpretation remain a signicant challenge, both for the authorities as well as for other entities involved in refugee assistance. This was noted as especially important in terms of securing the right to effective procedures and not to worsen the position of the asylum seeker through poorly or mistranslated/misinterpreted interviews, documents and decisions; That access to legal information and legal aid may be infringed; and That, with regard to training and capacity building, in many countries in the region the situation has changed signicantly in the recent past years joining the Schengen zone, the EU etc. and that in many cases new personnel have been employed in positions responsible to receive asylum applications or deal with RSD procedures. Training and capacity building should be adjusted accordingly. Mr. Michele Simone, Senior Liaison Ofcer to FRONTEX, UNHCR Liaison Ofce to FRONTEX in Warsaw, briefed the participants on the scope of operation of FRONTEX as well as its mandated areas, such as: risk analysis (within the EU meaning), coordination of Member States actions in the implementation of the management of external borders, training of national border guards including common training standards, research on control and surveillance of external borders, and technical and operational assistance. He mentioned that FRONTEX would be opening a new operational ofce in Greece in October 2010. In February 2010, a new proposal to recast the FRONTEX regulation was made and is currently being discussed by the European Council and European Parliament. In the opinion of Mr. Simone, overall the proposal is good as it refers to fundamental rights and international protection obligations. It especially species that the border guards need to be trained on fundamental rights and international protection obligations before being employed in the relevant area. The overall cooperation between UNHCR and FRONTEX was described as good. Areas of common interest include training activities, information sharing and working on a common curriculum. UNHCR has expressed its willingness to strengthen cooperation with FRONTEX, for example, through participation in Rapid Border Assessment Teams (RABIT) starting January 2011. Mr. Simone then presented the outline of the new of UNHCR Protection Training Manual for European Border and Entry Ofcials, its structure, modes of use, perspectives of implementation, prerequisites and purposes. He assured participants that the manual will be available (rst only in English) by the end of 2010.

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SUMMARY: DAY 2
The second day of the conference opened with a summary of the rst working day made by Ms. Maria Pamula, Assistant Protection Ofcer (UNHCR Poland). Mr. Armen Yedgaryan, Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine made a presentation thereafter on the UNHCR policy in these three countries. His presentation is summarised as follows: 1) General overview of the situation with specic peculiarities of the region The speaker underlined that all three States represent transit countries for those migrants and asylum seekers who want to enter EU Member States. However, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine are also countries of destination for some asylum seekers and migrants. Taking into account the above-mentioned phenomena, there is a need to build and improve an adequate and fair asylum system and provide effective protection to persons of concern. 2) Projects implemented in the region Regional Protection Support Project (the whole region with specic emphasis on Moldova and Ukraine, 2009-11); Strengthening Protection Capacity in the Republic of Belarus phase II (Belarus; 2009-11); Local Integration of Refugees in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (phase I) (the whole region; 2009-11). 3) Legislation Belarus and Moldova recently modied their asylum laws (Belarus 2009; Moldova 2008) introducing subsidiary and temporary protection. The new Ukrainian Law on Refugees is now in the process of examination. Recently its draft was sent to the Parliament. 4) Readmission Moldova and Ukraine have readmission agreements with the EU and between each other. The majority of readmissions take place at the Ukrainian border with Moldova and at the border between Ukraine and the EU. Belarus does not have any readmission agreements. (The main problem is the open border with Russia.) A readmission agreement between Belarus and Ukraine is being discussed, and a similar agreement with the EU is being considered as well. The importance of advocacy with the Government in order to have access to migrants in transit zones (mainly airports) was underlined. 5) Non-refoulement No cases of refoulement were reported in Belarus and Moldova in 2009. Effective border monitoring is crucial: as non-admission to the territory could be considered refoulement, proper identication of asylum seekers among migrants is essential. A lack of interpreters, especially in rarely used languages, hampers effective border monitoring and identication of persons in need of international protection. 6) Border monitoring

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Effective cooperation and exchange between NGOs for better identication of persons in need of international protection is important. UNHCR should support and facilitate the cooperation of NGOs in the sphere of border monitoring. 7) Improvement of cooperation between States and parties Bilateral meetings could be used for this purpose. 8) Improvement of effectiveness of work with persons of concern in the broader context of migration Leaets for Ukrainian Border Guards were elaborated, produced and distributed. Training of relevant State authorities and their personnel should be conducted on a regular basis. Training/learning courses (migration and asylum issues) should be introduced into the curriculum of educational institutions, especially those which are in charge of tutoring future border guards, police ofcers, etc. 9) Reception facilities Belarus 4 reception facilities (necessity of personnel training). Ukraine 3 reception facilities (necessity of improvement of conditions in accommodation facilities of border guards). Moldova 1 reception facility. 10) Good practices Memorandums of Understanding were signed in Belarus and Moldova (providing for the scope of cooperation and responsibilities of parties within the framework of border monitoring). Ukraine cooperation is maintained on the basis of steering committee meetings and working meetings of the parties involved. Good level of cooperation with IOM (joint border monitoring). Public awareness has been raised. Cooperation with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) for training of NGO personnel. Cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council (project which covers vulnerable categories of persons of concern). 11) Voluntary return/assisted voluntary return Return of migrants is performed on voluntary basis (all countries). Few cases of voluntary repatriation in Belarus and Moldova were reported. Voluntary return is negatively affected by lack of embassies and consulates (pending responses to requests for assistance). IOM is involved in assisted voluntary return of migrants (Belarus). 12) Local integration and resettlement Further improvement of work in the sphere of local integration of refugees is needed. Low recognition rate in all countries. Recognised refugees do not see a lot of integration prospects for themselves. Language training as well as employment are the most vital issues for recognised refugees (all countries of the region).

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Refugees at the Border

Resettlement is still a relevant durable solution for persons of concern in all countries of the region (more than 200 cases submitted for resettlement). The third speaker, Mr. Igor Ciobanu, Regional Protection Ofcer (UNHCR RRCE) spoke about UNHCR policy in Central Europe. A short movie from Kyrgyzstan preceded the presentation, in order to demonstrate to the audience what is happening in the 21st century and in how many situations UNHCR assistance is needed, especially when persons escaping persecution are blocked at the border. The speaker continued with a short refresher related to the main instruments used for work and those which create a comprehensive framework for activities. In particular, the following were highlighted: The Agenda for Protection (2000), the main features of which were described. The 10-Point Plan of Action, with emphasis on the necessity to guarantee unhampered access to RSD procedures. Conclusions of UNHCRs Executive Committee which emphasised the necessity to guarantee free access to the territory of the country of asylum. Good practices from the region. Statistics presented showed that the three main refugee-receiving countries in Central Europe are Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. Poland and Bulgaria have the highest rate of granting subsidiary forms of protection. It was stated that Hungary was the rst country in Central Europe where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed. This introduced a well elaborated tripartite framework for cooperation in the sphere of border monitoring. Today all countries in the region, except the Czech Republic, have concluded such Memoranduma of Understanding. Procedural rules that are in fact a compilation of good practices from the region are being adopted and used in practical day-by-day activities. The speaker noted that a protection-sensitive entry system is an issue of vital necessity. It should be based on the 10-Point Plan of Action and it should aim to provide protection to persons of concern as well as to observe human rights standards and the principle of non-refoulement. He noted that, with regard to border monitoring, this instrument should guarantee asylum seekers unhindered access to the territory of the country of asylum and the RSD procedure. Provision of legal counseling to asylum seekers, observance of the non-refoulement principle, early identication of asylum seekers and training and capacity building for border guards should be performed within the framework of border monitoring activities. In order to make work more effective and practical Protection Unit has elaborated a Border Management and Protection of Refugees framework containing guidance on UNHCR Implementing Partners related tasks and responsibilities, Tripartite Working Group procedural rules and provision for drafting the annual report. Mr. Ciobanu stated that training of border guards of different levels is a crucial part of activities performed in all countries of Central Europe. The main purpose of the training is improvement of the quality of work and enhancement of cooperation between parties involved in border monitoring activities (State authorities and ofcials, UNHCR and NGOs). According to the Memoranduma of Understanding, tripartite working groups are operating. Their activities as well as the monitoring of the implementation of agreements, analysis and reports on border monitoring missions are used to monitor the process, identify difculties that arise and improve joint actions in the sphere of border monitoring and provision of protection to people applying for asylum.

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The speaker underlined that border entry ofcials are assisted in the identication of asylum seekers and their referral to RSD procedures. Assistance is provided both by UNHCR and its implementing partners. In order to improve effectiveness of work, the following actions are performed: relevant training for entry ofcials, elaboration of a methodology on the reception and identication of asylum seekers, and the provision of information (including the distribution of materials in the form of leaets). For ensuring cross-border cooperation, multipartite meetings and study visits (including study visits to Hungary for familiarization with Hungarian practice in the sphere of border monitoring) are organised. The rest of the day was dedicated to presentations made by the representatives of 11 countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Speakers provided information about their respective countries, agencies/organisations working with migrants and asylum seekers, recent developments and projects (both on the national and regional levels) that are being executed and/or were previously executed. Some presentations contained information about the main legal instruments that are used in practice. Relevant statistics were provided as well. It was highlighted that border guards are not responsible for RSD procedures, but rather are required to receive and register applications for asylum and are obliged to transfer applicants and their cases to the competent State authorities. Speakers emphasised that the number of asylum applications is decreasing. Good practices Country delegations identied the following positive achievements: 1. Memoranduma of Understanding were signed in all countries, except the Czech Republic and Ukraine. 2. Trainings for border guards and representatives of other State authorities and NGOs working with refugees are being organised on a regular basis. Assessment of training needs of respective State authorities and NGOs is performed as well (noted in the presentation of Poland). Hungary mentioned psychological supervision sessions for border guards. 3. A high level of cooperation with educational institutions exists. Training courses on migration and asylum issues are introduced into the curriculum of educational institutions in charge of tutoring future border guards, police ofcers and other personnel of State authorities who will deal with migrants and asylum seekers in their respective work. In Hungary, a handbook for students of the Hungarian Police Academy on human rights-sensitive border management and monitoring inclusive of access to territory and asylum procedures was jointly drafted by border guards, UNHCR and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. 4. A high level of cooperation and mutual understanding between State authorities, UNHCR and NGOs exists. 5. Migrants and asylum seekers are informed (at the border) about their right to seek asylum and other rights described in international and national legal instruments. 6. Poland and Slovakia reported a high level of cooperation both between national NGOs and between national NGOs and NGOs from neighboring countries.

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Refugees at the Border

7. Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine emphasised the good cooperation shared with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), especially in the sphere of assisted voluntary return of migrants apprehended at the border (Belarus). 8. Non-penalization for illegal entry was clearly articulated by Belarus, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. Hungary reported on unhampered access to the territory and Romania to RSD procedures. 9. In the Czech Republic, vulnerable categories of asylum seekers have access to RSD procedures without any delay (after they are identied). UNHCR has free access to asylum seekers and Ministry of Interior decisions on asylum claims. Asylum seekers accommodated at the airport reception centre enjoy free-of-charge legal counselling provided by NGO personnel, as well as social services. 10. In Slovakia, an independent lawyer is present during interviews with foreigners conducted by border guards. Files of foreigners are accessible. 11. In the Czech Republic and Hungary, NGO partners have free and unhampered access to asylum seekers In Slovakia, a Code of Conduct for interpreters was elaborated. 12. No cases of refoulement were reported in Bulgaria and Romania. 13. Hungary became a source of best practices: a number of familiarization visits of delegations from neighboring countries were organised in recent years. 14. Bilingual annual/biannual reports on border monitoring activities and related follow-up have been published in Hungary. 15. Positive changes in national legislation regulating migration and asylum: introduction of subsidiary and temporary protection (Belarus and Moldova). 16. Croatia reported comprehensive monitoring mechanisms established in the country and supported by all actors involved (at borders and inside the country). Challenges The following challenges were mentioned: 1. A lack of interpreters in general and lack of professional interpreters in particular. 2. Difculties with the identication of asylum seekers among all other migrants (Croatia, Moldova). Asylum seekers are also often smuggled, which again hampers their effective identication (Bulgaria). More attention should be paid to the identication of victims of human trafcking (Ukraine). 3. A lack of effective identication of applicants with special needs: although the State is obliged to ensure access to the territory to an applicant considered to have special needs within ve days from her/his declaration to apply for protection in the transit airport zone, in practice this is often not the case (Czech Republic). 4. The State authority in charge of RSD procedures is not operational at the border (Bulgaria). 5. There is no possibility to observe preliminary interviews conducted by border guards with migrants/asylum seekers in order to monitor whether border guards inform people that they can apply for asylum if they want (Slovenia). There is a lack of mechanism which allows nding out whether all asylum seekers crossing the border were identied, whether migrants were informed of their right to seek asylum, etc. (Croatia).

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6. People seeking asylum at the border are not safeguarded from detention. Since April 2010, asylum seekers have been subject to criminal prosecution for illegal entry (Bulgaria). Correspondingly, registration and accommodation of asylum seekers are postponed. 7. Asylum seekers should have access to speedy judicial review of detention decisions, as today there are examples where no judicial review was undertaken, ten months after the appeal was submitted to the court (Czech Republic). 8. Slovenia stated that the existing RSD procedure is not fair and it should be improved. The Czech Republic underlined that existing legislation should be improved in order to improve the quality of RSD procedures, as well as to ensure that rejected applicants use their right to appeal against the negative decision of the respective State authorities in charge of RSD procedures. 9. Bulgaria reported that legal assistance is not provided at the border and in custody during the rst 24 hours of detention. Moreover, BHC is the only NGO that monitors and ensures access of asylum seekers who applied at the border. The Czech Republic added that access to asylum seekers requires the previous consent of State authorities. Poland reported that more legal assistance should be provided to persons in need of international protection. 10. Asylum seekers should be properly informed about their rights, rst and foremost, about the right to seek asylum (Poland, Ukraine). Asylum seekers should be aware of their right to communicate with UNHCR and its implementing partners (Slovenia). 11. Cases of refoulement (especially to Ukraine) were identied (Hungary). 12. More trainings and awareness-raising sessions for border guards should be organised in order to make them better understand that people are entitled to apply for asylum (Slovenia). More training of border guards and relevant State authorities should be organised in order to increase the effectiveness of their work in the sphere of identication of asylum seekers (Moldova). More training for Ministry of Interior ofcials who are in charge of identication of vulnerable categories of asylum seekers should be organised (Czech Republic). 13. A lack of country of origin information (COI) research, inadequate instruction and the non-existence of a border monitoring agreement hampers effectiveness in the identication of asylum seekers as well as the effectiveness of work with them (Slovakia). 14. There is no uniform understanding of how to deal with cases of applicants who attempt to cross illegally into another EU Member State (Ukraine). 15. UNHCR and IOM should support the establishment of accommodation centres for asylum seekers (Ukraine). Reception facilities solely for asylum seekers should be established. Asylum seekers should not be afliated with organised crime and smuggling and trafcking (Moldova). 16. The State withdrew from the Memorandum of Understanding and now insists on the conclusion of a separate bilateral international agreement with UNHCR as it thinks that it is UNHCRs task to work with asylum seekers. The State considers that UNHCR cannot transfer its work and responsibilities to any other legal subjects (Slovakia). 17. Quick readmission to Ukraine is problematic, with the use of Slovak territory for return to Ukraine from the Czech Republic being highlighted (Slovakia). 18. The open border between Belarus and Russia was also mentioned, noting that there is no control at the border (Belarus).

