Conditions in reception facilities


Country Report: Conditions in reception facilities Last updated: 24/05/24


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The activities and tasks entrusted to all reception centres are defined in a decree of December 2018 and include:[1]

  • Accommodation;
  • Information about rights and obligations in the centre;
  • Information on the asylum procedure;
  • Information on health;
  • Information on reception rights;
  • Accompaniment for schooling of children;
  • Social, voluntary and recreational activities;
  • Preparation and organisation of exit from accommodation.

However, the budget allocated to these centres varies from € 15 to € 25 per person according to the type of accommodation, and activities vary widely in practice.


Conditions in CADA

Although the use of other types of accommodation has consistently increased throughout recent years (see Evolution of the capacity of the different types of accommodation) CADA are the main form of accommodation provided to asylum seekers. They include both collective and private accommodations that are located either within the same building or in scattered apartments. At the end of 2023, there were 49,242 places funded in CADA spread across the French territory, therefore the following description is a general assessment that cannot cover the specific situation in all CADA.

Living conditions in regular reception centres for asylum seekers are deemed adequate, and there are no reports of overcrowding in reception centres. The available surface area per applicant can vary but has to respect a minimum of 7.5 m2 per person.[2] A bedroom is usually shared by a couple. More than 2 children can be accommodated in the same room. Centres are usually clean and have sufficient sanitary facilities. Asylum seekers in these centres are usually able to cook for themselves in shared kitchens.

The staff / residents ratio is framed by the 2019 Decree: a minimum of 1 fulltime staff for 15 persons is required. Staff working in reception centres is trained.

Since the 2018 reform, the staff also has the obligation to organise a medical check-up upon arrival in the reception centre.[3]

Awareness-raising sessions are sometimes organised in the reception centres and “planned parenthood” (Planning Familial) teams sometimes conduct trainings on the issue of gender-based violence. In some reception centres, there are information leaflets and posters on excision and forced marriages.

The average length of stay in CADA in 2022 was 524 days.[4] The average length of stay in CADA in 2023 was not available by the time of writing of this report.

Average length of stay in CADA (in days)
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
424 451 524 533 591 524

Conditions in emergency centres 

In emergency centres, unlike the housing of asylum seekers in hotels, facilities offer at least some sort of administrative and social support. In theory, only accommodation is provided in the context of these emergency reception centres. Food or clothing services may be provided by charities. However, reception conditions within the emergency facilities are similar to those in regular reception centres.[5]

Where centres are overcrowded, applicants can also be accommodated in hotel rooms. To illustrate, 13% of places in HUDA were in hotel rooms at the end of 2020,[6] but no data is available for 2021 and 2022. The conditions of accommodation and support in hotels can vary greatly, but we do not have precise visibility on these practices (which tend to decrease significantly).[7]

A 2019 inter-ministerial instruction obliges emergency accommodation centres for homeless persons (which differs from emergency centres for asylum seekers) to communicate the list of people accommodated there to the OFII.[8] This measure risks calling into question the principle of unconditional reception of migrants, as undocumented migrants may no longer dare approach emergency shelters if they know that they will be flagged to the authorities. The CNCDH requested the withdrawal of this instruction on the same legal grounds, further contending that it violates the country’s international obligations relating to human rights of migrants.[9] According to the Ministry of Interior, information transmission “remains insufficient and heterogeneous, especially in Ile-de-France region” as only 2,204 asylum seekers had been identified in emergency accommodation centres from October 2019 to December 2020.[10] There is no more recent data at national level but, according to our own experience, this transmission remains limited, in particular due to the conditions set by the Council of State in a decision of November 6, 2019,[11] which sets some safeguards (the information collected should only be used to streamline the accommodation system, people may refuse to respond to requests for information on their situation, etc.).





[1] Article R. 552-10 Ceseda.

[2] Arrêté du 15 Juin 2019 sur le cahier des charges CADA, available in French at:

[3] Ibid.

[4] OFII, 2022 Activity report, October 2023, available in French at:, 27.

[5] Arrêté du 15 février 2019 sur le cahier des charges HUDA, available in French at:

[6] Ministry of Interior, ‘Information relating to the management of the accommodation facilities for asylum seekers and refugees’, 15 January 2021, available in French at:

[7] Practice based observation by Forum Réfugiés and partners, January 2024.

[8] Inter-ministerial instruction of 4 July 2019 on the cooperation between Integrated reception and orientation services (SIAO) and the OFII as regards the reception of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, available in French at:

[9] CNCDH, ‘Cooperation between emergency centres and the OFII’, available in French at:

[10] Ministry of Interior, ‘Schéma national d’accueil des demandeurs d’asile et d’intégration des réfugiés 2021-2023’, 17 December 2020, available in French at:, 14.

[11] Conseil d’État, 2ème – 7ème chambres réunies, 06 November 2019, 434376, available in French at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation