Protecting Rights at Borders (PRAB)

Welcoming at one border, rejecting at another - PRAB Initiative partners recorded 1911 pushback incidents during the first three months of 2022.

From January to March 2022, DRC and nine civil society organizations across Europe documented over 1900 incidents of men, women and children being pushed back by border police, law enforcement officials or other authorities from EU Member States.

Since the start of war in Ukraine, several million people have sought protection in Europe, with an unprecedented show of solidarity from the EU. Pushback reports collected by PRAB Initiative partners, however, show that protection in the EU remains mostly out of reach for non-Ukrainian nationals, even for those fleeing Ukraine.

The most recent report by Protecting Rights At Borders (PRAB) initiative, includes data gathered by partners across EU’s external and internal borders during the first three months of 2022. The report shows that across the EU and its borders, little has changed when it comes to the treatment of persons from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who try to seek protection. Half of all persons reporting experiencing pushback came from Afghanistan, while 1 in every 10 pushbacks recorded involved children.

The two faces of EU Member States approach to ensuring protection remains visible at the EU external borders with Belarus, where while people fleeing Ukraine are warmly welcomed, for those crossing into EU via Belarus it is impossible to apply for international protection or even to access basic assistance.

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Pushbacks at EU’s Borders

Pushbacks are expulsions without legal justification and procedure, usually employed by border police, law enforcement officials or other authorities. It is being used to push foreigners such as migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from a state’s territory to the territory of another state without regard for the individual’s circumstances and right to seek asylum.

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