The updated AIDA Report, compiled by ECRE member organization Forum réfugiés-Cosi, shows that access to reception facilities remains an issue in France, as the number of available places is largely insufficient. On 31 December 2013, 15,000 asylum seekers were on a priority waiting list to obtain a place in a reception centre, the average waiting period amounting to 12 months. Only 32% of the asylum seekers entitled to accommodation in a reception centre for asylum seekers was effectively hosted in such a centre in mid-2013, according to the Ministry of Interior.
The report highlights also the efforts of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless people (OFPRA) towards a better consideration of the needs of particularly vulnerable asylum seekers. Five thematic groups have been established in order to enhance OFPRA’s capacity to deal with protection needs of torture victims, victims of trafficking in human beings, unaccompanied children, and related to sexual orientation and gender-based violence. These groups are working on awareness raising, training, and in designing specific support tools to examine these claims. In addition, the staff is being trained on dealing with persons recounting painful events during the interview process. OFPRA has announced that it will train all its 170 case workers by the end of 2015.
Finally, a Council of State decision of 30 December 2013 has confirmed that asylum seekers to be sent to another Member State under the Dublin Regulation, should receive a subsistence allowance (i.e. temporary waiting allowance) until they are effectively transferred. Prior to that ruling, asylum seekers who were not complying with the transfer decision could see their allowance suspended.