Frontex: human rights responsibilities
| Doc. 13376
| 18 December 2013
- Committee of Ministers
at the 1187th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (11 December 2013). 2014 - First part-session
- Reply to
- Recommendation 2016
The Committee of Ministers has carefully
considered Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2016 (2013) on
“Frontex: human rights responsibilities”, which it has transmitted
to the relevant Council of Europe bodies for information and possible
raises important issues regarding the protection of human rights
of refugees and asylum seekers, as highlighted again recently by
the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights concerning European
Union border control policies. The Committee of Ministers recalls
that all Council of Europe member States, including European Union
member States, must reconcile their interest in border protection
with their human rights obligations, not least in relation to non-refoulement
and the protection of lives.
2. Like the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers
welcomes the measures taken by the European Union and Frontex to
enhance the protection of fundamental rights in the latter’s activities,
including Frontex Fundamental Rights Strategy and Code of Conduct.
The Committee encourages the development of closer ties between
Frontex and the Council of Europe through the Council of Europe
representative in the Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights and
by direct contacts with the various relevant Council of Europe bodies.
It concurs also with the view that the relevant Council of Europe
standards mentioned in the recommendation should be taken into account
in Frontex work. In this respect, the Committee of Ministers refers
to other relevant instruments such as its 2009 “Guidelines on human
rights protection in the context of accelerated asylum procedures”
and its 2005 “Twenty Guidelines on forced return”.
3. The Committee of Ministers notes that the European Committee
for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment (CPT) is already engaged in a dialogue with Frontex
on the monitoring mechanism devised for joint return operations.
As regards the Frontex code of conduct for joint return operations,
which was adopted on 7 October 2013, the CPT intends in due course
to make comments on the code, in the light of its own experience
in monitoring such operations. The Steering Committee for Human
Rights (CDDH) has also expressed its availability to take part in
regular exchanges of views on participation and input of the Council
of Europe in Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights.
4. Finally, the Committee of Ministers recognises the important
role of ombudspersons and national human rights institutions and
encourages the development of co-operation between Frontex and these