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Migration and Home Affairs


Various measures taken by states which result in migrants, including applicants for international protection, being summarily forced back to the country from where they attempted to cross or have crossed an international border without access to international protection or asylum procedures or denied of any individual assessment on their protection needs which may lead to a violation of the principle of non-refoulement.


Derived by EMN from Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants: Report on means to address the human rights impact of pushbacks of migrants on land and at sea, 12 May 2021.


  • BG: отблъскване
  • CS: pushback
  • DE: Pushback (no usual translation)
  • EL: Επαναπροώθηση
  • EN: pushback
  • ES: retroceso forzado
  • ET: tagasitõrjumine
  • FI: N/A
  • FR: renvoi illégal de migrants
  • GA: brú siar
  • HU: push back
  • IT: respingimento
  • LT: apgręžimas
  • LV: novirzīšana atpakaļ
  • MT: push back
  • NL: pushback
  • PL: push back
  • PT: reenvio forçado
  • RO: respingere la frontieră / push back
  • SK: vytláčanie migrantov na vonkajších hraniciach / push back
  • SL: nezakonito zavračanje
  • SV: push back
  • NO: push back
  • KA: უკან გაბრუნება
  • UK: видворення


  • pushback
  • push-back
  • push back at sea

Related Term(s)


1. While there is no internationally agreed legal definition of the term push back in the area of migration, it can be understood as behaviour violating the general rule of non-refoulement.

2. Art. 18 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union guarantees the right to asylum and Art. 19 prohibits collective expulsions. This article as well as Art. 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) prohibit to remove, expel or extradite an individual to a State where there is a serious risk that they would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They can also apply extra-territorially, e.g. if EU Agencies operate outside EU territory.

3. Directive 2011/95/EU (Recast Qualification Directive) codifies in Art. 21(1) the prohibition of non-refoulement as defined in Art. 33 of the Geneva Refugee Convention and Protocol and prohibits EU Member States expelling an individual declaring the will of applying for international protection to a country where they face a real risk of persecution. Art. 78 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) stipulates that the EU must provide a common policy for asylum, subsidiary protection and temporaryprotection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection and ensuring compliance with the principle of non-refoulement.

4. For more information see: European Parliament: Briefing Pushbacks at the EU's external borders.