Project News

FReM III Organises a Training for Forced-Return Monitors in Rome

18 November 2019

Within the EU funded project Forced-Return Monitoring III (FReM III), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) organised the 2nd Training for Forced-Return Monitors on 11-15 November 2019 in Rome. The training was hosted by the Office of the National Guarantor for the Rights of the Persons Detained or Deprived of Liberty in Italy – 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.

Eighteen monitors from eleven different countries attended the comprehensive five-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. Three colleagues from the Frontex Consultative Forum representing the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) participated as observers in the training. 

The activity was implemented by ICMPD, the Frontex Training Unit and the Fundamental Rights Office, by fundamental rights and monitoring experts from the Czech Republic, Greece and Romania and escort trainers from Austria, the Netherlands, Italy 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 51 of the EBCG Regulation 2019/1896 all Member States shall be responsible for contributing to the pool […]" "[…] of forced-return monitors from competent bodies of the Member States 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.