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Project News: FReM III Training for Forced-Return Monitors in Oslo

26 March 2019

Within the EU funded project Forced-Return Monitoring III (FReM III), ICMPD organised its 1st Training for Forced-Return Monitors on 18-22 March 2019 in Oslo. The training was hosted by the National Police Immigration Service of Norway – one out of 22 FReM III project partner countries – and organised jointly with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

The training targeted newly appointed and experienced forced-return monitors from competent national bodies that carry out or may carry out forced-return monitoring in accordance with Article 8(6) of the Return Directive (2008/115/EC). It aimed 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.

24 monitors from 16 different countries attended the comprehensive 5-day long training consisting of theoretical and practical sessions on various topics such as: return including the relevant legal framework and the different types and phases of return operations; the Frontex mandate in return operations; fundamental rights and the role of monitors; the role of escorts and the use of coercive measures. The methodology included interactive lectures, various group exercises, simulations and discussion rounds.

The training was implemented by ICMPD, the Frontex Fundamental Rights Office, the European Centre for Returns, fundamental rights and monitoring experts from the Czech Republic, Finland and Greece and escort trainers from Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.  A member from the Council of Europe (CoE) European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) also participated in the training and delivered a lecture on the CPT recommendations with regard to return operations.

According to Article 29 of the EBCG Regulation all “Member States shall be responsible for contributing to the pool […]” “[…] of forced-return monitors from competent bodies who carry out forced-return monitoring activities in accordance with Article 8(6) of Directive 2008/115/EC […]” “[…] by nominating forced-return monitors corresponding to the defined profile.” In line with this, FReM III supports Frontex and Member States to further enlarge and institutionalise the Pool with qualified and trained independent forced-return monitors.

Project description