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Refugees at the Border

19. The majority of migrants are apprehended when they try to leave the country, not when they enter the territory (Belarus, Romania). 20. Future accession (in 2012) to the EU could potentially create additional challenges (Croatia). Most probably more migrants and asylum seekers will enter the country and it is yet unknown whether border guards will be in a position to identify asylum seekers properly. It is also not known whether accelerated RSD procedures will be introduced (due to increased numbers of arriving foreigners). Readmission All countries except Belarus have readmission agreements (mostly with neighboring States). These agreements are implemented and, as a rule, foreigners who expressed their wish to apply for asylum have unhindered access to RSD procedures. In such cases asylum seekers cannot be readmitted. Bulgaria reported on a few previous cases of refoulement that, however, were not connected with the execution of readmission agreements (i.e. these were cases of threats to State security or of Interpol concern). The Czech Republic reported that in accordance with national legislation, a foreigner is not entitled to declare the intention to apply for international protection at the border crossing if s/he is subject to transfer under a readmission agreement or the Dublin II Regulation. Hungary raised concern about return of foreigners to Ukraine in accordance with the existing bilateral readmission agreement. It was said that expulsion orders that are very often not based on a thorough assessment of the individual circumstances of the specic foreigner could potentially carry the risk of refoulement. Moldova stated that although a readmission agreement with the EU was concluded in 2008, there were no cases of return of third country nationals to Moldova. In Ukraine, foreigners who are accepted within the readmission framework are placed in temporary centres. If information related to a previous application of the foreigner for asylum (either in adjacent States or other EU Member States) is revealed, UNHCR is informed. Detention In Bulgaria, persons seeking asylum at the border are not properly safeguarded from detention. As border guards are not entitled to examine asylum claims and all asylum seekers should be transferred to the Ministry of Interior, applicants are in limbo from the moment they apply for asylum at the border until the moment the application is ofcially registered. In accordance with Bulgarian legislation, detention of asylum seekers before their transfer to reception centres is legal. Asylum seekers apprehended at the border should be sent to special centres for temporary accommodation (except separated children, pregnant women and individuals who suffered physical or psychological trauma). After that, detained asylum seekers are sent to reception centres. The transfer depends on the accommodation capacity of the centres. Release of asylum seeker from a detention centre for irregular migrants depends entirely on the goodwill of State authorities. Many asylum seekers who illegally entered Croatia were penalised in misdemeanour procedures and placed into detention during the RSD procedure due to the fact that in such cases border guards applied the Law on Foreigners rather than the Law on Asylum. On the other hand, in 2008-2010, the situation signicantly improved and the number of such cases decreased. If a foreigner enters the Czech Republic by plane and applies for asylum, s/he is placed into a reception facility at the airport. The competent State authority must make a decision upon admission to the territory within ve days (from

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the moment the person applied for asylum). In any case entry will not be allowed for those whose identity could not be established, who presented false identication documents, or who could threaten State security, public health or public order. Asylum seekers with special needs are allowed to enter the territory. The stay is limited to 120 days. A decision on international protection must be taken within four weeks, otherwise applicants must be allowed entry to the territory. A decision on not allowing entry to territory may be subject to either administrative re-examination or to a judicial remedy. UNHCRs NGO partners regularly visit the reception facility at the airport and provide asylum seekers with legal assistance and monitor reception conditions. Those who apply for asylum at the Hungarian border must be placed in reception centres, while those who apply upon apprehension for unlawful entry are detained and placed in administrative detention facilities for six months. (If the proposed new law is adopted, this detention period could be extended by another six months). The current practice of keeping asylum seekers in detention for more than 15 days (during the preliminary screening procedure) would seem to qualify as arbitrary detention. Detention conditions in administrative facilities are disproportionately strict, resembling a prison regime. Those who applied for asylum at the border of Moldova are temporarily (for a maximum of 24 hours) accommodated in special premises for asylum seekers. If such premises are not available, the applicant receives a temporary identity card (valid for 48 hours), which allows the asylum seeker to travel to the immigration authority and register his asylum claim there. People who apply for asylum at a border with Romania will remain in a transit centre until a decision on the asylum claim is made, but not longer than 20 days (if the Romanian Immigration Ofce does not grant the asylum seeker access to the territory and to the regular procedure). Existing practice clearly shows that all asylum seekers who applied for asylum at the border were granted access to the territory and to the RSD procedure. If an asylum seeker is caught at the green border (before s/he applies for asylum) s/he will be transferred to an open reception centre. In accordance with relevant legislation, asylum seekers entering Slovakia are not detained nor placed into centres where their freedom of movement is limited. If a person applies for asylum after being detained, however, s/he will not be immediately freed and transferred to the reception centre for asylum seekers. According to the law, the reason for detention is to prevent absconding - and to facilitate the enforcement of expulsion from the territory of the country and the Schengen area as a whole.

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SUMMARY: DAY 3
On the third day of the conference the following country presentations were made: the Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Greece. The presentations covered the existing asylum system, readmission agreements, border practice and challenges faced by the relevant country. The Russian Federation, being a State Party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol (without limitations and reservations), has achieved the following: Established a national legal framework on asylum and developed a national Refugee Status Determination procedure; designated executive authorities with activities and responsibilities for asylum seekers and approved their responsibilities (Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation and its territorial branches, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service); created functioning Temporary Accommodation Centres and has trained specialists in the eld of asylum. Supported the creation of a network of NGOs that provide assistance to asylum seekers. The types of protection provided in the Russian Federation are as follows: political asylum, refugee status and temporary asylum. During the 2005 2010 period, the total numberof applications for refugee status were 128,900, Afghanistan being the main country of origin, with 5,666 applications. A total of 41% of applications for refugee status were lodged in Moscow City. During the same period, 461 persons applied for asylum at the border. During this period, the recognition rate was 7% for refugee status and 38% for temporary asylum. As of 1 November 2010, 4,588 persons were holding an asylum status in the Russian Federation. During the rst 10 months of 2010, 1,910 persons applied for refugee status and 1,515 for temporary asylum. The following main issues and challenges relating to the identication of asylum seekers at the border were identied: Further development of the national legal framework relating to addressing instances of seeking asylum at the border (clarifying procedures for receiving applications for asylum, referral of asylum applications, clear division of responsibilities and duties, identication of legal gaps, etc.); Creation of a network of temporary accommodation centres, including in transit zones of international airports; Training of border guards on the asylum procedure and asylum law; Strengthening cooperation between different national ministries and departments; and Streamlining joint efforts with NGOs. The Citizenship Department of the Russian Federal Migration Service presented the practice under implemen readmission agreements concluded between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Lithuania (2003); and the Russian Federation and the European Union (2006). (Executive protocols were signed in the following years with individualr States, including: Ukraine (2006), Norway (2007), Uzbekistan (2007), Denmark (2008), the Republic of Iceland (2008), the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (2008), Switzerland (2009), and the Republic of Armenia (2010). During the 20092010 period, the Russian Federation sent a total of 25 requests for readmission, of which 18 were approved and 3 rejected. The Republic of Serbia adopted an Asylum Law in November 2007 and subsequently assumed competencies in asylum and refugee protection on 1 April 2008, upon the creation of structures and the adoption of by-laws necessary for implementation. The Asylum Ofce located within the Ministry of Interior assesses asylum claims in the rst instance. Appeals can be lodged at the Asylum Commission, which consists of eight members and a chairperson appointed by the Government. In all cases, as a nal remedy, a claim can be lodged to the Administrative Court, so that judicial

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protection and legal review is possible. Asylum seekers, pending the adoption of the nal decision on their asylum applications, are provided with accommodation and basic living conditions at the Asylum Centre, which has a capacity of between 80 and 85 persons. The major challenges with which the asylum authorities in Serbia are faced is differentiating between illegal migrants and genuine refugees, as well as determining their true identities. When apprehended, a certain number of aliens, attempting to illegally enter the country, express the intention to seek asylum in the Republic of Serbia. In these circumstances, a proper assessment is crucial in order to distinguish between those attempting to evade punishment for illegal border crossing by loding abusive claims and those who are genuinely in need of protection. Border police depend on such an assessment, given that Art. 4 of the Law on Asylum stipulates that an alien who is on the territory of the Republic of Serbia shall have the right to le an application for being granted asylum in the Republic of Serbia ; in Art. 6 that no person shall be expelled or returned against his/her will to a territory where his/her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his/her race, sex, language, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions ;and in Art. 8 that an asylum seeker shall not be punished for unlawful entry or stay in the Republic of Serbia . It was underlined that because of possible abuse of these rights, the Law on Asylum offers two ways to resolve such situations: the rst is issuing a certicate to asylum seekers by Border Police, which gives them a right to access Serbian territory and is valid for 72 hours, during which time they should report to an Asylum Centre or Asylum Ofce. The second way is used when Border Police suspect that the request for asylum is expressed with the intention to abuse the asylum system in order to evade responsibility for illegal border crossing. Such asylum seeker(s) would be escorted by Border Police to the Reception Centre for Aliens, where the ofcers of the Asylum Ofce will take them over. There are other grounds that can lead to restricted freedom of movement for asylum seekers. The Law on Asylum stipulates that detention is permissible in order to establish identity; in order to ensure the presence of an alien in the course of the asylum procedure, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an asylum application was led with a view to avoid deportation, or if it is not possible to establish other essential facts on which the asylum application is based without the presence of the alien in question; and in order to protect national security and public order in accordance with the law. The measures through which restriction of movement can be implemented are ordering accommodation at the Reception Centre for Aliens under intensied police surveillance; and imposing a ban on leaving the Asylum Centre, a particular address and/or a designated area. With regard to the readmission of asylum seekers, a difference should be made between two scenarios: the readmission of asylum seekers whose procedure has ended and the readmission of asylum seekers who left Serbia before the processing of their claim came to an end, thus suspending consideration of their claims. The Law on Asylum stipulates rules for both of these scenarios: in the rst case, a new asylum application can be submitted if evidence is provided that the circumstances relevant for recognition as a refugee or for granting subsidiary protection have substantially changed in the meantime. In the second case, a readmitted asylum seeker could submit a proposal for restoration of the original conditions. Decisions in both cases are made by the Asylum Ofce, with the full spectrum of remedies: appeal to the Asylum Commission and a claim to the Administrative Court. Unfortunately, there is no NGO in Serbia whose actions are predominantly dedicated to readmitted asylum seekers. However, there are a few NGOs whose goals are more or less related to asylum seekers, and the Serbian Ministry of Interior has very good cooperation with all of them, and with UNHCR as well. The experience of Serbian asylum authorities in processing asylum claims is neither long nor extensive. As such, real examples of good practice cannot yet be presented. In fact, UNHCR was tasked with the processing of asylum claims in the Republic of Serbia for almost three decades, with Serbian authorities, in the course of European integration, taking over that task only recently (in 2008)., It was pointed out that there is no accelerated procedure and all asylum seekers, no matter whether they are considered to be suspicious or genuine, go through the same procedure, which consists of four stages: recording, registration, interview, and decision making. By doing so, it is ensured that every claim will be processed properly without regard to the motives for seeking asylum in Serbia. The Republic of Serbia is still in the process of building the asylum system and its institutions. Current capacities at the Asylum Ofce and Asylum Centre are not sufcient, especially in light of the constantly increasing number

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of asylum seekers. For comparison, in 2008 there were 77 asylum claims. In 2009 the number of asylum claims increased to 275, and in 2010, until 15 November, there had been 418 asylum claims submitted. However, all staff involved in sustaining and supporting the asylum system are quite enthusiastic and the current lack of capacities and, generally, resources invested in its maintenance is compensated with a tremendous amount of energy. On the other hand, the major challenges, difculties and obstacles are recognised and steps are being taken in order to overcome them. The presenter pointed out that the Government expects further assistance, predominantly from UNHCR, but from all other non-governmental actors as well, in order to achieve better welfare of asylum seekers and refugees. Turkey was characterised as a transit country on the road of irregular migration. The country is bordered by eight other countries, with a 2,870 km land border, and a 6,808 km coastline. Apprehension of illegal immigrants reached its peak in 2000, with 94,514 persons. As at 30 December 2009, the number for the year was 32,789. A total of 15,637 asylum seekers and refugees were reported as of 1 November 2010, the majority being from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. It was underlined that Turkey maintains the geographical limitation contained in Article 1B of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Therefore, the only durable solution for non-European refugees in Turkey is regarded as resettlement. A parallel Refugee Status Determination procedure is being conducted by UNHCR. Illegal entry in Turkey is governed by the 1994 Regulation and there is still no law adopted. Persons who have entered legally can apply for international protection to the Governorate of the border cities they entered. Those persons who have been apprehended due to illegal entry, presence or exit are detained at removal centres. The following major challenges in border practices were outlined: Access to information concerning asylum procedures Access to procedures referral mechanisms to be established Access by UNHCR to persons seeking protection Access to UNHCR, NGOs, or legal aid by the persons in need of protection In accordance with an Instruction to the Foreigners Department/Police, in case an application for international protection is received, there is a release from the transit zone, followed by Registration and Referral to a satellite city. However, in the cases where an application is not received, there is a threat of deportation. Readmission agreements with Greece (2002), Ukraine (2005), Syria (2007), Kyrgyzstan (2009), Romania (2009) are in force. Other rreadmission agreements were offered to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and preliminary consultations are underway with the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Hungary, Macedonia, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Iran. As safeguards in the Readmission Agreements, the following were outlined: Turkey-Greece Readmission Protocol Article 11 Relation with other International Instruments This Protocol does not affect the rights and obligations arising from other international agreements binding upon the Parties. Turkey-Ukraine, Turkey-Romania, Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Readmission Agreements: Articles Relation to other International Agreements Nothing in this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights acquired and obligations undertaken by any of the Contracting Parties, arising from other international legal instruments by which they are bound.

