Refugee Spaces

A Bartlett Materialisation Grant project

The Cities of Refuge platform aims to stimulate and demystify, through substantiated assessments, the ways in which the current refugee wave has been represented in Europe, particularly by bridging insular experiences into a wider continental dialogue.

Introduction

Introduction

Despite numerous migrant waves through the decades, the current influx of refugees and asylum seekers into Europe has been framed by very specific narratives. From humanitarian calls for action to warnings of impending collapse, Europe thinks of itself under a crisis, at a political breaking point that justifies extreme discourses and measures.

The Refugee Spaces data project aims to stimulate and demystify the phenomena through examining the evidence rather than speculating on the so-called crisis. Through mapping and analysis of the openly available data provided by institutional and governmental sources, the platform attempts to spatialise the political and security measures designed to contain migration and the mobility of refugees.

We understand that migration and refuge are in a permanent state of flux, so this platform can only represent a snapshot of a specific period, in part constrained by reliability and availability of the data. Since we started this project, migration has played a more influential impact on political issues across Europe and the rest of the world, becoming sometimes the centrepiece of polarising campaigns and radical partisanship.

Brexit, the surprising success of populist agendas in some important national elections across Europe and elsewhere are just a few examples of how migratory issues have been used, and manipulated, for radical change. Security borders and sovereign intromission have expanded to Africa and Asia; the policing of the Mediterranean is now an established security regime; and humanitarian initiatives, to help refugees in peril, have been often criminalised.

In the following maps, the project shows a cartographical analysis of spatial responses and the administrative infrastructure brought by migration and refugees, stressing on the territorial relationships that associate mass movement with urban hotspots in four selected countries: France, Germany, Greece and Italy. Further countries can be added to the platform in the future. At the urban scale, the project identifies urban clusters/regions that are integral to current migration influxes, exploring their different strategies for reception and control.

Refugee Spaces has been funded by the 2016 Bartlett (UCL) Materialisation Grant. The project is a collaboration between the Development Planning Unit (DPU), Space Syntax Laboratory (the Bartlett School of Architecture), and the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). The information presented on this platform is not intended to be a conclusion, but a departing point to track the spatial and economic impact of migration on European territories. We hope and anticipate that the output of this project could be used as a base for further research and collaborative work on European refugee and migration phenomena in future.“ The report, available to download, contains reflections and preliminary work done in preparation of the platform.

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Team

This project was created through a collaboration between the Development Planning Unit (DPU), Bartlett School of Architecture (BSA), and the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London. The project was funded through a Bartlett Materialisation Grant.

The project team included Camillo Boano, Giovanna Astolfo, Ricardo Marten, Falli Palaiologou, Keyvan Karimi, and Ed Manley, with Gala Nettelbladt, Tahmineh Hooshyar Emami and Asimina Paraskevopoulou.

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The spatialization of refuge in France as portrayed by centres mapped for year 2015, reveals efforts to decentralise the management of reception via greater dispersion of centres in rural areas. Earlier reception centres (centre typology CADA - Centres d'Accueil des Demandeurs d'Asile), which were set up since the first creation of a nation reception system (DNA) in 1973 and onwards, are found to be in their majority located in urban centres (54% of mapped CADA) and in their periphery in functional urban areas (11%). For centres which appeared in 2015, the policy scenario shifts towards the establishment of new orientation centres in rural France. Over half (58%) of the mapped centres for reception and orientation (typology CAO - Centres d'Accueil et d'Orientation), which opened in response to the needs of the relocation process of the Calais camp population, are in rural areas. In the same year, the system promoted the provision of one-stop services for asylum seeker registration/welcome in urban centres (GUDA - Guichets Uniques pour Demandeurs d'Asile). Out of 33 GUDAs mapped, 28 are located in cities, namely approximately 85% of first reception takes place in urban centres. Effectively, since 2015, reception process begins in cities and redirects refugees and asylum seekers in rural France as much as possible. The overall picture in 2015 shows how historical and new reception centres are found to distribute reception almost evenly between urban (44%) and rural (43%) areas.

Île de France, the region of Paris, is evidently the one showing the highest number of mapped centres. It is a historical reception core, with 33 CADAs (the oldest of which is active since 1904 according to action-sociale.org), 8 GUDAs, only 1 CAO and 10 detention centres (out of 30 mapped in total for France). In general, mapped data show a relatively uneven regional distribution with standard deviation from the mean number of centres (which is 34) being approximately 17. Overall, year 2015 shows how new policies in response to high influx create a transformation in the spatialization of migration and refuge.

