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Pushbacks on land and sea: illegal measures of migration management

Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC) expressed his deep concern about the fate of victims of pushbacks at Europe’s borders, at the end of his fact-finding visit to Frontex in Poland (20-22 April).

Mr Fridez, who is currently preparing a report on this issue for the Migration Committee met with Lars Gerdes, Frontex Deputy Executive Director for Returns and Operations, Ana Cristina Jorge, Director of Operational Response Division, Dirk Vande Ryse, Director of Situational Awareness and Monitoring Division, Anna Polak, Head of Executive Affairs Unit, and Eleonora Maffezzoli, Senior Policy Officer in Executive Affairs Unit, as well as Jonas Grimheden, Fundamental Rights Officer of Frontex and his team.

He shared his observations following the missions he held in the recent months to Lesbos in Greece, to Poland’s border with Belarus, to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He underscored the importance of taking urgent measures to prevent pushbacks and other types of violence towards migrants and refugees, which would constitute grave violations of international law as regards the right to asylum.

He called upon the relevant EU agencies, including Frontex, who are in a position of authority at Europe’s borders, to ensure full compliance with international law and international human rights standards. He drew the attention of Frontex leadership to the recently issued Recommendation by Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, “Pushed beyond the limits. Urgent action needed to stop pushbacks at Europe’s borders”, inviting Frontex to act resolutely to prevent pushbacks in all its forms.