Asylum and Human Rights

  • Author: Council of Europe- HELP/ UNCHR
  • Level: Beginner
  • Time: 50 minutes
  • Quizzes:  4

Course Description

The right to asylum may not be enshrined within the European Convention on Human Rights (the ECHR). However, the ECHR applies to any asylum seeker and refugee under the jurisdiction of a High Contracting State.

In the recent years, hundreds of thousands of migrants arrived in Europe and many died along the way. The scale of the crisis has put huge pressure on transit and destination countries. States have a shared responsibility to welcome asylum seekers in a dignified manner, ensuring that their case is examined and determined fairly and efficiently. Asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application must be provided with proper reception conditions. However, in many instances, authorities are increasingly detaining asylum-seekers for irregular crossing of the border while such detention is not always necessary.

Course Content

Module 1: Introduction
  • Why this course?
  • What are the relevant human rights standards?
  • Redress

Module 2: Non-refoulement, the right to life and prohibition of ill-treatment
  • Non-refoulement principle
  • Right to life
  • Prohibition of ill-treatment
  • Access to territory
  • Non-refoulemnet and the Dublin Regulation

Module 3: Detention and reception
  • Meaning of liberty
  • Lawfulness of detention
  • Procedural safeguards
  • Reception and alternatives to detention

Module 4:
The right to family life and asylum
  • The importance of family unit
  • Legal standards
  • The difference meanings of family
  • Admission and expulsion of family members
  • Procedural safeguards

Module 5: Effective Remedy
  • General principles
  • Procedural safeguards and non-refoulement
  • Procedural safeguards related to collective expulsions

Council of Europe - HELP/ UNCHR

The course was initally developed in 2015 jointly by the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Office of the United Hight Commisioner for Regugees (UNHCR). It was updated in 2021 under the EU-CoE "HELP in the EU II" project to contain the most recent developments. The update representatives of relevant CoE services, namely the Council of Europe Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees, the Independent Human Rights Bodies Division as well the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights.