On 21 October, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) delivered a Human Rights Training for the Moldovan forced return officer from the Bureau for Migration and Asylum. As part of the same FReMM project, the next day on 22 October ICMPD held a Workshop on coordination and information exchange between the returning authority and the Moldovan forced return monitors.
The comprehensive one-day training aimed to introduce Moldovan forced-return escort officers to the human rights most at risk during forced return operations. It also equipped participants with an overall understanding of forced return monitoring in accordance with international and regional human rights law. The training consisted of theoretical and practical sessions on relevant topics such as fundamental rights at risk in forced-return operations; mechanisms, mandates, roles, and responsibilities of forced-return monitoring missions; reporting and follow-up to monitoring. The methodology applied included interactive lectures, group discussions, and practical exercises, and the curricula have been adjusted to account for the specific context of the forced return system in Moldova.
The training targeted escort officers from the Bureau for Migration and Asylum of the Moldovan Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, participants from the Ombudsman Office and its partner NGO Law Centre for Advocates – the forced return monitoring bodies – have also been invited to actively observe the training. The training was implemented by an expert duo composed of a forced return monitor and an escort leader from the Romanian National Council for Refugees and Romanian General Inspectorate for Immigration, respectively – both reputed practicing specialists and training-delivery experience at home and across the EU. This allowed for easy communication and exchange of ideas, with Romanian being the working language. Despite the ongoing pandemic and restrictive measures in place, a total of 15 participants from among mentioned national stakeholders attended the training.
The Human Rights Training was followed the next day on 22 October by a Workshop on coordination and information exchange. The objective was to discuss and agree on the key elements of cooperation between the stakeholders involved in forced return monitoring. In particular, participants determined together what kind of information and support the monitors require before (preparation), during (monitoring per se), and after (debriefing and reporting) the operation. Thus, the workshop gathered a mixed audience from the Moldovan Bureau for Migration and Asylum, the People's Advocates Office of Moldova, and the NGO Law Centre of Advocates. The outcome of the workshop would serve as a basis for a future Memorandum of Understanding signed between respective organizations upon the closure of the FReMM Project.
FReMM (Development of a Forced-Return Monitoring System in the Republic of Moldova) project is supporting the relevant stakeholders to (1) strengthen the legal/institutional framework relevant to forced-return monitoring, (2) increase the capacities of the relevant institutions to monitor forced-return operations, and (3) contributing to the effective communication and cooperation between the return enforcing institutions and the monitoring bodies. The project is implemented by ICMPD, and is funded by the Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration.
More information on the FReMM project can be found here