Human Rights on E.U. Border

The European Union’s border agency, Frontex, held the first meeting of the newly established Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights in Warsaw on Oct. 16. “We can’t stress enough the importance of this forum,” said Stefan Kessler, a representative from the Jesuit Refugee Service. “Frontex, as an E.U. agency, is bound to do all in its power to ensure that the rights of migrants entering the E.U. are respected,” he said. “This certainly has not been happening. We have seen a distinct lack of monitoring mechanisms to identify persons in need of protection, a failure to consider the human rights situation in transit countries to where intercepted migrants may be returned and an absence of mechanisms to enable migrants to make a formal complaint against Frontex.” The agency has faced increasing pressure to improve transparency and internal controls for the protection of migrant rights. These calls were intensified during 2011, when nearly 2,000 migrants died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

 

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