Term

Push-back

Push-backs are a set of state measures by which refugees and migrants are forced back over a border – generally immediately after they crossed it – without consideration of their individual circumstances and without any possibility to apply for asylum or to put forward arguments against the measures taken. Push-backs violate – among other laws – the prohibition of collective expulsions stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Germany

“Seehofer Deal” denies access to asylum procedures and effective remedy

Push-backs

Germany and Greece concluded the so-called Seehofer Deal in 2018. The administrative agreement named after German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer says: migrants and refugees who have already applied for asylum in Greece and arrive to Germany via Austria should be refused entry and returned to Greece within 48 hours. This is what happened to Syrian asylum seeker HT.

Croatia

Croatia to answer to European Court of Human Rights

Push-backs

Croatia is obliged to account for its push-back practice to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) before the European Court of Human Rights. The court accepted the individual complaints brought by three Syrian refugees. The applicants were denied any individual assessment as they were summarily and collectively expelled in October 2018 at the border between Croatia and BiH.

Macedonia

From Idomeni to Strasbourg: Refugees demand their right to have rights at the ECtHR

Push-backs

With support from ECCHR, several refugees filed individual complaints against Macedonia in 2016. They assert that Macedonia’s practice of unlawful expulsions is violating the European Convention on Human Rights.

Spain

ND and NT v. Spain

Push-backs

ND and NT crossed the border fence structure in Melilla and entered Spain in August 2014. The Spanish Guardia Civil apprehended them, along with approximately 70 other individuals from sub-Saharan Africa who also had climbed the fences. They were immediately “pushed back” to Morocco – without access to any legal procedures or protection.

Spain

Europe’s treacherous borders: Seeking justice for Ceuta victims

Push-backs

At least 15 dead and many more injured: this is the outcome of a Guardia Civil operation on 6 February 2014 on the beach of El Tarajal, located at the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The deadly push-back has still not been investigated properly. ECCHR is working with survivors who are willing to give witness evidence.

Spain

UN committee condemns Spain’s push-back policy

Push-backs

Spanish authorities apprehend and summarily deport unaccompanied minors to Morocco without a procedure to identify them and protect their rights. This policy was strongly condemned by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in February 2019 in a decision that clearly upholds the fundamental rights of unaccompanied minors at Europe's borders.