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This agreement shall not apply to the persons subject to procedures related to extradition, extradition in transit or transfer of convicted persons as agreed upon between the Contracting Parties or between third Parties and the Contracting Parties. As far as the readmission agreements implementation and practice are concerned, the following were underlined: No data available; need for monitoring mechanisms. Readmitted persons can be kept in the removal centres until their return is ensured. Access to asylum procedures from removal centres is problematic. Access to UNHCR/ NGOs/ legal aid is not systematically possible. In terms of NGOs involved in monitoring of readmitted asylum seekers, there is a lack of a monitoring mechanism for implementation of readmission agreements. Turkish NGOs have recently started taking initiatives and there is a need to increase their capacity as they could be the rst point of contact by persons in need of protection. In order to address these challenges, the following steps were taken: Sharing good practices as well as ECtHR judgments with the national authorities. Seminars and workshops on international refugee law in particular access to procedures, non-refoulement, border procedures, etc. A fteen-month project on Strengthening the capacity of border and law enforcement ofcials to better deal with irregular migration in a protection-sensitive border management system, with border law enforcement agencies. Translation of the10-Point Plan of Action was translated and shared with stakeholders. The experiences shared were related to legislative steps by the relevant national authorities to ensure access to asylum procedures and access to UNHCR, improvement of detention conditions, and access to legal counselling. Progress was achieved in discussions on extraterritoriality of transit zones. However in the area of access to asylum procedures at borders, very limited progress was reported. Greece is in a unique situation of humanitarian crisis, which results from two main factors: legislative, asylum issues being held exclusively by the Police since 1999, which resulted in a huge backlog; and practical, with an immense number of entries during the last 3-4 years. Working in the asylum eld, the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) underlined that is was not surprised by this UNHCR characterization. The challenges faced at present in identifying persons in need of international protection in border areas in Greece and ensuring access of these persons to the asylum procedure were characterised as immense. The most critical situation is observed at the North-Eastern part of Greece (region of Evros), bordering Turkey by land, where the main shift of irregular entry of mixed groups has been noted since the beginning of the year, although similar concerns existed in previous years at other border regions (namely the islands of the Aegean Sea, addressed with heavy sea arrivals in the previous two years). Some 34,000 persons have entered Greece through Evros in 2010, in a period of 10 months. Persons entering the territory in an irregular manner are almost automatically issued deportation orders accompanied by detention orders and even potential asylum seekers or other groups of people in need of international protection are placed in detention facilities for a period which ranges from a few days to several months (usually up to six), depending on the feasibility of the execution of the deportation order, examined on the basis of the nationality assessment. The nationality assessment is established after interviews conducted currently by FRONTEX, although the nal decision is formally taken by the Greek authorities. UNHCR maintains a series of reservations and concerns as to the nationality assessment process, primarily because affected individuals are not properly informed of the outcome of this assessment, and cannot legally contest its conclusion.

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The States capacity to detain these persons is limited to the few, already substandard structures existing in the area of Evros. No civilian staff are employed on a regular basis inside the detention facilities, with the exception of a few doctors. No interpreters are provided during the detention process. Detainees are usually unable to express their needs to the security staff, and the police are unable to inform detainees of their rights and responsibilities. Social assistance, legal aid and psychological counseling are not provided to detainees. As a consequence, with neither legal aid, nor interpreters, nor written nor verbal information provided, detained asylum seekers are unaware of their rights as regards the asylum procedure, of the length of their detention and of their further administrative treatment. Asylum seekers are also not willing to seek asylum as they know they will remain longer in detention if they apply for asylum, or also because they wish to continue their journey onwards to Western Europe. There are no formal screening procedures in the sense of protection-sensitive mechanisms. Greece, on the basis of recommendations by UNHCR and other actors, is considering changes to its migration policies through plans to create screening centres (Centres of First Reception) at the border areas for the short-term accommodation of mixed groups. The Centres of First Reception would replace the majority of administrative detention centres at the points of entry and would allow, among other things, the provision of expert services (i.e. social assistance, psychological and medical help, legal aid), the identication of people with international protection needs or other vulnerable groups and their proper referral to hosting facilities. However, the current situation, particularly in Evros, remains a serious concern for UNHCR, and urgent measures need to be taken. As an interim policy, screening procedures need to be established within the current detention facilities, with the immediate deployment of civilian staff. In parallel, detention structures need to be immediately renovated and additional ones established to decongest the existing ones, with the aim of creating conditions that meet basic human rights standards. Increased border control efforts, as a means to curbing irregular migration through actual deterrence, now supported by the European Union through its own specialised body (FRONTEX), have created increased concerns that persons in need of international protection will not be allowed entry into Greek (and EU) territory. UNHCR Greece is not aware of cases of persons who were actually stopped at the border but then allowed entry into the territory on the basis of claiming international protection. (This has, for example, happened exceptionally in other cases, such as with stowaways who were allowed to disembark in Greek territory as asylum seekers). Once persons enter Greek territory, they are in principle, and by law, allowed to access the asylum procedure. However, all the factors mentioned above contribute heavily to obstructing the enjoyment of this right. If an asylum seeker manages to communicate his request to seek asylum to the Greek authorities (police), in absence of interpreters, legal aid and ofcial information, and in having his/her claim ofcially registered before the issuance of the deportation order, the deportation order is not issued, and that asylum seeker will be exempted from detention and referred to the asylum procedure. It was noted that UNHCR has observed that such cases are extremely rare. In most cases, persons apply for asylum after the 48-hour period, while in detention, and remain in detention until the exhaustion of the asylum procedure (which can take 3-5 months). The execution of the deportation order, the issuance of which has preceded the asylum claim, is suspended and re-activated after the completion of the asylum procedure (when the outcome is negative). UNHCR is concerned that potential asylum seekers who are not given the chance to apply for asylum due to problematic detention conditions and absence of procedural guarantees may be subject to return without having had their asylum claims registered and examined. Several such cases have been identied during UNHCRs border monitoring activities. UNHCR continues regular and intensive border monitoring activities, primarily with a view to ensuring unhindered access of individuals to the asylum procedure. These efforts are supported by GCR. Recommendations on procedural standards are brought to the attention of the Greek State, and a number of interventions are made on individual cases which are thereafter followed up by GCR for free legal assistance to asylum seekers. However, not all cases are monitored nor could be monitored. There is urgent need for State-supported mechanisms that will be ofcially provided within detention facilities.

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UNHCR also provides training to border police and coast guard ofcers. However, the frequent rotation of such staff is detrimental to the establishment of real protection-sensitive mentalities. Greece hopes to get EU funds in order to address the present situation. The plenary session was followed by the work in three groups to elaborate recommendations of the BMPR Conference: Group I Moderator: Armen Yedgaryan, Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (Kyiv) Cross-border cooperation on protection-sensitive border management practices; what support/actions are needed to ensure that asylum seekers get access to the territory and asylum procedure? Group II Moderator: Michele Cavinato Policy Ofcer, UNHCR Bureau for Europe (Brussels) Practical recommendations for alternatives to detention, Group III Moderator: Julia Ivan, Project Coordinator, Lawyer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee Identication of training, learning opportunities and training tools for border police and NGO staff A visit was organised at the Airport Border Police Directorate (BPD) where the Director of the BPD had a presentation and answered to the questions.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Gottfried Koefner, Regional Representative for Central Europe, pointed out the importance of interaction on a daily basis and the necessity of a follow up of this conference. One of the recommendations made was to continue the Trans-regional Border Management process on an annual basis. Mr. Koefner specied the establishment and development of a sub-regional level, where UNHCR, NGOs and all relevant actors should be involved in a strategic manner. The Regional Representative emphasised the enthusiasm of the staff and the need for planning in a more comprehensive manner.

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COUNTRY PRESENTATIONS
Outline for Country Presentations 1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers?? 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above?

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BULGARIA
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? Bulgaria joined the EU on 1 January 2007 and holds one of the important external borders of the EU. The total length of its borders is 2,368 km, of which EU external borders are 1,226 km. The Chief Directorate Border Police is a specialised guarding, operative and investigation police ofce of the Ministry of Interior for protection of the State border and control of the observance of the border regime. It carries out its functions in the border zone, in the zones of the border control checkpoints, the international airports and ports, the inner sea waters, the territorial sea, the adherent zone, the continental shelf, the Bulgarian part of the river Danube, and at border rivers and water basins. The vast majority of persons seeking protection in Bulgaria enter the country illegally from Turkey. The most vulnerable points of entry at the Bulgarian-Turkish border are the zones between the rivers Maritza (Evros) and Tunjda. The main countries of origin in the last couple of years are Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and stateless persons, mainly Palestinians. These are also the top countries of origin since 1993, when Bulgaria commenced undertaking RSD, but Afghanistan comes rst overall (5,617 applicants), followed by Iraq (4,497 applicants), out of 18,790 applications submitted in the period from 1993 to October 2010. Persons in need of international protection are smuggled or trafcked and are part of broader migratory ows, presenting a challenge to identifying them. As most of the asylum seekers reaching Bulgaria resorted to the services of smugglers, the risk of being exposed to violence and exploitation exists, even if there are no current cases documented. Sometimes, asylum seekers do have to testify against smugglers and trafckers during an investigation or before the Court. The country is developing a full-edged anti-trafcking apparatus at the central and local level but it is not fully effective. UNHCR has been involved in the work of the anti-trafcking Commissions and has been advocating to raise awareness about asylum seekers and refugees who are easy targets as well as to make sure that they could avail themselves of the existing referral and protection mechanisms when and where they exist. The State Agency for Refugees (SAR), the governmental body in charge of RSD, is not operational at the borders. SAR operates also through its territorial units. Refugee status determination procedures are currently conducted in the Registration and Reception Centres (RRC) in Soa and in the village of Banya, close to Nova Zagora. It is expected that by the end of 2010 the Transit Centre in the village of Pastrogor, Svilengrad will start functioning as well. Procedures under the Dublin II Regulation and accelerated procedures will be conducted there. The principle of Article 31(1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention is reected in the Bulgarian Criminal Code Section 279, Para. 5, which provides that asylum seekers who entered in the country illegally shall not be subjected to criminal prosecution and conviction. However, since April 2010 the prosecutors at Svilengrad, close to the BulgarianTurkish border, in violation of this provision, started to bring before the criminal courts for punishment many asylum seekers on account of their illegal entry. The right to interpretation is not safeguarded. The lack of interpreters for some languages at border areas can impede the proper identication by the border guards of persons in need of protection. With no obligation to assess the asylum claims presented to them, the Border Police do not have the staff or budget to provide interpretation from the mother tongue of asylum seekers or any other language spoken by them in the border areas. Legal aid is not provided, neither to asylum seekers, who apply at the border, nor to any other aliens detained in border custody on account of their illegal entry. The border monitoring activity of UNHCRs implementing partner, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), remains for the time being the one and only guarantee of access to the territory and RSD procedures for those asylum seekers who apply in border areas. In this way during the rst half of 2010, access to international protection of 25%

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of all new applicants was ensured in border areas of Bulgaria (123 asylum seekers out of 487 applicants overall) with no cases of refoulement. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? Asylum seekers who claimed asylum in border areas upon their entry are not properly safeguarded from detention. The opening of the Transit Centre at Pastrogor (close to the Bulgarian-Turkish border) has been delayed for about three years and should start operating soon. This has created impediments for the timely transfer of asylum seekers from the border to the reception centres of the State Agency for Refugees (SAR). In 2002, with the adoption of the Law on Asylum and Refugees, the Border Police were relieved of responsibility to assess asylum claims lodged at national borders. These functions were shifted to SAR, which became the only administrative body determining the need for international protection. Therefore, the border ofcers were obligated to send to the SAR for processing any asylum application made before them. The Border Police were not entitled to budgetary means for interpretation, food and medical treatment. With the repeal of Art. 58(2) of the Law on Asylum and Refugees (SG, 52/2007), the rule that the RSD procedure is initiated with an application by the individual seeking protection was abrogated. The procedure now only starts when the applicant is physically present at SAR. This puts the asylum seekers in a limbo situation from the moment they apply until they are formally registered. An Ordinance for cooperation between SAR, the Border Police and the Migration Directorate, adopted in December 2007, legalizes the detention of asylum seekers before being transferred to the Registrttion Reception Centres (RRC). According to this Ordinance, asylum seekers apprehended at the border must be transferred to the special centre for temporary accommodation of foreigners in Busmantzi, run by the Migration Directorate. Exceptions are made for separated children, pregnant women and individuals who suffer physical or psychological trauma. Detained asylum seekers are then transferred to an RRC, depending on the registration capacity (10 persons/week) and the accommodation capacity. (The Soa RRC has capacity to accommodate 400 persons but in practice cannot do so, because some rooms are too dilapidated to be used, or because refurbishments are on-going). In addition to falling short of the generally recognised rules and criteria for fair and efcient refugee status determination procedures, access to such procedures for border applicants was additionally complicated and protracted, as release from detention depends entirely on the discretion of the SAR. Only after SAR permits release can the asylum seeker be transferred from the detention centre for irregular migrants to asylum reception facilities, where their registration, documentation, accommodation and status determination can nally begin. In the situation as described above, BHC, UNHCRs implementing partner, carried out regular monitoring of all national borders. It assisted new arrivals at the borders with legal advice and provided interpreters in order to enable their communication with the border guards as well as proper submission and registration of their asylum applications. Once applications were registered, further monitoring, counselling and assistance was provided in the inland detention centre in Busmantsi, near the capital Soa, to ensure that none of the border applicants who were transferred there would be deported in violation of the non-refoulement principle. Appeals against detention and deportation orders were submitted before the relevant courts in each individual case to invoke suspensive effect. Finally, a series of negotiations as well as interventions in group and individual cases were made in order to advocate with SAR to start releasing border applicants from detention in a timely manner. Thus, discretion and subjectiveness could be effectively decreased and prolonged detention avoided in practice. The most important impact of these activities in 2010 was the access to protection of 56% of all applicants, where 25% were assisted at the borders for access to territory, and, another 31% were assisted in the inland detention centres for release and access to status determination with, overall, no cases of refoulement. Monitoring and intervention

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resulted in 53% of all detained asylum seekers being released within a month and reduced the average duration of detention from six months in 2009 to 32 days in 2010. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? Throughout the years, refoulement of asylum seekers occurred from border areas in only a few cases. However, when it occurred, the refoulement was never based solely on readmission agreements, but rather also on other grounds involving national security concerns or Interpols red bulletin alerts. The last cases registered were in 2008, when four Iranian refugees recognised under the mandate of UNHCR by the Representation in Iraq were returned to Greece without any registration of their asylum claims and with no decisions taken under the Dublin II Regulation procedure. 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? In 2008, UNHCR and its implementing partner, BHC, jointly initiated a tripartite cross-border cooperation process among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey to reect the specic problems in the so-called border triangle. The area is notorious both for being the south route for illegal entry to the territory of Europe and for having no proper mechanism for registration and control of individuals pushed through the borders of each country. In June 2009, NGOs from those three countries met in Soa to provide in-depth information on the situation in each country of concern as well as to share views on cooperation prospects. A tripartite meeting is planned for 2011, this time involving NGOs, border ofcials and UNHCR. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? In April 2010, the Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on modalities of mutual cooperation and coordination to support the access of persons seeking protection to the territory of, and the procedure for granting protection in the Republic of Bulgaria was signed by the Chief Directorate Border Police, UNHCR and BHC. In accordance with the Tripartite MOU, a working group was established which would supervise the implementation of the MOU and would analyze monitoring reports taking in consideration the States primary responsibility of ensuring that persons in need of protection would have access to the territory and asylum procedures in line with obligations assumed under international refugee law. Joint border monitoring missions are conducted by the members of the working group. UNHCR has been providing regular training to border police ofcials since 2003 under a cooperation agreement. Since then, to date, more than 450 border guards from all borders have beneted from the training on access to the territory and RSD procedures. The last training session for 2010 is planned for the staff of Soa International Airport. The memorandum has set new focuses and challenges as well as new mechanisms for coordination and cooperation for implementation of border monitoring activities aimed at safeguarding the non-refoulement principle. This cooperation has proven to be the most valuable national achievement for the protection of individuals of concern vis--vis legal and practical safeguards for their access to territory and procedures. At the end of March 2009, UNHCR Bulgaria launched information dispensers containing brochures on the asylum procedure and refugee rights, prepared by SAR, BHC and the Bulgarian Red Cross. Dispensers have been mounted at the main airports, border crossing points and accommodation centres. Under the initiative, a total of 40 dispensers are to be distributed to Border Police, SAR, Directorate Migration and implementing partners.

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6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? Bulgaria was one of the rst countries in Central Europe to reach in 2004 an ofcial agreement between the Border Police and the asylum non-governmental sector formalising their practical cooperation and existing monitoring methods and arrangements. In 2010, this agreement was expanded to a tripartite MOU, signed among all national stakeholders in the area of asylum involved with issues of access to territory and international protection, namely: the UNHCR Representation, the General Directorate of the Border Police, the Ministry of Interior and the BHC. Lawyers with BHC have easy access to the borders and to detention facilities run by the Border Police, in order to collect the necessary information, meet with asylum seekers and provide legal counselling. (As most asylum seekers enter the country illegally, they are detained for 24 hours.) The Chief Directorate Border Police is sharing on a regular basis with both UNHCR and the BHC relevant information, and in particular, statistics related to persons of concern as well as on joint operations implemented in Bulgaria by FRONTEX. Refugee Law has been introduced as a regular subject in the Curriculum of the National Centre for Training of the Border Police. UNHCR has equipped a special room for the lectures on Refugee Law at the centre in Pazardjik.

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CROATIA
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? Recognising persons in need of international protection within mixed migration ows presents a major challenge. Like most of the European countries today, Croatia is being faced with particular challenges in managing mixed migration ows. Irregular mixed migration ows present particular challenges to States not only because they infringe on their sovereign prerogative to determine which non-nationals may enter their territory and under what conditions, but also because the persons involved in these movements are more likely to be subject to hardship, human rights violations and discrimination, and thus require special and individualised assistance and protection in accordance with fundamental human rights principles. Due to the lack of legal migration channels, and especially due to the worrying trends in managing the EU borders, bona de refugees have seen themselves forced to use irregular means of migration to ee persecution, which is why any stream of such migrants is likely to include a proportion of asylum seekers and refugees. Whereas international, European and national human rights protection and refugee law provide a sound base for the development, establishment and strengthening of existing legal frameworks at the national level, important challenges nonetheless remain in effectively applying these standards in practice to the complex migration management situations posed by irregular migration and mixed ows. Border police professional capacities for recognising persons in need of international protection within mixed migration ows and applying adequate mechanisms in related border procedures can be considered as one of the major challenges with regard to this issue. Additional trainings and awareness raising on issues related to refugee law and human rights protection in managing mixed migration ows should be provided for border police ofcers. There is also a lack of comprehensive control mechanisms for monitoring border police procedures regarding persons in need of protection. Croatia does not have mechanisms for monitoring whether all persons in need of protection are being admitted to the territory and given the opportunity to ask for asylum or being rejected at the borders and returned to their countries of origin. In order to ensure that measures to curb irregular migration do not prevent refugees from gaining access to protection, organised and systematic observation and documentation of procedures with foreigners and potential asylum seekers at the borders and in all other facilities that are related to the border should be developed and put in place. Croatias expected accession to the EU in 2012 will not only require the country to implement a functioning asylum system and stricter border controls but will also change Croatias position from a transit country into a destination country for refugees. As a future EU member, Croatias borders will become the external borders of the EU and Croatia is likely to be faced with a signicant increase of refugees from other parts of the world, such as the Middle East and Africa, similar to that experienced by new Member States at the EU external borders after joining the EU in 2004. It remains to be seen whether border police ofcers will be able to dedicate enough time and efforts to each individual case in order to identify potential refugees among irregular migrants. In addition, when Croatia becomes an EU Member State and starts to implement the EU Dublin II Regulation, more asylum seekers who intend to cross Croatia and apply for asylum in the traditional EU Member States will be returned to Croatia, because it was their rst port of entry into the EU and therefore rst place they have to apply for asylum. Finally, it remains to be seen whether Croatias accession to the EU and its becoming the external EU border will be accompanied with implementation of more restrictive border procedures towards asylum seekers, including putting in place currently non-existing border facilities for fast-track procedures.

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2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? Experience gained through providing free legal aid to asylum seekers by the Croatian Law Centre (CLC) in cooperation with UNHCR since 2003 has shown that many asylum seekers who illegally entered Croatian territory were penalised in misdemeanour procedures and placed in detention (Reception Centre for Foreigners) during the asylum procedure. The main reason for this could be found in the practice of applying the Law on Foreigners instead of the Law on Asylum by the border police in the majority of cases in which asylum seekers were in irregular status when expressing their intention to seek protection in Croatia. This occurred regardless of whether the conditions for non-penalisation of asylum seekers for illegal entry were fullled or not. However, during the implementation of the 20082010 Border Monitoring Project, CLC documented signicant improvements with regard to this issue. In selected police administrations that were included in the project, a decrease was noted in cases in which asylum seekers were penalised for illegal entry and consequently detained. CLC does not have relevant information on this issue for police administrations that were not included in the project. Currently, there are no fast-track asylum procedures on the borders in Croatia, due to lack of adequate border facilities for conducting such procedures. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? According to the CLC, apart from those incorporated in relevant national and international legal instruments, there are no additional safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements. However, it should be stated that CLC only has limited information on this issue, since the readmission agreements are being implemented solely by Croatian border police authorities and therefore there is no way for civil society organisations to have a comprehensive insight into this particular procedures. It should be stated that information collected by CLC during the implementation of the 20082010 Border Monitoring Project (but only in a limited period in time and in limited areas included in the project) have shown that all persons that were returned to Croatia from Slovenia under the readmission agreement were allowed to apply for asylum in Croatia and admitted to the territory. 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? CLC has enjoyed long-term informal cooperation with the Slovenian refugee protection NGO Pravno informacijski centar (PIC), which includes exchange of relevant information on issues related to readmitted asylum seekers for cases in which a need for such cooperation was identied. There is no systematic monitoring currently in place due to lack of capacities. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? The major steps with regard to this issue that have been taken in Croatia in recent years is the formal establishment of the CLC-MOI partnership in the eld of migration/asylum through an MOU signed in 2008 and further strengthening of this partnership during the joint implementation of the 20082010 Border Monitoring Project, nancially supported by the MATRA Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. This partnership as well as all main border monitoring activities that were developed and implemented within the project regular monitoring of over 600 border police procedures for irregular migrants, access to all relevant ofcial MOI data, training for border police ofcers, etc. enable CLC to gain comprehensive, direct insight into border procedures for irregular migrants returned to Croatia from Slovenia on the basis of their bilateral readmission agree-

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ment. Even more importantly, specic control mechanisms jointly established within the project by CLC and MOI provided the opportunity for prompt and effective action in cases where there could be a need for preventing border police conduct that could lead to serious human rights violations. Fortunately, there were no such incidents recorded during the projects implementation. The project was supportedby UNHCR. UNHCR plans to enhance its role in capacity-building in the area of border management in 2011. 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? CLC presents a unique example of good practice in the eld of border monitoring, not only in Croatia, but also in Europe and further abroad. Governmental/non-governmental partnership in the migration/asylum eld was formally established between the Croatian MOI and CLC and further strengthened during the joint implementation of the 20082010 Border Monitoring Project. The specic methodology for conducting border monitoring activities that was jointly developed and implemented within this project represents an excellent example of a good practice in this eld.

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CZECH REPUBLIC
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? A border procedure in the Czech Republic was introduced by an amendment to the Asylum (Act No.2/2002 Coll.) and put into operation as of 1 February 2002. One of the major challenges in the border procedure is a quick, fair and effective identication of vulnerable applicants. Though the Ministry of Interior (MOI) is obliged to grant entry into the Czech territory to each applicant who is considered to fall within the category of vulnerable persons within ve days from his/her declaration to apply for international protection in the transit airport zone, in practice this is often not the case. In this respect, the nongovernmental organisation Association for Legal Issues of Immigration (ASIM), which undertook research in 2009 for UNHCR on the treatment of applicants with special needs within the Czech asylum procedure, observed that the timeframe for permission to enter is so short that it is almost impossible to proceed with proper identication. It further noted the absence of any methodological guidelines and training available to MOI staff in this respect. Similar ndings have been made by the UNHCR implementing partner Organisation for Aid to Refugees (OPU), which observed during its regular monitoring visits to the Prague-Ruzyne Reception Centre that only the most obvious vulnerable cases that is, families with children and unaccompanied minors are released from the airport transit zone to the in-land asylum facility. In case of unapparent vulnerability, such as victims of torture and SGBV cases, there is no way to identify them, because the territory entrance decision is in the vast majority of cases issued before the issuing ofcer even speaks to the asylum seeker (i.e., based only on primary written materials submitted by the Airport Aliens Police). For example, two Sri Lankan applicants of Tamil origin claimed in the territory entrance procedure that they were subjected to torture by the Sri Lankan army due to their alleged membership in the LTTE. MOI granted them entry only after the Regional Court challenged its negative territory entrance decision due to serious procedural errors ( Judgment of the Prague City Court No.10 Ca 35/2008-83 of 3 December 2008). The Court stressed in its judgment that if the Ministry established that the applicants injuries do not fulll the legal criteria, it was its obligation to justify its thoughts in a clear and reviewable manner, and include its thoughts into its decision under which the territory entrance was not permitted. Another challenge remains the access of applicants to speedy judicial review of detention decisions. This issue was recently subject to scrutiny by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Rashed v. the Czech Republic (2008). Referring to that fact that no judicial decision on the lawfulness of the applicants detention had been given during the ten-month period, the Court found a violation of Article 5 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The draft Asylum Amendment which incorporates safeguards to respect the ECtHRs decision is currently under discussion in the legislative process. Last but not least, among the major challenges related to the border procedure is the need to further improve the quality of asylum decision-making, as well as to ensure that all asylum seekers wishing to lodge an appeal against a negative decision have access to effective legal counselling. From the point of view of the Airport Aliens Police, the main challenges are screening in the police databases, verication of ngerprints (national database and Eurodac), examining of travel documents and visas. Since the establishment of the border procedure in February 2002 until October 2010, a total of 2,637 persons lodged applications for protection in the Prague-Ruzyne Reception Centre. The largest numbers of applicants originated from Egypt (428 persons), Turkey (426), India (382), stateless (336), Syria (125), Iraq (108), Kazakhstan (92), Cuba (91) and Pakistan (64).

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2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? If the applicant arrives in the Czech Republic by plane and declares the intent to apply for protection, the police place the applicant in an asylum reception facility in the transit zone. A decision on entry into the territory must be made by Department for Asylum and Migration Police (DAMP) within ve days from the expression of intent to apply for international protection. Entry will not be allowed for those whose identity was not established; who produced falsied identity documents; or who are suspected of posing a threat to the security of the State, public health or public order. Certain vulnerable categories of persons must be allowed entry to the territory, namely unaccompanied minors, a parent or a family with handicapped minors or persons of full age with a serious handicap, pregnant woman or a person who has been tortured, raped or subject to any other forms of mental, physical or sexual violence. The stay is limited to a maximum of 120 days. Decisions on protection must be taken within four weeks, otherwise applicants must be allowed entry to territory. The stay at the airport affects the suspensive effect of cassation complaints in protection matters. If an applicant still resides at the airport when the decision in the applicants protection case becomes effective (i.e. within 120 days), the cassation complaint does not have suspensive effect and the applicant must leave the territory within 30 days. A decision on not allowing entry to territory may be subject to either administrative re-examination or to court remedy. The current premises of the Prague-Ruzyne Reception Centre for asylum seekers have been operated by the Refugee Facilities Administration of MOI since January 2006. Staff of two non-governmental organisations, Caritas Prague and OPU, make regular visits to the facility to provide asylum seekers with legal advice and to monitor reception conditions of the airport centre. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? According to 3a (a,1) of the Asylum Act, a foreigner is not entitled to declare his intention to apply for international protection at the border crossing if s/he is subject to transfer under a readmission agreement or the Dublin II Regulation. 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? A cooperation mechanism is established between two non-governmental organisations, Caritas Prague and OPU for monitoring reception conditions at the airport and other detention facilities, and to ensure asylum seekers with legal advice. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? UNHCR established its presence at the Prague-Ruzyne Reception Centre in 2002 through two of its implementing partners, Caritas Prague and OPU. While the initial UNHCR border projects focused on the provision of legal, social and psychological assistance to asylum seekers held in the Prague-Ruzyne Reception Centre, a key component of the airport project implemented by OPU since 2007 is monitoring of the border procedure. Under the airport monitoring project, OPU carries out regular weekly visits to the Reception Centre, monitoring whether international standards of protection are met for all persons of concern, including access to procedures and the quality of reception conditions, with a special focus on the treatment of vulnerable persons. The Aliens Police have reported on regular training of its staff, issuance of methodological guidance, expert opinion from the Directorate of Aliens Police and DAMP, and establishment of working groups comprised of members from the Czech Police and DAMP.

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6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? There are a number of elements of good practice in the Czech Republic that can be highlighted. Unaccompanied/ separated children and families with children are granted entry to the territory immediately after they express the intention to apply for protection at the transit zone of the Prague International Airport. Social services are provided by the MOI staff in the Prague-Ruzyne-Reception Centre. There has been a signicant improvement in the airport centres equipment, with the installation of new computers andinternet access for the centres inhabitants in June 2010. Free basic legal counselling is carried out by a specialised lawyer from Caritas Prague for all applicants accommodated in the Prague-Ruzyne Reception Centre. UNHCR has access to all decisions taken in the border procedure by MOI. At the same time, UNHCR and its implementing partner OPU have full access to the airport, including the international transit zone. There is a good co-operation among all stakeholders (i.e. DAMP, MOI, Aliens Police, UNHCR and NGOs). There is equally good cooperation and exchange of experience among the States in the region (study visits, visit of working teams at the international airport within international projects).

