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Project News: FReM II Supports the IPA II Project in Implementing a Training for Forced-Return Monitors for Western Balkan Countries

10 April 2018

On 9-12 April 2018, the IPA II project “Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey” organises a Training for Forced-Return Monitors in Belgrade. The IPA II project is funded by the European Commission and runs from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018. It is implemented by Frontex (in the lead), the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Training for Forced-Return Monitors builds on the concept developed within the EU funded project Forced-Return Monitoring II (FReM II) by ICMPD, Frontex, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and  the project’s 15 partner countries: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland. It is organised with the support of ICMPD and the trainers that were trained in the framework of the FReM II project.

The training aims to equip participants from the Ombudsman Offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia with the overall competence to monitor and report on fundamental rights compliance in forced-return operations as enshrined in the applicable international and European human rights framework. 

The IPA II project aims at offering a comprehensive and holistic regional approach to support protection-sensitive management of mixed migration flows in the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. It complements national efforts by providing a mixture of horizontal and regional support activities. Among them capacity building activities relevant for enforcing non-voluntary return decisions in a sustainable manner. In order to contribute to this, IPA II organises and implements comprehensive training for return escorts officers in all IPA II beneficiaries countries. The training in Belgrade based on the FReM II concept complements these efforts by building the capacities of the staff of the respective Ombudsman offices in monitoring forced-return operations implemented by return escort officers. 


* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.