Frontex must improve human rights performance

EU Ombudsman, Mr. Nikiforos Diamandouros

© Office of EU Ombudsman


Brussels, 18 April 2013 - The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe welcomes the recommendations by the EU Ombudsman to Frontex, the EU Border Agency to improve the situation for migrants at Europe's borders.

The recommendations, arising from an EU Ombusdman inquiry into Frontex's border practices, include the main areas of concern to JRS for migrants at European borders. The Ombudsman requested contributions from JRS and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to better understand the experiences of migrants at the borders.

“We warmly welcome the EU Ombudsman’s recommendations,” says Stefan Kessler, JRS Europe’s Regional Policy Officer. “They confirm JRS’s main concerns regarding Frontex’s activities at Europe's external borders,” he adds.

JRS is closely monitoring the situation at the external borders of the European Union and advocates for the observance of human rights at all stages of migration, and particularly in the context of EU border controls. As part of this advocacy, JRS contributed to the EU Ombudsman’s inquiry and became a member of the Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights.

The Ombudsman clarified that the EU Border Agency bears responsibility for the respect of human rights throughout all operations it is involved in. Therefore, Frontex cannot claim that it is only responsible in a “coordination” role and that all operational decisions are made by the EU member states.

The recommendations cover all activities within and outside the European Union’s territory. In order to avoid human rights violations, Frontex is obliged to ensure that migrants in need of protection are identified if intercepted and are given access to fair determination procedures to decide their protection request.

JRS joins the EU Ombudsman in calling upon Frontex to develop effective procedures to ensure that human rights are upheld at the borders. In addition, JRS Europe will continue to use its role as a member of the Consultative Forum to advocate for these procedures to be put in place.



Contact information:

JRS Europe, Brussels

Kate Putney, Communications Officer

Tel: +32 (0) 2 250 32 25



Jesuit Refugee Service Europe - Rue du Progrès (Vooruitgangstraat) 333/2 - B-1030 Bruxelles - Belgium
Tel: + 32 2 250 32 20 - Fax: + 32 2 250 32 29 - Email: europe(a)