Postuar më: 10 Janar 2018

Migration issues/Asylum seeking and border management

I. MIGRATION ISSUES/ASYLUM SEEKING AND BORDER MANAGEMENT

  1. Prevention of asylum seeking phenomenon:

Prevention of asylum seeking phenomenon:

An Inter-institutional Group (Task-Force) has been set up and is already functional which monitors the process of post-liberalization. The turning meeting of this Task-Force took place on June 23, 2017. Following the meeting, it was drafted and adopted the Action Plan “On the prevention of the phenomenon of the Albanian citizens’ asylum seeking in the Schengen /EU countries”, where the involved institutions have undertaken concrete measures pursuant to this Action Plan.

There are also two concrete action plans under the implementation. One on the prevention of the asylum seeking phenomenon with France and the other one on the phenomenon of unaccompanied children with Italy.

Drafting of the new Action Plan “On the prevention of the phenomenon of the Albanian citizens’ asylum seeking in the Schengen /EU countries” for 2018 is in process.

Directorate of the State Police, in the framework of the measures taken in this regard, has drafted the Order of the General Director of the State Police for the strengthening of border control No. 805 dated 1.08.2017 and Letter for the Notary Declaration for Juveniles traveling abroad accompanied by one of the parents and without the parent company No. 310, dated 26.07.2017.

a) Procedures currently being pursued to reduce the flows of asylum seekers

Pursuant to Order No. 805, dated 01.08.2017 of the General Director of Police “On strengthening the control of Albanian citizens crossing the State borders” detailed verifications and interviews are conducted with respect to:

  • The correct accommodation address at the country of destination, where the person is going to;
  • The host’s invitation to the country of destination (containing the host’s contact details);
  • Return ticket/booking;
  • Financial means to cover the costs for the time of stay; 

Exit has been refused to:

  • Citizens of "INAD" category, (returned following 01 January 2016), due to the ban on entry into the Schengen Area, have been refused the exit with the reasoning “for records in SIS”, “asylum refusal” and “risk for public safety”.
  • Citizens of "DEPORTIV" category (deported following 01 January 2015), due to the ban on entry into the Schengen Area, who have been recorded in the TIMS system as such, shall be refused the exit, if they do not have a written document that proves that there is no entry ban, removal order or expulsion orders for them in those countries.

The control of tourist operators (bus lines, tourist offices, etc.), family groups at the border has been strengthened.

As a result of that, 4271 Albanian citizens have been refused exit, during the period August –September.

Second-line controls to citizens and their luggage have been intensified and increased with the intention of finding and identifying counterfeit documents

  • 38 cases of counterfeit documents have been identified during the period August-September.

b) Measures undertaken in the prevention of unaccompanied minors cases:

1. Strengthening control regime for the travelling of minors through the impose of more ridged criteria (review power of attorney)

2.  Acceleration of the procedures for providing response to the French party requests.

3. The increase of criminal proceedings for the offence of “Abandonment of minors” from parents or companions.

The letter of the Director of Border and Migration Department, No. 3210, dated 26.07.2017 “On the control of notarial acts for minors at the border” has been adopted and is being implemented. 

As a result, the notary statement for minors should contain:

  • Declaration of the minor`s parent, who authorizes the travel with the other parent, or with the person accompanying the minor, provided that they will not abandon the minor in the destination countries.
  • Statement of the minor’s parent for the exact destination of travel, statement that he/she will not abandon the child, the correct address of destination where they are going to, the duration of stay (date of departure and date of return).
  • If travelling to relatives, you should declare the correct address of the host, the name and the telephone number of the host.
  • Parental criminal liability in case of child abandonment.
  • Travel of minors in the absent of their parents is permitted in the company of adult brother (sister), grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt.
  • For children who will be traveling for sports activities, schools or summer courses, the statement shall be made by the parents, who will declare the type of activity in the statement, the place where the child is going to, the host’s address, date of departure and date of return.

479 minors have been refused exit during August-September

19 cases of minor abandonment have been criminally prosecuted and referred to the prosecution office during August –September.

During 2017, there were 54 cases referred to the Prosecution Offices for the offense of "Abandoning Minors" in custody of the parents or companions who have abandoned the children. For the period January - July there were only 4 cases referred, while 50 other cases were referred after August 1, when additional measures were initiated. While during 2016, there has been no case of reference.