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GREECE
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? The challenges faced at present in identifying persons in need of international protection in border areas in Greece and ensuring access of these persons to the asylum procedure are immense. At present, the most critical situation is observed at the North-Eastern part of Greece (region of Evros), bordering Turkey by land, where the main shift of irregular entry of mixed groups has been noted since the beginning of the year, although similar concerns existed in previous years at other border regions (namely the islands of the Aegean Sea, addressed with heavy sea arrivals in the previous two years). Some 34,000 persons have entered Greece through Evros this year alone (in a period of 10 months). Persons entering the territory in an irregular manner are almost automatically issued deportation and detention orders. Therefore, all persons (including potential asylum seekers or other groups of people in need of international protection) are placed in detention facilities for a period that ranges from a few days to several months (usually up to six), depending on the feasibility of the execution of the deportation order, examined on the basis of a nationality assessment. The nationality assessment is established in interviews conducted currently by FRONTEX, although the nal decision is formally taken by the Greek authorities. UNHCR maintains a series of reservations and concerns as to the nationality assessment process, primarily because effected individuals are not properly informed of the outcome of this assessment, and cannot legally contest its conclusion. In principle, persons considered to have originated from countries to which deportation cannot be implemented (for example, Afghans) are released within a few days. Persons considered to have originated from countries to which (a) either direct deportation (for example, Nigerians, Chinese or Georgians) or (b) readmission under the Greek-Turkish Protocol (Iranians, Iraqis, Georgians and Syrians) can be implemented, are detained until the exhaustion of relevant procedures for removal. The States capacity to detain these persons is limited to the few, already substandard structures existing in the area of Evros. Only one formal facility for the administrative detention of migrants exists (Fylakio in Kyprinos/ Orestiada), while high numbers of detainees are held in Border Guard Police Stations which are inappropriate for long-term detention. Throughout 2010, all detention facilities (Fylakio Centre and the Border Guard Police Station cells) have held numbers of people far exceeding their ofcial capacity. In Fylakio alone, which has a capacity of a maximum 375 persons, 400-800 people were detained at various times, including families and unaccompanied minors. The detention conditions around Evros are very substandard and because of the very high numbers, as well as the continuous turn over of detainees (for the purpose of decongesting the facilities), it is extremely difcult for persons to address protection concerns to the responsible authorities (police). The latter, responsible for detention matters as well as for asylum issues, are overstretched with responsibilities even outside their ofcial duties (such as catering for detainees everyday needs). No civilian staff are employed on a regular basis inside the detention facilities, with the exception of a few doctors. No interpreters are provided throughout the detention process to enable detainees to express their needs to the security staff (police), and vice versa, to enable the police to inform detainees of their rights and responsibilities. Social assistance, legal aid and psychological counseling are not provided to detainees. As a consequence, with neither legal aid, nor interpreters, nor written nor verbal information provided, detained asylum seekers are unaware of their rights as regards the asylum procedure, of the length of their detention and of their further administrative treatment. This is especially critical for cases of persons originating from countries to which they can be directly deported (i.e. Turks) or removed under the Readmission Protocol with Turkey (i.e. Iranians, Iraqis). Asylum seekers are also not willing to seek asylum, as they know they will remain longer in detention if they apply for asylum, or also because they wish to continue their journey onwards to Western Europe where recognition rates and integration prospects are higher. The State itself, despite the very poor and substandard conditions, and the many practical difculties existing in ensuring access to the asylum procedure, has not adopted any formal screening procedures (in the sense of pro-

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tection-sensitive mechanisms). The need to adopt protection-sensitive screening mechanisms is all the more important as increased border control mechanisms (i.e. the deployment of FRONTEX forces RABIT) are likely to effectively deter persons from even entering Greek territory in search of international protection. Greece, on the basis of recommendations by UNHCR and other actors, is considering changes to its migration policies through plans to create screening centres (Centres of First Reception)) at the border areas for the short-term accommodation of mixed groups, with the purpose of identifying international protection needs and referring vulnerable cases accordingly. (This plan is currently at the stage of deliberation for the adoption of relevant legislation). The Centres of First Reception would replace the majority of administrative detention centres at the points of entry and would allow, among other things, the provision of expert services (i.e. social assistance, psychological and medical help, legal aid), as well as the identication of people with international protection needs or other vulnerable groups and their proper referral to hosting facilities. This would be a change from the automatic detention and indiscriminate treatment currently applied. However, the current situation, particularly in Evros, remains a serious concern, and urgent measures need to be taken. As an interim policy, screening procedures need to be established within the current detention facilities, with the immediate deployment of civilian staff (lawyers, social workers, medical staff, interpreters). In parallel, detention structures need to be immediately renovated and additional ones established to decongest the existing ones, with the aim of creating conditions that meet basic human rights standards. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? Increased border control efforts, as a means to curb irregular migration through actual deterrence, now supported by the EU through its own specialised body (FRONTEX), have created increased concerns that persons in need of protection will not be allowed entry into Greek (and EU) territory. UNHCR Greece is not aware of cases of persons who were actually stopped at the border but then allowed entry in the territory on the basis of claiming protection (This has, for example, happened exceptionally, in other cases, such as with stowaways, who were allowed to disembark in Greek territory as asylum seekers.) In principle, persons are deterred from entering Greek territory irregularly, although Greek authorities admit that deterrence is actually not feasible under the circumstances (as borders are easily crossed). Once persons enter Greek territory, they are in principle and by law allowed to access the asylum procedure; however, all the factors mentioned above contribute heavily to obstructing the enjoyment of this right. If an asylum seeker succeeds in communicating his request to seek asylum to the Greek authorities (police), in the absence of interpreters, legal aid and ofcial information, and in having the claim ofcially registered before the issuance of the deportation order (initial 48 hours following arrest), the deportation order is not issued. Consequently, the asylum seeker will be exempt from detention and referred to the asylum procedure. As a second stage, referral to reception centres for asylum seekers for accommodation is extremely poor due to shortage of places in the few such centres existing in Greece. UNHCR has observed that such cases are extremely rare. In most cases, persons apply for asylum after the 48-hour period, while in detention, and remain in detention until the exhaustion of the asylum procedure (which can take 3-5 months). The execution of the deportation order, the issuance of which has preceded the asylum claim, is suspended and re-activated after the completion of the asylum procedure (when the outcome is negative). As stated above, the length of detention applied currently for asylum seekers is a severe deterrent for genuine refugees to apply for asylum. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? The Readmission Protocol is a means of removal, which applies to persons (third country nationals) who have transited through Turkey and who are not asylum seekers (stricto sensu, namely not registered). As it sets specic timeframes, the Protocol applies to persons newly arriving in Greek territory, including potential asylum seekers, who have not been given the opportunity to apply for asylum. (See above.) Prior to their return, individuals are detained. Others can be subject to return if the deadlines for the procedure with Turkey are met. The Protocol itself does not set specic nationalities. According to statements of the Greek authorities, the practice of the Turkish side is to accept, through the Agreement, almost exclusively nationals of its neighbouring countries (Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Georgians).

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UNHCR is concerned that potential asylum seekers who are not given the chance to apply for asylum due to problematic detention conditions and absence of procedural guarantees may be subject to return without having had their asylum claims registered and examined. Several such cases have been identied during UNHCRs border monitoring activities. 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? Efforts exist, at the NGO level, and are extremely important for follow-up of the protection needs of persons affected by the implementation of the Protocol. A group of Greek and Turkish refugee-protection and human rights NGOs have established direct contacts in addressing individual cases and joint advocacy efforts. However, effective follow-up in the Greek-Turkish situation is hindered from the limited access of Turkish NGOs to detention facilities in Turkey, in which returned or readmitted asylum seekers are placed, as well as from the limited capacity of Greek NGOs for frequent border visits. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? UNHCR continues regular and intensive border monitoring activities, primarily with a view to ensuring unhindered access of individuals to asylum procedures. These efforts are supported by the activities of the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), UNHCRs main implementing partner in Greece. Recommendations on procedural standards are brought to the attention of the Greek State, and a number of interventions are made on individual cases that are thereafter followed up by GCR in its provision of free legal assistance to asylum seekers. However, not all cases are monitored nor could be monitored through these means. There is urgent need for State-supported mechanisms that will be ofcially provided within detention facilities. UNHCR also provides training to border, police and coast guard ofcers. However, the frequent rotation of such staff is detrimental to the establishment of real protection-sensitive mentalities. 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? UNHCR Turkey initiated, in 2010, an effort to bring stakeholders from the two sides of the borders (Greece and Turkey) together to discuss issues of common concern. UNHCR from both sides and a number of NGOs participated in this effort, which could be gradually expanded to State institutions. This was a worthy effort, and only the beginning in a process of closer cooperation. True and continuous information-sharing around border practices is extremely important in de-codifying the motives and risks of people on the move, in addressing protection concerns generated by secondary movements, and in appropriate advocacy with State authorities in this respect.

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HUNGARY
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? Two main challenges stand out in identifying asylum seekers at the border in Hungary. First, there are problems with communication, in particular where asylum seekers neither speak nor understand languages familiar in Hungary or the region. A second and connected problem is the prevention of entry without prior interview. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? Those who apply at the border entry point are placed in reception centres, while those who apply upon apprehension for unlawful entry are detained and placed in administrative detention facilities run by the Police for six months (to be extended by another six months according to a current Bill under discussion in Parliament). Families with children may also be detained up to 30 days (as of 24 December 2010, according to the Bill in Parliament). The current practice of keeping asylum seekers in detention for more than 15 days (during the preliminary screening procedure) would seem to qualify as arbitrary detention. Detention conditions in administrative facilities are disproportionately strict, resembling a prison regime. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? In the framework of the border monitoring project carried out by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC), it could be established in each case of expulsion that the Police complying with its legal obligations had requested an opinion from the on-duty service unit of the Ofce of Immigration and Nationality (OIN, the asylum authority,) to see if the prohibition of refoulement would be respected if the foreigner would be returned to Ukraine under the bilateral readmission agreement. In cases where the necessity of an expulsion order arises, based on the record of the foreigners interview, the OIN gives the Police country of return information on Ukraine during the non-refoulement assessment. Experience shows that the country information assessment carried out by the OIN and its conclusions are often too short, and fail to provide sufcient time and space for an exhaustive assessment and consideration of the individuals specic circumstances and prospects for protection in Ukraine upon readmission. Therefore, expulsion orders that are very often not based on a thorough assessment of the individual circumstances that the specic foreigner would face in Ukraine inherently carry the risk of leading to refoulement. Other circumstances have to be examined when expelling a foreigner from Hungary. These include consideration of whether the foreigner poses a threat to national security, public security, public policy or public health; the duration of the foreigners stay, the age and family status of the foreigner and the possible consequences of her/his expulsion on her/his family members; and any links of the foreigner to the Republic of Hungary (or the absence of links with the country of origin). 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? The HHC shares information on returnees and return practices in the framework of an informal working cooperation with NGOs from neighboring countries (Ukraine and Serbia). The HHC receives information regarding potential refoulement cases on an adhoc basis since so far no further possibility arose to establish a closer working relation.

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5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? In the framework of the border monitoring programme, the HHC regularly trains senior and mid-ranking police ofcers on basic principles of human rights, international and national refugee law, and intercultural sensitization. Since the beginning of 2010, the training agenda was broadened with psychological supervision and stress management training for police ofcers at the Budapest International Airport. This is a pilot training project for 24 ofcers and it is so far considered very useful by participants. 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? A number of good practices can be cited.These include teh publication of bilingual annual/biannual reports on border monitoring activities and related follow-up; training activities designed and conducted jointly by Border Police and NGOs;psychological supervision sessions for Border Police; and drafting in partnership (Border PoliceHHC-UNHCR) a handbook on human rights sensitive border management and monitoring, inclusive of access to territory and asylum procedures, for students of the Hungarian Police Academy.

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THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA


1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? The main constraint at the border is to clearly determine whether a person is an asylum seeker or just an illegal migrant. Continuous relevant trainings are required for border and police ofcials. It is an unfortunate reality that the globalisation process has given rise to illegal border activity, and asylum seekers and migrants alike often nd themselves at the mercy of organised criminal gangs when seeking to cross borders. Identifying asylum seekers within mixed migration ows requires the enhancement of border security, through modernization and equipping the border crossing points and other subdivisions of the border authority with the latest technical developments in the area of border control, as well as the creation of reception rooms for asylum seekers. In addition, one of the most common difculties at the border related to the identication of persons in need of protection/asylum seekers is the communication barrier, especially in translation of languages with unfamiliar dialects. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? When a person applies for asylum at the border crossing point on the State border of the Republic of Moldova, the border guards notify the Bureau for Migration and Asylum. The asylum seeker lls out an application for asylum and under the supervision of the staff of the Border Guard Service, is temporary accommodated for up to 24 hours in specially-equipped premises for persons seeking asylum. Where such facilities are not available, accomodation is provided in a room with minimum living standards. Recently, with UNHCR support within the framework of an EU-funded project, rooms for temporary accommodation of asylum seekers were renovated/constructed and equipped at three border crossing points. By the end of the same project there are plans to equip three more rooms at the border. A temporary ID card valid for 48 hours is issued to the applicant. The card is a temporary identication document, and allows its holder to travel to the Refugee Directorate, Bureau for Migration and Asylum of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. When a person applies for asylum while being placed in the Migrant Accommodation Centre, an employee of the Refugee Directorate, Bureau for Migration and Asylum, interviews the applicant, and an appeal against the decision of expulsion and placement in the centre is led, after which the person is released and placed, upon request, in the Temporary Accommodation Centre for asylum seekers (an open facility). 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, the responsible authority for readmission to the Republic of Moldova is the Ministry of Interior (MOI). At the State border, the Border Guard Service is responsible, in accordance with agreements signed with neighbouring countries (Romania and Ukraine). From the time when the readmission agreement with the EU entered into force (1 January 2008), there have been no cases of return of third country nationals to Moldova, but under the law there are no impediments for this category of person to apply for asylum.

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The guarantees for protection and asylum in the Republic of Moldova are the provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol and the Law on Asylum in the Republic of Moldova (N 270 of 18 December 2008). 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? The monitoring process of the state of asylum seekers in the country is regulated by the Memorandum signed by UNHCR, the Border Guard Service, the Bureau for Migration and Asylum (of MOI), and the NGO Law Centre of Advocates (CDA). On the basis of the MOU, an instruction has been developed on the assistance of foreign nationals and stateless persons in obtaining protection at the border of the Republic of Moldova. In Moldova, there are two NGOs engaged in the provision of legal advice within the Migrant Accommodation Centre: the Institute for Penal Reform (IRP) and CDA. Both organisations are parties to the MOU signed within the framework of the GUMIRA project, along with MOI and the Border Guard Service. IRP conducts initial consultations with all aliens placed in the Migrant Accommodation Centre, explaining all their rights to them, including the right to apply for asylum. If the foreigner expresses the wish to claim asylum, the management of the Centre and the lawyers of CDA are notied. From that moment and until the nal decision on the application for asylum is made, CDA is responsible for legal counselling and representation of the asylum seeker. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? Great effort to move this process forward was made during the initiation of the Regional Protection Support Project. Close cooperation was initiated with UNHCR, the Bureau for Migration and Asylum and CDA. Border monitoring and mini-trainings are being carried out for the staff of the Border Guard Service in all international border crossing points at the State border of the Republic of Moldova, at regional detachments and at the Migrant Accommodation Centre in Chisinau. An instruction in the area of asylum has been developed for the staff of the Border Guard Service. In cooperation with UNHCR, a practical guide for border guards on asylum claims at the border and an information leaet on asylum and asylum applications in the Republic of Moldova have been elaborated and made available at all border crossing points and border guard subdivisions. Rooms for temporary accommodation of asylum seekers were renovated/constructed and equipped, with UNHCR support, at three border crossing points. Information displays on asylum with contact numbers and relevant information have been installed at border crossing points. Two cross-border missions have been organised by UNHCR, with the participation of counterparts from the Republic of Moldova and Romania, in the context of the signed agreements between Moldova and Romania and Moldova and Ukraine on cooperation at the State border. On the Moldovan-Romanian State border the mission was carried out between 12-16 July 2010, while on the Moldovan-Ukrainian State border between 4 and 6 October 2010. Within the project framework, representatives of the State border and migration authorities participated in four study visits abroad: in London (United Kingdom Uzghorod (Ukraine), and Bucharest and Poiana Brasov (Romania). 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? The signature of an MOU by government authorities, NGOs and international organisations and the active cooperation of the parties is an example of good practice, as was the creation of joint working groups for coordination of activities in the area of asylum.

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Until 2005, there were three forms of protection in the Republic of Moldova specied in the Law on the Status of Refugees: refugee status, temporary protection and political asylum. Later, humanitarian protection was introduced. The new Law on Asylum in the Republic of Moldova, which was adopted on 18 December 2008 and entered into force on 13 March 2009, was elaborated on the basis of the ve European Directives on asylum, as well as best international practice. The law on asylum in the Republic of Moldova contains many novelties: introduction of the accelerated procedure for assessing the application for a form of protection. The accelerated procedure is being used to assess claims that are abusive, manifestly unfounded and that are submitted by persons who, by virtue of their activity or membership in a particular group, pose a threat to national security or public order; introduction of the procedure for persons with special needs: unaccompanied minors, persons with psychological disorders, and victims of torture or abuse; and social integration of persons who have been granted a form of protection through the implementation by the central and local public administration authorities of social integration programmes.

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ROMANIA
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? The practice of Romania in this regard is a positive one, with the Romanian border police being fully aware of their duties regarding asylum seekers. Most of the aliens applying for asylum with the border police are those caught trying to leave Romania illegaly, at the Western border with Hungary. A major challange in this regard is associated with the lack of interpreters for some unfamiliar languages that sometimes makes communication with aliens more difcult. Nevertheless, all aliens who expressed their wish to apply for asylum in Romania with the border police were granted access to the asylum procedure. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? According to the provisions of the Romanian Asylum Law (no 122/2006), in the case of asylum applications submitted at a border crossing point, the asylum seeker will remain in a transit centre until a nal decision is taken, case, but no longer than 20 days if the Romanian Immigration Ofce does not grant the asylum seeker access to the territory and to the regular procedure. However, practice in the last years has shown that all asylum seekers who submitted an asylum application at a border crossing point (mainly Otopeni Airport) were granted access to the territory and to the regular procedure by the Romanian Immigration Ofce. In most cases, the aliens who apply for asylum are caught by the border police on the green border and in these cases, asylum seekers are transferred to an open reception/accommodation centre run by the Romanian Immigration Ofce. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? Romania concluded readmission agreements with all its neighbouring countries, and generally there is positive practice with regard to asylum seekers, as once they manifest their wish to be granted protection in Romania, they are not returned to the country of departure. 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? Since 2009, the Romanian National Council for Refugees (CNRR) has established with NEEKA (from Ukraine) arrangements for assistance to persons who were caught in the north part of the country, being sent back to Ukraine. In this regard, it is considered that information exchange and cooperation between NGOs was achieved, including at the operational level. The specialised Ukrainian NGO, after receiving the information from the Romanian side, decided to provide special assistance concerning the evolution of the legal status of the persons of concern. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? In July 2008, a tripartite MOU on modalities of mutual cooperation and coordination to support the access of asylum seekers to Romanian territory and the asylum procedure in Romania was concluded by the UNHCR Representation in Romania, the General Inspectorate of the Border Police (IGPF) and CNRR, a result of de facto and long-standing cooperation among IGPF, UNHCR and its NGO partners.

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Before 2008, monitoring activities were carried out on a regular basis on the Romanian border. Since 2008, monitoring activities have had a cross-border component. Thus, the following cross-border activities were organised: cross-border seminars were organised with Bulgaria (one in Vidin, Bulgaria in 2008 and one in Constanta Romania in 2009) with participation of border ofcials from both sides of the border; cross-border monitoring missions were organised with Ukraine: one in 2009 on the Romanian part of the border and one in 2010 on the Ukrainian part of the border one cross-border monitoring mission was organised with Moldova in 2010 on the Moldovan part of the border ; and The UNHCR Representation in Moldova organised in November 2009 a study visit to Romania for representatives of the border and asylum authorities and NGO partners. As regards training, during 2004-2005, a joint mobile training team was established comprised of representatives of IGPF, the (then) National Refugee Ofce, UNHCR, and NGOs active in the eld of asylum. This joint mobile training team provided trainings during 2004 and 2005 to border guards around the country. During 2007-2008, CNRR concluded protocols of cooperation with the three educational institutions that provide regular courses (initial and advanced training) for border guards, country-wide. CNRR drafted and published in 2007-2008 the following materials, in cooperation with IGPF, the Romanian Immigration Ofce and UNHCR: Methodology of receiving asylum applications by the Romanian border police Identication of persons in need of protection case studies Competences of the border police in the eld of asylum Asylum application translated into 10 languages The written/audio version of Rights and obligations of asylum seekers during the RSD procedure In 2008, UNHCR organised, in cooperation with IGPF and CNRR, a Training of Trainers for representatives of all territorial border structures, while in 2009 and 2010, UNHCR organised in cooperation with IGPF and CNRR national seminars with the management of the border police. 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? Good practice in Romania in this area is related to the fact that the border authorities respect the non-refoulement principle, unhindered access to the RSD procedure for persons in need of protection, non-penalisation and the fact that aliens apprehended at the border who apply for asylum are not detained. Another good practice in this regard is related to the good, open cooperation and dialogue between the border authorities, UNHCR and NGOs. Thanks to this very good cooperation, the border authorities fully understand their role regarding the persons of concern to UNHCR and the right to seek asylum is fully respected.

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THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA


1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? The major challenges with which asylum authorities in Serbia are faced are differentiating between illegal migrants and genuine refugees, as well as determining their true identities. The experience of the Serbian Border Police has so far demonstrated that the number of asylum claims lodged at border crossings is practically negligible, and that the number of asylum seekers with any kind of identity documents is almost nil. On the other hand, situations where border police patrols catch aliens attempting to cross Serbian borders illegally (whether entering or exiting, in proximity to the border line or inside Serbian territory) are much more frequent. When discovered, a certain number of such aliens express an intention to seek asylum in the Republic of Serbia. In these circumstances, a proper assessment is crucial in order to distinguish between those attempting to evade punishment for illegal border crossing by lodging abusive claims and those who are genuinely in need of protection. Border Police depend on such an assessment, given that the Law on Asylum, in Art. 4 stipulates that an alien who is on the territory of the Republic of Serbia shall have the right to le an application for being granted asylum in the Republic of Serbia ; in Art. 6 that no person shall be expelled or returned against his/her will to a territory where his/her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his/her race, sex, language, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions ; and in Art. 8 that an asylum seeker shall not be punished for unlawful entry or stay in the Republic of Serbia . 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? Because of possible abuse of these rights, the Law on Asylum offers two ways to resolve such situations. The rst is issuing a certicate to asylum seekers by the Border Police, which gives them a right to access Serbian territory and is valid for 72 hours, during which time they should report to Asylum Centre or Asylum Ofce. The second way is implemented when the Border Police suspect that the request for asylum is expressed with intention to abuse asylum procedures in order to evade criminal responsibility for illegal border crossing. Such asylum seeker(s) would be escorted by the Border Police to the Reception Centre for Aliens, where the ofcers of the Asylum Ofce will take over their cases. Beside these, there are other reasons as well which can lead to restricted freedom of movement of asylum seekers. The Law on Asylum stipulates that this can be done in three cases: in order to establish identity; in order to ensure the presence of an alien in the course of the asylum procedure, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an asylum application was led with a view to avoiding deportation, or if it is not possible to establish other essential facts on which the asylum application is based without the presence of the alien in question; and in order to protect national security and public order in accordance with the law. The measures for restriction of movement that can be taken are: ordering accommodation at the Reception Centre for Aliens under intensied police surveillance; and imposing a ban on leaving the Asylum Centre, or a particular address and/or a designated area. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? With regard to readmission of asylum seekers, a difference should be made between two scenarios: readmission of asylum seekers whose procedure have ended and readmission of asylum seekers who left Serbia before processing of their claims came to an end. The Law on Asylum stipulates rules for both of these scenarios: in the rst case, a new asylum application can be submitted if evidence is provided that the circumstances relevant for recognition as a refugee or for granting subsidiary protection have substantially changed in the meantime. In the second case, readmitted asylum seekers could submit a proposal for restoration to the original condition, therefore using a restitutio in integrum. Decisions in both cases are made by Asylum Ofce, with a full spectrum of remedies: appeal to the Asylum Commission and a claim to the Administrative Court.

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4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? A mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers, including establishment of a project on border monitoring is to be discussed. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? The Republic of Serbia is still in the process of building the asylum system and its institutions. Current capacities, whether it comes to the Asylum Ofce or Asylum Centre, are not sufcient, especially in light of constantly increasing number of asylum seekers. For comparison, in 2008 there were 77 asylum claims, in 2009 that number increased to 275, and in 2010, until November 15th, there were 418 asylum claims submitted. However, all staff involved in sustaining and supporting the asylum system is quite enthusiastic and the current lack of capacities and, generally, resources invested in its maintenance is compensated with tremendous amount of energy. On the other hand, the major challenges, difculties and obstacles are recognized and steps are taken in order to overcome them. In such task, we expect further assistance, predominantly from UNHCR, but from all other non-governmental actors as well, altogether in order to achieve better welfare of people we all are interested in asylum seekers and refugees. 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? The experience of Serbian asylum authorities in processing asylum claims is neither long nor extensive. As such, real examples of good practice cannot yet be presented. In fact, UNHCR was tasked with processing of asylum claims in the Republic of Serbia for almost three decades, and the Serbian authorities, in the course of European integration, have taken over this task only recently (in 2008). One characteristic of the Serbian asylum procedure worth mentioning is the non-existence of accelerated procedures. All asylum seekers, no matter whether considered to be suspicious or genuine, go through the same procedure, which consists of four stages: recording, registration, interview and decision making. As such, no matter what the motives for seeking asylum in Serbia, every claim is properly processed.

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SLOVAKIA
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? On 5 September 2007 a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Modalities of Mutual Cooperation and Coordination to Support the Access of Asylum Seekers to the Territory of, and the Asylum Procedures of the Slovak Republic (hereafter, MOU) was signed by the Ofce of the Alien and Border Police (OABP) of the Slovak Ministry of Interior, UNHCR and the Human Rights League (HRL), an NGO under the Access Management and Support Project (AMAS Project). On 30 July 2009, the Director of OAPB withdrew from the implementation of the MOU, stating that the MOU cannot impose any duties on OABP. It was OABPs position that responsibilities elaborated in the MOU should be vested exclusively with UNHCR and cannot be delegated to other entities. As OABP is an internal part of the Ministry of Interior, OABP suggested concluding a new bilateral agreement between MOI and UNHCR. Effort is now concentrated on the conclusion of a new agreement. Delay was caused by the summer parliamentary election in The Slovak Republic and by the fact that, to date, no new OABP Director has taken ofce. It is hoped that a new agreement on border monitoring will be signed by the end of 2010. The AMAS Project also identied major challenges owing to a lack of professional interpretation, especially with regard to languages unfamiliar in the region; a lack of country of origin information research; rapid readmission to Ukraine; inadequate instruction to border ofcers; and of course the present lack of a border monitoring agreement. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? According to OABP, Asylum seekers are not detained nor placed into detention centres, where their freedom of movement is limited. Asylum seekers are sent to Migration ofce asylum centres. In cases where detained aliens asked asylum subsequently to their detention, such request is not a reason for their dismissal nor for their transportation to the asylum centre. It is necessary to stress that the main reason for detention of an alien is to limit his/ her freedom of movement with the aim to prevent the escape of the alien and thus ensure enforcement of expulsion from the territory of the Slovak Republic and Schengen area. According to Art. 17 sec. 2 of the constitution of the SR ...No one shall be prosecuted or deprived of liberty save for reasons and by means laid down by a law. It means that some rights (e.g. right to liberty) can be limited or weakened, but only in compliance with statutory requirements, e.g. Stay of Aliens Act. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? According to OABP: An example is the observance of 7 par. 1 of Act no. 48/2002 Coll. (Stay of Aliens Act) according to which Entry must not be denied to an alien who requested, at a border control, for asylum or provision of subsidiary protection on the territory of the Slovak Republic. The same applies when dealing with the readmission procedure, where even such alien is allowed the have his/her application for international protection examined by the competent authority, which is the Migration Ofce of the Ministry of Interior. It should be noted that respect to the right to apply for international protection is a standard part of readmission agreements framework. This is conrmed by current negotiations between the Governments of the SR and Austria on the readmission agreement of persons residing without authorization. Already drafted Preamble recalls Convention on the Legal Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, and its further text contains excluding clause guarantying that persons seeking international protection will not be readmitted.

