European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)

The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) is a pan-European alliance of 98 NGOs protecting and advancing the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons. Our mission is to promote the establishment of fair and humane European asylum policies and practices in accordance with international human rights law.

Established in 1974, ECRE is a European network of 98 NGOs in 40 European countries. It protects and advances the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons. Its diverse membership ranges from large international NGOs with global scope to small organisations of dedicated activists; members work on humanitarian relief, social service provision, legal assistance, litigation, monitoring policy and law, advocacy, and campaigning. 

Year(s): Since 1974

Target group(s): Refuges and exiles



ECRE’s work covers four main activities:

Legal support and strategic litigation

ECRE is a reference for asylum law professionals across Europe, and coordinates the ELENA legal network together with national coordinators in 35 European countries. Our legal support activities are closely connected to the ELENA work and focus on developing various tools for legal professionals in order to assist their litigation and legal counselling work, notably the European Database of Asylum Law, the LEAP Project and the Asylum Information Database. Our strategic litigation work aims to achieve legal changes ensuring rights of those seeking international protection or benefiting from it at European and national level through proactive, coordinated and needs-based litigation.

Research and documentation

ECRE conducts comparative research and analysis of asylum law and practice in Europe. One of our core research activities is the Asylum Information Database (AIDA), a database containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions and detention in 20 European countries. AIDA comprises of detailed country reports, comparative reports, fact-finding visits investigating important protection gaps, and legal briefings providing focused analysis of key issues of asylum law and policy.


ECRE seeks to influence EU policy and practice on refugee issues. It prepares papers including its recommendations, provides written analysis, and represents the refugee protection sector in policy processes and policy debates. It works on the Common European Asylum System and EU external policies, including the Accession process, development assistance, foreign policy, and the external impact of internal EU asylum policy (e.g. agreements with countries of origin). In addition ECRE has developed extensive expertise in the situation of refugee children (including the unaccompanied). ECRE’s work on the rights of refugee children webpage serves as a hub providing a central online reference point for collection of project information & deliverables related to children from across the membership, information on EU policy, etc.


ECRE is an established source for journalists. It is regularly quoted in major media outlets and has a large following on social media. In 2014, ECRE conducted its first pan-European media campaign asking for safe and legal access for Syrian refugees.

Type of product

Online resource



Brief description of the product / outcome / method

See methodology

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

Protecting and advancing the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons.

Transferable to all EU member states.

Promoter of the initiative

Name of organization / individual: European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)


Contacts: ECRE Brussels Office: Rue Royale 146, 1st Floor 1000 Brussels Belgium tel: +32 (0)2 234 3800 fax: +32 (0)2 514 5922

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