The suppression of organized groups involved in the movement of Albanian citizens towards EU countries to seek asylum:

  1. Verification of the land transportation activity, in order to identify the cases or organized crime dealing with the transportation of passengers seeking asylum. Three cases have been referred to the prosecutor for the prosecution of the criminal offense "Forgery of documents" (Korça, Durrës).
  2. Identification of associations involved in issuing documents on blood feud in objection to the law and the reality.
  3. Legal punishment of individuals or legal persons involved in unlawful activity. During 2017, the Prosecution has referred to 17 cases of Albanian citizens for the criminal offense of "Providing aid for illegal border crossing".

Prevention of Albanian citizens travelling with fake travel documents:

  1. Strengthening professional capacities of the border guards on interviewing citizens in exits aiming at identifying persons that might be potential asylum seekers in the Schengen countries.
  2. Intensification of controls in the second line in border crossing points, aiming at detecting documents that might be used for asylum.
  3. The work for the identification of forged travel documents has been intensified and there were 6 trainings for Border Crossing Officers, regarding the security of documents.  These trainings were organized with the help of French experts and the Royal Gendarmerie of the Netherlands. During 2017, were found 319 counterfeit documents (identity cards, foreign passports, residence permits, visas and lilies) in use by Albanian citizens.

c) Awareness campaigns:

Raising awareness of Albanian nationals for the respect of the free-visa regime rules and regulations of stay in the Schengen area:

  • Production and distribution of informative leaflets and posters on the rights, obligations, in the Schengen area, as well as penalties in cases of rules violations in all the Border Crossing Points and the affected areas by the asylum seeking phenomenon.
  • Organization of awareness meetings with the community in the most affected areas from the asylum seeking phenomenon.
  • Implementation from IOM Office Tirana of the project “Preventing unsafe migration from Albania to EU Member States”, financed by the Dutch government. The contract is signed and the project lasting is from July 15, 2017 – July 14, 2018.
  • In cooperation with “Vatra” Centre in Vlora and IOM Office in Tirana, (leaflets and posters containing information on the rights and obligations of Albanian citizens during their movement into the Schengen Area, as well as penalties in case of violation of obligations) have been prepared (around 10 000 leflets and posters). Awareness campaigns in 12 regions and the most affected areas by the phenomenon of abusive asylum seeking.  
  • TV and media awareness chronicles in the Rinas, Kakavija and Qafë-Thana BCPs.
  • Additional rules for the movement in the Schengen area, as well as an awareness spot with information on the rights, the obligations during the movement in the Schengen area, as well as penalties in the cases of breaches of obligations, are reflected on the website of the State Police and MIA.

d) Cooperation intensification with the neighboring countries:

  1. Detailed interviews have been applied from the police authorities of Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia to Albanian citizens travelling in the EU countries through their territories.
  2. Responses have been provided in a very short time towards requests done from the Schengen countries counterparts in all cases of Albanian citizens staying irregularly in these countries. The number of return operations has gone up and the Albanian nationals have been readmitted with Border and Migration police escorts.

 

e) Figures for 2017

 

Citizens refused exit of the country

Adults refused exit of the country

Minors refused exit of the country

August – December             

11 228

10 223

1005

January - July                               

1 172

570

602

Total during 2017

12 400

10 793

1607

 

According to EUROSTAT, numbers of asylum requests from Albanian citizens are:

Country

2016

2017

Diference

In %

European Union                                                                       

30015

21340

-8675

-29

Belgium

775

800

45

+6

Denmark  

75

50

-25

-33

Germany   

16525

5555

-10970

-66

Ireland    

160

165

+5

+3

Greece           

1120

1495

375

+33

Spain             

25

30

+5

+20

France             

6325

9745

3420

+54

Italy            

290

355

65

+22

Luxemburg  

220

120

-100

-45

Hungary    

15

0

-15

-100

Netherland

1630

340

-1290

-79

Austria           

70

40

-30

-43

Romania        

10

0

-10

-100

Finland          

80

95

15

+19

Sweden      

705

645

-60

-9

Great Britain  

1760

1265

-495

-28

Iceland          

200

215

15

+8

Liechtenstein

5

0

-5

-100

Norway       

115

75

-40

-35

Switzerland

140

110

-30

-21

Total  Schengen      

30510

21425

-9075

-30