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4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? Cooperation with Ukrainian NGOs has been established. Additionally, since 1 January 2009, HRL has also been monitoring transfers of persons of UNHCR concern with regard to procedures under the Dublin II Regulation. HRL was informed about these transfers by e-mail messages or phone calls when transferred persons arrived at the M. R. Stefanik International Airport. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? The MOU between OABP, UNHCR and HRL created preconditions for mutual cooperation for the monitoring of entry of persons of UNHCR concern to the territory of the Slovak Republic at Slovak-Ukraine border and at international airports. According to the MOU, OABP permits HRL lawyers to have free access and to perform activities in accordance with the MOU in secure areas of OABP departments designed for interviews and procedures with aliens. The average number of monitoring visits at OABP border control departments at the Slovak-Ukrainian border during the monitoring period was at least two visits per week, including the e ovce detention centre and two visits per month at the M. R. Stefanik International Airport. The MOU provides that OABP, through its operations centre in its Headquarters in Sobrance, regularly informed UNHCR and HRL (by email, fax or telephone) about intercepted persons of UNHCR concern who illegally entered the territory of the Slovak Republic from Ukraine and subsequently sought protection. The main activities covered by the AMAS Project are to monitor whether persons of UNHCR concern are allowed to enter the territory of the Slovak Republic; to monitor whether persons of UNHCR concern have access to asylum procedures; to monitor the observation of the non-refoulement principle; to monitor readmission procedures from the territory of the Slovak Republic to Ukraine based on the readmission agreement; and to monitor whether persons of UNHCR concern (intercepted or detained) have access to legal information and/or free legal advice. Under the AMAS Project, border monitoring has been established, regular visits take place to all Departments of Border Control, les are opened for inspection, border monitoring reports are prepared and shared, and an annual Slovak AMAS border monitoring seminar is conducted. Cooperation with Ukrainian NGOs has been established. 6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries A number of good practice elements can be discerned from the above. These might include joint seminars with border guards, sharing of border monitoring reports with relevant partners and cooperation with OABP, especially with regard to communication of information by email about persons of potential concern to UNHCR who have been intercepted attempting to enter the State unlawfully. The presence of a lawyer at the various Departments of Border Control during interviews of foreigners is a very positive practice, as is the possibility to inspect the les of foreigners who may be persons of concern to UNHCR.

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SLOVENIA
1. What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? In 2008 and 2009 the number of asylum applications dropped drastically, with only 240 new applications in 2008 and 201 in 2009, a decrease of 16.3%. This is a great decline in comparison to 2007 when there were 425 new asylum applications. The change in migration ows could be attributed to the reinforcement of security at the international border crossing points in conjunction with the Schengen Agreement entering into force in Slovenia in December 2007. The increased concerns about security and the need for enhanced border controls to combat illegal migration and entry into the Schengen Area have led to more restrictive entry measures which were introduced, inter alia, in the context of the transposition of EU Directives. One of the major challenges in the border procedures is access to the territory and to the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedure. Through regular monitoring visits under the auspices of the Access Management and Support Project (AMAS Project), Pravno informacijski centar, (PIC), a Slovenian NGO and implementing partner of UNHCR, is striving to ensure that would-be asylum seekers reaching the external EU borders of Slovenia are granted access to the territory and to the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedure. Cooperation between NGOs enables sharing of information on whether returned persons have applied for asylum in the country to which they were returned and why they have not applied for asylum in Slovenia (for example, not wanting to apply, not having the opportunity to apply, did apply but were not heard, etc.). Cross border cooperation with NGOs in the countries to which persons of concern might be returned is therefore essential. A major concern regarding access to the territory and the procedure is that NGOs do not have the opportunity to observe the preliminary interviews with the intercepted persons in order to assess whether border police are conducting interviews in accordance with international and European standards and whether sufcient information and opportunity is provided to the person of concern regarding the possibilities of applying for protection in Slovenia. It is therefore necessary to organise trainings and awareness-raising seminars for border police ofcers, to ensure effective provision of protection and respect for human rights. This could be best achieved with the co-operation of the Border Police, UNHCR and NGO partners. Another important challenge faced in this respect is the implementation of a right to communicate with UNHCR and/or any other organisation working in partnership with UNHCR. Persons of concern need to be informed of the right to communicate with organisations protecting their rights, both verbally and in written form. PIC has through monitoring visits established that providing protection information in written form is not part of standard practice in the border procedures. The restrictive International Protection Act is a major challenge vis-a vis ensuring fair and efcient asylum procedures, especially with the broad and numerous grounds for declaring applications manifestly unfounded, accelerating the asylum procedure, and some practical difculties related to the provision of free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers and refugees. 2. What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? The applicants movements may be temporarily restricted if it is necessary to establish the identity of the applicant or there is a suspicion of deception and abuse of process; or for reasons of threat to life or property and/or to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Movement may be limited to the area of the asylum home or at the Centre for Foreigners in Postojna, or any other facility designated by the Ministry of Interior. Restriction of movement is ordered by the Ministry with a decision. A written copy of the decision is issued by the competent authority within 48 hours from the time the decision is communicated verbally. Restriction of move-

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ment can last until the end of reasons provided for restriction, but may not last longer than three months. If there are grounds for limiting the movement after that time, the limit may be extended for another month. The applicant has the right to appeal against the decision to the Administrative Court within three days of receiving the decision. The Court has three working days to hold a hearing and render its decision. 3. What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? The Republic of Slovenia has concluded readmission agreements with all neighboring States (Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia). Besides Italy and Austria, other EU Member States with which Slovenia has concluded readmission agreements are Denmark, the Benelux States, France and Greece, The Slovak Republic, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic and, as regards non-EU Member States, Switzerland. Readmission agreements signed with Canada, Romania and Germany deal only with nationals of the contracting countries. The Slovene Police have developed close cooperation with neighboring countries and the main destination countries for migrants (for example, Germany). This cooperation includes information exchanges and the coordination of measures concerning prevention and investigations related to trafcking in human beings, as well as in the detection of the use of forged documents. A person may apply for asylum at any occasion, even in the process of readmission or when the readmission procedure is in process. 4. What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? PIC is present at the Centre for Foreigners (where readmitted asylum seekers are situated) on a weekly basis, and provides legal counseling to all persons in need. Also regular consultations with Centres management are held in order to exchange information and improve on reception. 5. What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? A cooperation agreement between UNHCR and the Slovene Police was signed in 2008. According to this agreement, UNHCR will (through implementing partner PIC) monitor procedures concerning persons wishing to apply for protection, entry of these persons into the Republic of Slovenia, and enforcement of their rights of access to the procedure for the granting of international protection. The Slovene Ministry of Interior subsequently on also signed an additional agreement on cooperation with UNHCR under the project Asylum Quality Assurance and Evaluation Mechanism.. The project, co-nanced by the European Refugee Fund, was conducted in eight EU Member States. The project aimed to enhance the quality, integrity and efciency of international protection and to establish internal mechanisms for evaluating the level of each participating country and the level of the entire region: and to identify non-harmonised standards in procedures for international protection and identify potential solutions to enhance harmonization. The border police are also conducting trainings on issues regarding border control and procedures with respect to human rights protection.

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6. What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? Application for asylum can be submitted at any time and the offence of illegal entry is dismissed the moment the asylum application is lodged. NGOs including PIC are involved in providing free protection information to applicants in the asylum home where they have a daily presence. PIC also provides legal counseling and representation to persons of concern. There is good cooperation with the Police, and frequent exchange of information on relevant issues concerning border monitoring, procedures and practices.

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TURKEY
1) What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? Major challenges include access to information concerning asylum procedures by persons in need of protection and limited access by UNHCR and NGOs to persons of concern at border entry points, in particular in transit zones. 2) What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? At present, there is no separate border procedure in practice in Turkey. According to the 1994 Regulation, persons who have arrived legally in Turkey should apply without delay to the governorate of the place where they are present. If they have entered illegally, they should apply to the governorate of the place where they entered the country. Those who apply at the border entry points should be dealt with as if the application had been lodged in the territory. Applications are to be registered by the Foreigners Department of the Ministry of Interior (MOI), and should be referred into the regular asylum procedure. 3) What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? Turkey has signed readmission agreements with Greece (2002), Ukraine (2005), Syria (2007), Kyrgyzstan (2009), and Romania (2009). These readmission agreements do not have a separate provision allowing exemption of persons in need of protection from the scope of the readmission arrangements. The text of the Turkey-Greece Readmission Protocol includes a provision that itt does not derogate from rights and obligations arising from other international agreements binding upon the two Parties. Despite this provision having been included in the protocol, there is a lack of information as to what extent the main principles including non-refoulement are being observed under these agreements. 4) What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers?? At the moment, there is no monitoring mechanism in Turkey on implementation of the readmission agreements. Readmitted foreigners are referred to removal centres until their return is ensured. UNHCR and NGOs are informed about the individuals only when they express their intention to seek asylum. These persons can contact UNHCR and NGOs directly, or MOI ofcials inform UNHCR on asylum applications. 5) What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? In 2010, a National Task Force was established under MOIs Bureau on Migration and Asylum. Under the Task Force all State institutions civilian or military have been brought together to ensure coordination in border management. Legislative steps through two circulars issued in 2010 have been taken in order to ensure access to asylum procedures by individuals who have been apprehended due to illegal entry and presence, or readmitted as illegal migrants who transited Turkey. Access to legal aid at the removal centres was facilitated both by legislative and administrative arrangements. In 2010, UNHCR and the Gendarmerie General Command started implementing a joint project on Strengthening the capacity of border and law enforcement ofcials to better deal with irregular migration in a protection-sensitive border management system. In addition to refugee law seminars targeting border ofcials, the Project will enable

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revision of the curriculum on asylum-migration issues of the Gendarmerie schools, as well as creation of a manual on standard operating procedures. 6) What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? The Law on Foreigners and International Protection was drafted in the course of 2010. The drafting process was undertaken in a transparent and participatory way by MOI, with NGO representatives, academia, and international organisations such as UNHCR and IOM included in the consultation process. Since the draft Law includes provisions on procedures to be followed for persons who expressed intention to seek asylum at border entry points, such a consultative mechanism allowed for invaluable contributions from all stakeholders based on their experiences.

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UKRAINE
1) What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? There are numerous challenges in border practice faced in identifying persons in need of international protection/ asylum seekers, especially in the context of mixed migration ows. Many of these derive from the fact that there is no uniform understanding of how to deal with cases of applicants in Ukraine who attempt to cross illegally into another EU Member State. Support from UNHCR and IOM is necessary for the establishment of centres for accommodation of persons who are in the refugee status procedure in Ukraine. 2) What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? According to Art. 8(1) of the Law of Ukraine on Refugees, border protection bodies accept asylum applications from persons detained for illegally crossing the State border (or for aattempting to cross for the purpose of obtaining refugee status) and submit the applications to a migration body. If the person seeking asylum arrived legally in Ukraine, the application procedure is explained and the applicant is informed of the location of the migration bodies. In the last two years, there has been only one case in which foreigners detained at the border approached border guards with a request for asylum (2 Afghani nationals); and two cases in which foreigners entered Ukraine lawfully, subsequently seeking asylum (Donetsk detachment, 2 Kyrgyz nationals; Kyiv checkpoint, Boryspil entry point, 4 Myanmar nationals). There is no problem for foreigners to le an application. Foreigners may apply for refugee status only when they have been placed in temporary holding centres of the State Border Guard Service (SBGS). Applications are often made to secure release from detention centres, to obtain legal status in Ukraine or to attempt to enter the EU by illegally crossing the Ukrainian border. 3) What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? Over the rst 10 months of 2010, SGBS has accepted 746 persons for readmission from adjacent EU States. Of these, 404 persons (54%) were nationals of Ukraine, 215 persons (29%) were nationals from the Commonwealth of Independent States, and 127 persons (17%) were nationals of other countries. Returns were effected from Poland (376 persons, or50.4%), Slovakia (269 persons, or 36.1%), Hungary (57 persons, or 7.6%), and Romania (44 persons, or 5.9%). From Ukraine, 51 persons from 13 countries were transferred. To observe human rights and freedoms as much as possible, especially the right to seek and to enjoy asylum from persecution, documents (readmission inquiries and acceptance statements) must contain information on possible approaches of third-country nationals and stateless persons to the requesting partys competent asylum bodies and the results of these approaches. In the rst ten months of 2010, however, there were no indications that third country nationals or stateless persons had approached asylum bodies in States covered by readmission agreements. Foreigners accepted within the readmission framework are placed in temporary holding centres of border control bodies where they are processed by migration authorities and NGO lawyers working in partnership with UNHCR and IOM. If an asylum seeker has previously led an application for asylum in an adjacent State or in another EU Member State, SBGS informs UNHCR and NGO personnel.

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4) What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers? SGBS interaction with the UNHCR and IOM and NGOs began in Ukraine 1997. The basis for this interaction is provided by the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and UNHCR in Ukraine dated 23 December1996;SBGSs participation in international technical assistance projects as a beneciary; andthe Agreement on Joint Activities between SBGS and NGO partners of UNHCR and IOM (NEEKA, Caritas). Close interaction has resulted in construction and equipment of three temporary holding centres (Izmail, Chernivtsi, Mostyska) and seven special premises; commissioning of twenty-one buses for detainee transportation; and training provided to SBGS staff directly involved in working with detainees. Round-table discussions on this subject are also held between Ukrainian NGOs and those of adjacent countries. Two such roundtable discussions were held in 2010. NGO representatives (NEEKA, Caritas) provide direct legal, social and medical assistance to detainees. 5) What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? The following activities have been implemented within the framework of the Regional Protection Support Project for 2009-2011 (funded by the EU): study visits to Great Britain and Finland took place; there were twenty monitoring visits to Donetsk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Odesa, Mukachevo and Lviv border detachments as well as to Kyiv checkpoints Boryspil crossing point; an interstate meeting was held in Uzhhorod in November 2009 involving representatives of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, followed by visits to the borders with Hungary and Slovakia. In addition, bilateral meetings were held with representatives of border and migration services of Romania and Moldova; trainings for Boryspil crossing point staff (50 persons) and the Eastern Regional Directorate personnel (134 persons) were organized; and legal, social and medical assistance to detainees was provided The following activities have been implemented in the framework of the GUMIRA international technical assistance project (funded by the EU, co-funded by Germany and Italy): study visits to Poland, Hungary and Germany were organized; monitoring visits to temporary holding centers took place (Mukacheve detachment 4; Chernihiv, Chop and Lutsk detachments each 2); legal, social and medical assistance to detainees was provided; interpreter services were established; and thirty trainings for 221 SBGS staff took place. 6) What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above?

