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Project News: FReM III Organises Two Remote Workshops on the Training for Forced-Return Monitors in Georgia and Ukraine

27 July 2020

On 21 and 23 July 2020, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) organised two remote workshops on the training for forced-return monitors in Georgia and Ukraine within the framework of the EU-funded project Forced-Return Monitoring III (FReM III).

The objective of the workshops was to agree on the training programme for the forced-return monitoring training in Georgia and Ukraine and to coordinate the elaboration of the training material with relevant stakeholders and experts. On 21 July 2020, the remote workshop took place with the Office of the Public Defender (Ombudsman) of Georgia, the Migration Department and the Training Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. On 23 July 2020 the remote workshop took place with the Office of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman), the State Migration Service and the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Representatives of the Office of the Czech Public Defender of Rights, the Greek Ombudsman Office, the Romanian National Council for Refugees, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and ICMPD participated in both workshops. 

Since 2014, ICMPD supports jointly with Frontex and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) the capacity building of monitors from competent bodies in European Union Member States (EU MS) and Schengen Associated Countries (SAC) that carry out forced-return monitoring in accordance with Article 8(6) of the Return Directive (2008/115/EC). The aim is to equip participants with the overall competence to monitor and report on fundamental rights compliance of forced-return operations in accordance with international and EU human rights law. The current FReM III project allows for a further expansion of the training concept to Eastern Partnership countries with which Frontex and MSs organise so-called Collecting Return Operations (CRO). For the implementation of activities Georgia and Ukraine were identified as partner countries. 

Since many years, the ICMPD headquarters in Vienna and the ICMPD offices in Tbilisi and Kyiv collaborate with relevant institutions in Georgia and Ukraine bilaterally and multilaterally in various platforms and have jointly implemented many different projects and activities. With the FReM III activities, the cooperation is now expanded to a new thematic field. Recently, the FReM III project team established contact with relevant institutions in the Republic of Moldova with the aim to also involve them in the forced-return monitor training. 

During the workshops on 21 and 23 July 2020, participants confirmed the training programme and the national stakeholders highlighted their commitment for the joint elaboration of the training material and implementation of the training of forced-return monitors. In this regard, each institution nominated a focal point for effective coordination throughout the upcoming activities that ultimately shall contribute to fundamental rights compliance in CROs and forced-return operations organised from Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to other countries.

FReM III contributes to a functioning EU Return System in line with the EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC) with two specific objectives namely, to further establish the pool of forced-return monitors in line with the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation 2019/1896 (EBCG), and to further strengthen national forced-return monitoring systems in EU MSs and SACs. The project runs since December 2018 with the participation of 22 EU MSs and SACs. ICMPD manages and implements the FReM III project in close cooperation with Frontex and FRA. The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the EU and the partner countries co-fund the project.

For further information, please visit the FReM webpage.