19. September 2012 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Caritas Europa kritisiert Frontex · Kategorien: Algerien, Griechenland, Italien, Libyen, Mittelmeerroute · Tags: , ,

EU Ombudsman asked to look closer at FRONTEX

Article | | By Stanislava Gaydazhieva
Non documented migrants on the Italian coast. Since FRONTEX has begun operation their work on returning migrants is at issue | EPA/CARLO FERRARO ANSA

Caritas Europa, a network of 49 Caritas organisations across Europe, has sent a letter to the European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros expressing concerns about the way the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX) works.

The NGO said it was worried about the transparency of FRONTEX´s operations, the compliance with the principle of non-refoulement and the existing lack of clarity around the independent monitoring and complaint mechanism.

In particular, Caritas Europa expressed concerns about identification of potential people in need of international protection, identification of victims of human trafficking or other particularly vulnerable groups and the lack of access to effective remedy.

In addition, the organisation expressed hope that FRONTEX will provide information on how and how many migrants/refugees are being intercepted, as well as on FRONTEX’s involvement in operations under member states agreements with third countries.

Furthermore, the group dragged the Ombudsman’s attention to the principle of non-refoulement and said that currently there was no mechanism to ensure the agency’s practical compliance with it.  According to the NGO, FRONTEX did not make enough to respect the non-refoulement principle, especially while returning migrants and refugees to countries like Algeria, where they were a priori criminalised and jailed for having left the country.

Last but not least, according to Caritas Europa, ‘it would be useful to have more precise information about the money spent on FRONTEX and its operations in order to be able to evaluate the proportionality of results of the work of the agency compared to its budget’.

Nevertheless, the network stressed that it highly appreciated the dedication of FRONTEX in providing its staff the necessary training ‘to cope with the pressures of meeting the agency’s obligations in respecting the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees’.


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