The map shows centres’ location - urban or rural - for year 2015, based on Eurostat classification of spatial units (see here): ‘cities and greater cities’; ‘functional urban areas’; and remaining centres as rural areas.

The overall capacity of centres operating in the reception system is not fixed and has adapted over the past years. These figures follow the national structure of France’s national reception system (Dispositif National d'Accueil - DNA) for asylum seekers, which operates across two processes:

Le dispositif de premier accueil: A network of information, guidance and support services for asylum seekers which is managed by the French Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) since 2010, or by operators (private or public organisations) liaising with OFII under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior.

Le dispositif d’hébergement: Accommodation arrangements for asylum seekers in reception centres (CADA).

Between 2008 and 2012, the number of asylum seekers in France increased by 73%, putting pressure for a reform process of the French asylum policy. The first meeting of the national consultative committee took place on 15 July 2013 and led to the adoption of Act No. 2015-925 of 29 July 2015. This Act provisioned the strengthening of the national reception system (DNA) network by increasing the significantly accommodation capacities of both regular and emergency reception centres. Since the reform, CADAs have created their own management and quality control tools, with a view to improve their service and track their costs through budget reports. The policy of increasing the accommodation capacity for asylum seekers continued in 2016 at unprecedented pace. As of December 31st, 2016, the cumulative capacity of CADA, AT-SA and HUDA was 54,145 compared to 43,895 on the same date in 2015.

The map shows information on centres’ capacity, where available, for the year 2015.

References and sources

  • Infocao, ‘Carte complète des CAO’. Available at: http://www.infocao.net/carte-complete-cao/ [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • France terre d'asile, ‘Rapport d'activité 2015’: http://www.france-terre-asile.org/images/stories/rapport-activites/2015/Rapport_FTDA_2015_web.pdf [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • Action-sociale, Le Registre Français du Social et Médico-Social, ‘Annuaire des Centre d'accueil de demandeurs d'asile (CADA)’. Available at: http://annuaire.action-sociale.org/etablissements/readaptation-sociale/centre-accueil-demandeurs-asile--c-a-d-a---443.html [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • La Cimade, ‘Rapport sur les centres et locaux de rétention administrative, 2015’. Available at: https://www.lacimade.org/publication/rapport-2015-sur-centre-et-locaux-de-retention-administrative/ [Accessed: 16 June 2017]

The variety of centres, programmes and institutions reflects France extensive, and complex, system of reception, which navigates between national strategies and local initiatives:

  • Plateforme d'Accueil pour Demandeurs d'Asile (PADA): These reception and orientation platforms which are managed by NGOs. They provide information for the application process for asylum seeker status, assistance with the registration form, and arrangements for appointments.
  • Guichets Uniques pour Demandeurs d'Asile (GUDA): Centres offering one?stop asylum seeker welcome services, and where both Prefecture and OFII services operate.
  • Centres d'Accueil des Demandeurs d'Asile (CADA): These are reception centres for asylum seekers who have been register with a GUDA. CADAs refer both to collective and individual accommodation places which are found either in the same building or scattered in various locations. These centres do not receive asylum seekers who are under a Dublin procedure.
  • Les centres d'accueil pour mineurs isolés étrangers: Reception centres for unaccompanied foreign minors. There is a national centre for reception and guidance of unaccompanied minors who are asylum seekers (CAOMIDA); and a regional centre in Côtes-d'Armor region which is managed by SAMIDA.
  • Accueil Temporaire Service de l'Asile (ATSA): The ATSA is a Temporary Home Asylum Service which was established in 2000 as an emergency hosting system for asylum seekers operating at national level. Hébergement d'Urgence des Demandeurs d'Asile (HUDA): Decentralised emergency accommodation centres operating at regional level. They include collective housing, individual housing in apartments, hotels, etc. Prefectures are responsible for the opening and closing of emergency centres for accommodation operating on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Le centres de transit: There are two transit centres in France, one in Villeurbanne managed by Forum Réfugiés-Cosi, and one in Créteil which is run by France Terre d'Asile. In addition, Adoma manages 32 transit places in the area of Beauvais.
  • Centres d'Accueil et d'Orientation (CAO): Reception and orientations centres which have been created, since 2015, to support the evacuation process of asylum seekers from Calais.
  • Centres Provisoires d'Hébergement (CPH): Provisional accommodation centres. There are about 27 CPH as part of the national reception system (DNA), with an overall capacity of 1,023 places.

The definitions of reception, detention and expulsion centres are different according to each country and reflect each country's nomenclature and policy. Given the diversity of administrative devices and technical and humanitarian measures aimed at containing migrants, the research wishes to comprehensively include all premises where refugees and asylum seekers are accommodated, detained or in transit.

So-called reception centres appear to be designed to provide assistance and shelter, although their "residents" - migrants and asylum seekers - obviously have no option other than remaining there. Most of the centres shown in the platform are permanent ones, open and operative at the time of the research.

The map shows reception/detention centres mapped and their typology, for year 2015.

  • Infocao, ‘Carte complète des CAO’. Available at: http://www.infocao.net/carte-complete-cao/ [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • France terre d'asile, Rapport d'activité 2015, Liste de centres: http://www.france-terre-asile.org/images/stories/etablissements/rapport-2015/liste_%C3%A9tablissements.pdf [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • Action-sociale, Le Registre Français du Social et Médico-Social, ‘Annuaire des Centre d'accueil de demandeurs d'asile (CADA)’. Available at: http://annuaire.action-sociale.org/etablissements/readaptation-sociale/centre-accueil-demandeurs-asile--c-a-d-a---443.html [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • La Cimade, ‘Rapport sur les centres et locaux de rétention administrative, 2015’. Available at: https://www.lacimade.org/publication/rapport-2015-sur-centre-et-locaux-de-retention-administrative/ [Accessed: 16 June 2017]

The Code on the Entry and Residence of Foreigners and Asylum Seekers (Le Code de l'Entrée et du Séjour des Étrangers et des Demandeurs d'Asile - CESEDA, adopted in 2004) outlines the reception process for all foreigners over 18 years of age who are admitted for the first time to stay in France. 'Refugee' and 'stateless person' status is granted by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), under the judicial control of the National Asylum Court (Cour nationale de droit d'asile - CNDA). Both legal and illegal immigrants can seek asylum by submitting an application to OFPRA. In order to be eligible for submitting an application, asylum seekers are required to register themselves at the 'one-stop asylum seeker welcome service' (GUDA). GUDAs were established as part of the reform process. Since January 1st, 2016, there are 39 GUDAs. The application is reviewed by a prefecture officer and then assessed by an OFII officer.

The Prefecture carries out a process of identifying the country responsible for considering the asylum application in accordance with Regulation no. 604/2013 of the European Parliament and Council of 26 June 2013, called the Dublin III Regulation. In the case whereby France is identified as responsible country to process the application, then a confirmation of asylum application is issued (the asylum seeker attestation or 'Attestation pour Demandeur d'Asile') and asylum seekers are granted a one-month permission to stay in France.

The confirmation is renewed until the application is processed and a decision has been made. After the first renewal, the second confirmation of the asylum application is valid for 6-9 months. Unlike asylum seekers, foreign nationals seeking 'stateless person' status do not have the right to remain on French territory during their application process.

The map shows centres’ governance, for year 2015.

References and Sources

  • European Migration Network (EMN)/Le Réseau européen des migrations (REM) (2013), ‘Étude ciblée 2013 du REM: L’organisation des structures d’accueil pour demandeurs d’asile en France’. Available at: https://www.immigration.interieur.gouv.fr/Europe-et-International/Le-reseau-europeen-des-migrations-REM2/Etudes/L-organisation-des-structures-d-accueil-pour-demandeurs-d-asile-en-France [Accessed: 15 June 2017]
  • France terre d'asile, ‘Rapport d'activité 2015’, Liste de centres: http://www.france-terre-asile.org/images/stories/etablissements/rapport-2015/liste_%C3%A9tablissements.pdf [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • La Cimade, ‘Rapport sur les centres et locaux de rétention administrative, 2010’. Available at: https://www.lacimade.org/publication/rapport-2010-sur-les-centres-et-locaux-de-retention-administrative/ [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • La Cimade, ‘Rapport sur les centres et locaux de rétention administrative, 2015’. Available at: https://www.lacimade.org/publication/rapport-2015-sur-centre-et-locaux-de-retention-administrative/ [Accessed: 16 June 2017]
  • Ministry of Interior/Ministre de l’Intérieur, ‘Présentation de la Charte de fonctionnement des Centres d'accueil et d'orientation des migrants.’ Available at: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Archives/Archives-des-actualites/2016-Actualites/Presentation-de-la-Charte-de-fonctionnement-des-Centres-d-accueil-et-d-orientation-des-migrants [Accessed 18 September 2017]