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ANNEX 1

CONCEPT NOTE BORDER MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION OF REFUGEES


Trans-Regional Conference Hungary, 24-26 November 2010 General The conference will aim to raise the prole of international protection considerations in the context of regional migration dynamics at the European Union (EU) external borders and in neighboring countries, and to encourage border management approaches which respect protection imperatives such as ensuring access to territory and to asylum procedures, non-penalization for illegal entry for those seeking and in need of protection, as well as alternatives to detention and the observance of the principle of non-refoulement. For the 2010 year, the Conference on Border Management and Protection of Refugees will be held in Hungary with the purpose to further develop existing mechanisms and synergies between the Regional Representation for Central Europe (RRCE) and the Regional Representation for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (RRUBM), as well with the intention to extend existing cooperation practices and expertise to neighbouring countries. The results of the conference discussions will be used to improve access to territory and asylum procedures for persons in need of international protection, within the framework of a tripartite strategy, jointly adopted by UNHCR, State border authorities and civil society actors, based on the 10-Point Plan of Action and the Agenda for Protection. Objectives The overall objective of the conference is the development of protection-sensitive migration strategies, which requires a holistic and collaborative approach built on strong partnership among States, international organisations, academia and civil society organisations. Taking stock of and building upon the work of the regional event on promoting and ensuring effective access to territory and asylum procedures, the conference will offer to the participants an opportunity to: Identify the main protection challenges in a mixed migratory context in Central Europe and neighboring countries with a focus on persons in need of protection; Exchange good practices and lessons learned related to the identication and protection of persons in need of international protection, including women, unaccompanied minors and persons with special needs; Take stock of existing recommendations presented in the Agenda for Protection, the 10-Point Plan of Action, and EXCOM Conclusions related to protection safeguards in migration control measures and border management; Enhance cross-border cooperation mechanisms, information-sharing and dialogue among international organisations, State authorities and civil society at national and trans-regional level; and Contribute to a trans-regional perspective to the global development of UNHCRs policy framework on international protection and mixed migration, and strengthen the 10-Point Plan of Action as an instrument of joint action in the region.

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Conference topics 1. Admission to territory and the principle of non-refoulement under international human rights law; 2. Alternatives to detention: an overview of practices in 27 European countries; 3. EU developments on access to the asylum procedure: proposal for amending the Asylum Procedures Directive and its links with the Schengen Borders Code, the Return Directive and readmission agreements; 4. Access to Refugee Status Determination Procedures Quality Initiative Projects; 5. UNHCR presentations on activities and framework related to access to territory and to asylum procedure: UNHCR policy in Central Europe, Ukraine, Belarus and Republic of Moldova; 6. Presentation of the FRONTEX/UNHCR partnership; 7. Presentation of the UNHCR Protection Training Manual for European Border Guards and Entry Ofcials; 8. Country presentations, focused on: What are the major challenges you face in identifying persons in need of international protection/asylum seekers in border practices? What is the current practice regarding placement in detention or reception centres of persons applying for asylum at the border? What are the practices on readmission and safeguards for refugee protection when implementing readmission agreements? What is the mechanism for information exchange and cooperation among NGOs in monitoring the situation of readmitted asylum seekers?? What steps have been taken in recent years in your country in order to facilitate this process (border monitoring, training, cooperation with other actors, etc.) and what are the main experiences? What would you present as a good practice from your country to other countries in the region, with regard to the above? 9. Working Groups: Working Group I: Cross-border cooperation on protection-sensitive border management practices: what support/actions are needed to ensure that asylum seekers get access to the territory and asylum procedure? Working Group II: Practical recommendation for alternatives to detention. Working Group III: Identication of training, learning opportunities and training tools. 10. Visit to the Border cross checking point and detention premises. Location of the Conference Budapest (with possibility to visit to the Budapest Ferihegy Airport International Border Police Directorate and detention facilities)

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Participation Countries to be invited as participants 1. Bulgaria 2. Czech Republic 3. Hungary 4. Poland 5. Romania 6. Slovak Republic 7. Slovenia 8. Belarus 9. Republic of Moldova 10. Ukraine Countries to be considered for invitation as observers 11. Croatia 12. Serbia 13. Russia 14. Turkey 15. Greece Number of participants - 3 persons per country comprised of 1 border authority, 1 NGO and 1 UNHCR. - Resource persons: 34, including an academician; - Organisation and logistics 3-4 persons. - Total 60 - 70 persons. Languages: English and Russian (simultaneous interpretation) Dissemination of information: - Refugees at the Border (RRCE leaet); - Asylum in Europe (leaet); - Compiled publication with Reports on access to territory and to the asylum procedure from Central Europe (English version); - Publication including the framework for tripartite working groups, TOR for monitors and reporting on Access to Territory and to Asylum Procedure; - Protection Information leaet on asylum (various languages); - UNHCR Position on the Situation of Asylum in Ukraine in the Context of Return of Asylum-Seekers; - Agenda for Protection (English and Russian versions) - 10-Point Plan of Action (English and Russian versions); - Other UNHCR, EU, regional and country publications. Conference package will include ash drives with thematic articles, EXCOM Conclusions, legislation and other relevant documentation, hard copies of most relevant presentations, notepad and pen.

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ANNEX 2

AGENDA OF THE TRANS-REGIONAL CONFERENCE


Wednesday, 24 November 2010 09:00 09:30 Opening and Welcome of the participants Gottfried Koefner, Regional Representative, UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe (Budapest) Papp Kroly, Brigadier General, Hungarian National Police 09:30 09:45 Conference introduction and housekeeping Igor Ciobanu, Regional Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe (Budapest) 09:45 10:45 Admission to territory and the principle of non-refoulement under international human rights law Boldizsar Nagy, Professor of Public International Law. Etvs Lornd University, International Law Department, and Central European University, International Relations and European Studies, Budapest, Hungary 10:45 11:15 11:15 12:00 Coffee / Tea Break Alternatives to detention: an overview of practices in 27 European Countries Gajdosova Jana, Legal Advisor, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Justice Department (Vienna) 12:00 13:00 13:00 14:15 Lunch / Networking EU developments on access to the asylum procedure: proposal for amending the Asylum Procedures Directive and its links with the Schengen Border Code, the Return Directive and readmission agreements Vladimiras Siniovas, Expert, former staff member of the European Commission and UNHCR Michele Cavinato, Policy Ofcer (Legal), UNHCR Bureau for Europe (Brussels) 14.15 15:00 Access to Refugee Status Determination Procedures Quality Initiative Projects Jadwiga Maczynska, Deputy Further Developing Quality Project Coordinator 15:00 15:30 15.30 16.15 Coffee / Tea Break Presentation of FRONTEX/UNHCR partnership Michele Simone, Senior Liaison Ofcer to FRONTEX, UNHCR Liaison Ofce to FRONTEX (Warsaw)

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16:15 16:45

Presentation of the UNHCR Protection Training Manual for European Border Guards and Entry Ofcials Michele Simone, Senior Liaison Ofcer to FRONTEX, UNHCR Liaison Ofce to FRONTEX (Warsaw)

16:45 17:00 19:00

Questions / Discussion Reception / Dinner

Thursday, 25 November 2010 UNHCR Presentation on activities and framework related to access to territory and to the asylum procedure 09:00 09:30 UNHCR Policy in Ukraine, Belarus and Republic of Moldova Armen Yedgaryan, Protection Ofcer (Regional Protection Programme), UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (Kyiv) 09.30 10:15 UNHCR Policy in Central Europe Igor Ciobanu, Regional Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe (Budapest) 10:15 10:30 10:30 10:45 10:45 12:30 Questions / Discussion Coffee / Tea Break Country presentations (20 minutes for each country + 20 minutes for questions and comments from the oor) Bulgaria 12:30 13:30 13:30 15:15 Hungary Czech Republic Poland

Lunch / Networking Country presentations (20 minutes for each country + 20 minutes for questions and comments from the oor) Romania Slovenia Slovakia Ukraine

15:15 15:45 15.45 17:00

Coffee / Tea Break Country presentations (20 minutes for each country + 20 minutes for questions and comments from the oor) Belarus Croatia Republic of Moldova

17:00 17:15

Closure of the day

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Friday, 26 November 2010 09:00 10:40 Country presentations (20 minutes for each country + 20 minutes for questions and comments from the oor) Serbia 10:40 11:00 11:00 12:00 Turkey Russia Greece

Coffee / Tea Break Working Groups: Group I. Moderator: Armen Yedgaryan, Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine (Kyiv) Cross-border cooperation on protection-sensitive border management practices; what support/actions are needed to ensure that asylum seekers get access to the territory and asylum procedure? Group II. Moderator: Michele Cavinato Policy Ofcer, UNHCR Bureau for Europe (Brussels) Practical recommendations for alternatives to detention, Group III. Moderator: Julia Ivan, Project Coordinator, Lawyer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee Identication of training, learning opportunities and training tools for border police and NGO staff.

12.00 12:30 12:30 12:40 12:40 13:40 14:00 16:00

Plenary session: presentation of working groups recommendations Closure of the Conference Lunch / Networking Visit to the Budapest Ferihegy Airport International Border Police Directorate and detention facilities Group I Group II

14:00 15:00

Visit to the detention facilities Visit to the Airport Border Police Directorate

15:00 16:00

Visit to the Airport Border Police Directorate Visit to the detention facilities

16:00

Departure

The participation of delegates from Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine in this conference is supported by the European Union as part of the Regional Protection Programme

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ANNEX 3

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS (COUNTRY, NAME, INSTITUTION)

Belarus Mr. Siarhei Matus Mr. Barys Letunovich Mr. Uladzimir Krauchanka Mr. Timofey Solodkov Deputy Head of Department of Citizenship and Migration Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Deputy Head of 6th Department of 1st Main Department State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus Head of Public Association Belarusian Movement of Medical Workers Programme Assistant (Border Monitoring Project) UNHCR Belarus

Bulgaria Ms. Maya Koleva Ms. Iliana Savova Mr. Petya Karayaneva Inspector, Department of Protection of the State Border, Readmission Sector, Chief Directorate Border Police Director, Legal Protection of Refugees and Migrants Programme Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Bulgaria

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Croatia Ms. Irena Matanic Ms. Ivana Polunic Ms. Eilish Hurley Czech Republic Ms. Hana Frankova Ms. Marcela Skalkova Greece Mr. Spyros Koulocheris Ms. Ariana Vassilaki Hungary Brig. Gen. Kroly Papp Col. Laszlo Balzs Ms. Katalin Varga-Szabo Ms. Julia Ivn Mr. Gottfried Koefner Ms. gnes Ambrus Republic of Moldova Mr. Liviu Prodan Mr. Andrei Gori Ms. Ala Ganaciuc Mr. Oleg Palii Mr. Marin Roman Poland Mr. Szymon Grygiel Ms. Katarzyna Przybyslawska Ms. Maria Pamula Senior Specialist, Aliens Department, Border Guard Headquarters Head of the Halina Niec Legal Aid Centre Assistant Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Poland Director, Bureau for Migration and Asylum, Ministry of Interior Head, Border Control Organisation Unit, Border Guard Service Consultant, RSD Unit, Refugee Directorate, Bureau for Migration and Asylum, Ministry of Interior Lawyer, Law Centre of Advocates Programme Assistant, UNHCR Moldova Brigadier General, Hungarian National Police Head of Alien Policing Division, Hungarian National Police Hungarian National Police Legal Ofcer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee Regional Representative, UNHCR RRCE National Protection Ofcer, UNHCR RRCE Coordinator, Legal Unit of the Greek Council for Refugees Senior Protection Assistant, UNHCR Greece Organisation for Aid to Refugees Ofcer-in-Charge, UNHCR Czech Republic Police Ofcer in the Illegal Migrations Department of the Ministry of Interior Border Monitoring Project Coordinator, Croatian Law Centre (CLC) Associate Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Croatia

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Romania Mr. Bogdan Budeanu Mr. Niculae Carcu Ms. Cristina Bunea Police Chief Commissioner, Head of Service for Countering of Illegal Migration President, Romanian National Council for Refugees (CNRR) Associate Legal Ofcer, UNHCR Romania

Russia Ms. Lilia Arestova Mr. Chuplygin Alexandr Vasilievich Ms. Irina Conovali Deputy Head of the Department on Citizenship Issues of the Federal Migration Service Head of Unit on migration and situation of refugees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Russian Federation

Serbia Mr. Miljan Vuckovic Mr. Rados Djurovic Mr. Dusan Aralica Ms. Jun Shirato Head of Asylum Ofce, Department of Foreigners, Border Police Directorate, Ministry of Interior Director, Asylum Protection Centre Associate Protection Ofcer, UNHCR Serbia Senior Protection Ofcer UNHCR Serbia

Slovak Republic Mr. Ladislav Csemi Ms. Miroslava Mittelmannova Mr. Peter Kresak OABP Medvedov detention centre director Human Rights League Head of UNHCR Slovak Republic

Slovenia Ms. Helena Tomaevic Talic Mr. Andrei Janeic Ms. Katarina Bervar Sternad Border Police Division Senior Police Inspector, Head of Illegal Migration and Foreigners Section Legal Information Centre

Turkey Mr. Ramazan Yigit Ms. Irem Arf Ms. Nese Kilincoglu Deputy Head of Asylum and Migration Bureau, Ministry of Interior Helsinki Citizens Assembly Head of the Transition Support and Integration Unit, UNHCR Turkey

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Ukraine Mr. Petro Melnyk Mr. Oleksandr Skihin Mr. Mykola Tovt Ms. Illya Pirchak Ms. Viktoriya Shaban Mr. Armen Yedgaryan Deputy Director, Directorate for Refugees and Asylum - Head of Unit for Migration, State Committee of Ukraine for Nationalities and Religions Head, Department for work with aliens, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Head, Zakarpattya Migration Service, State Committee of Ukraine for Nationalities and Religions Coordinator, GUMIRA project, NEEKA Protection Assistant, UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Protection Ofcer (Border Monitoring), UNHCR Regional Representation for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine

IOM Ms. Dana Graber Head of Regional Support Unit, Regional Mission for Central and South-Eastern Europe

IOM/MRF Budapest Mr. Alin Chindea Regional Programme Assistant Regional Mission for Central and South-Eastern Europe IOM/MRF Budapest

German LO MOI Mr. Wolfgang Steiner German Liaison Ofcer for Migration Affairs, Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Hungary

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Guest Speakers Dr. Boldizsr Nagy Mr. Vladimiras Siniovas Ms. Jana Gajdosova Mr. Michele Simone Ms. Jadwiga Maczynska Mr. Michele Cavinato Associate Professor, ELTE and CEU, Budapest Expert, former member of the European Commission and UNHCR Legal Advisor, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Justice Department Senior Liaison Ofcer to FRONTEX, UNHCR Liaison Ofce to FRONTEX, Warsaw Deputy Project Coordinator, Further Developing Asylum Quality Project, UNHCR RRCE Policy Ofcer, Policy and Legal Support Unit, UNHCR Bureau for Europe, Brussels

UNHCR RRCE Organiser Ms. Nadia Jbour Mr. Igor Ciobanu Mr. William Ejalu Ms. Andrea Scossa Ms. Noriko Takagi Ms. Nancy Polutan Ms. Ilona Ilma Ilyes Interpreters Ms. Ingrid Mestyn Mr. Andrs Sugr Senior Regional Protection Ofcer, UNHCR RRCE Regional Protection Ofcer, UNHCR RRCE Protection Associate, UNHCR RRCE Principal Secretary UNHCR RRCE Budapest Senior Regional Programme Ofcer Regional Integration Ofcer Protection Intern, UNHCR RRCE

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