The main source of regional funding comes from the general budget of the State, taxes assigned, local authorities and European funds. The court audit report (February 2015) highlights the difficulties in tracing the precise costs of asylum policy, beyond the direct budget allocations (p.25) and gives a list of limitations and assumptions associated with the attempt to collect data on cost (appendix 4 in the report). Amongst the issues, the audit picks up on the problem of missing data on the cost of the personnel who look after people who have been denied asylum in the prefectures, as well as of security forces involved (p.26). The audit associates problems of data collection with the non-synchronised archiving mechanisms between the prefectures who file actions on applications in Telemofpra (the application system which allows a connection to the central database of OFPRA) and the slow central-government processing of those applications (pp.17-8). Telemofpra links to updates on applications’ status, such as approvals and rejections and subsequently, to the management and distribution of the temporary waiting allowance (ATA).

Map description

The visualisation shows total regional budget contributions (in € euros) for first reception (PFA: plate-forme d'accueil) by the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) and the European Asylum Migration Integration Fund (FAMI: Fonds Asile Migration Intégration), based on figures identified by the court audit report published in February 2015.

The figures identify the following 4 regions with highest budget allocation:

  1. Île de France – with total budget 3,879,638 euros, 82 centres mapped in the region, and flux of 19,115 applicants. Each member of staff (government officials and NGOs working on site) processed 2,591 cases on average.
  2. Rhône-Alpes – with total budget 1,613,632 euros, 59 centres mapped in the region, and flux of 7,097 applicants. The staff-applicant ratio was 505.
  3. Pays de la Loire – with total budget 1,062,265 euros, 49 centres mapped in the region, and flux of 2,343 applicants. The staff-applicant ratio was 240.
  4. Alsace – with total budget 796,013 euros 28 centres mapped in the region, and flux of 2,954 applicants. The staff-applicant ratio was 468.

References:

  • Cour des comptes, ‘L'accueil et l’hebergement des demandeurs d’asile’, Février 2015, p.104: https://www.gdr-elsj.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cour-des-comptes-R%C3%A9forme-du-droit-dasile-02-2015.pdf [Accessed 14 December 2017]

The efforts to mobilize and establish an organised system for the reception of migrants in France began in response to the influx of refugees due to the coup d'état in Chile in September 1973. The national reception system (Dispositif National d'Accueil - DNA) for asylum seekers operates with two processes:

  • Le dispositif de premier accueil: A network of information, guidance and support services for asylum seekers which is managed by the French Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) since 2010, or by operators (private or public organisations) liaising with OFII under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior.
  • Le dispositif d’hébergement: Accommodation arrangements for asylum seekers in reception centres (CADA).

Complementary to this process, is the provision for emergency accommodation for asylum seekers (les dispositifs d’urgence) in emergency centres (AT-SA and HUDA).

During their reception, asylum seekers mainly interact with NGOs within a reception platform (plateforme d’accueil), which is usually co-managed by the regional prefect and the NGO on site. There are three dominant NGos who operate in the accommodation sector for asylum seekers: Coallia, France Terre d'asile, and Forum Réfugiés-Cosi. In 2015, these represented 7,206 places in the CADAs, namely, approximately 39% of the overall places which are managed by NGOs. (Cour des comptes, 2015, pp.15-60).

The financing of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et Apatrides - OFPRA) is mainly provided by a subsidy for public service charges paid by the Ministry of the Interior under Program 303 ‘Immigration and asylum’. Other resources come mainly from European co-financing under the European Refugee Fund (ERF) & the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). (OFPRA, Rapport d’Activité 2014, p.70).

Translating from the Court of Audit: “There is quasi-structural under-budgeting for Program 303 - Immigration and Asylum. The Court of Auditors has had the opportunity to note in its budget execution analysis notes that the forecast of the evolution of asylum applications was unrealistic, so that the budget for the 303 program did not appear not sincere. The under-budgeting of the 303 program mainly concerns the emergency housing of asylum seekers and the ATA.” (Cour des comptes, 2013, p.22).

Data Download

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