EU enhances fundamental rights during operations at its borders

epa07780685 A handout photo dated 12 August 2019 and made available by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on 19 August 2019, showing migrants on a rubber dinghy waiting for their rescue by the rescue vessel Ocean Viking off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean. The vessel, that has been at sea since 10 days, rescued a total of 356 migrants in three rescue missions. Over 500 refugees on two NGO vessels are still waiting to be allowed at land while Italy and Malta have denied them access to their harbors. EPA-EFE/HANNAH WALLACE BOWMAN HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

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The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) signed an agreement on developing Frontex’s fundamental rights monitors. Under this agreement, FRA will provide advice and expertise to help set up effective fundamental rights monitoring during Frontex’s operations at EU borders.

“It is essential that the EU, its Member States and agencies do their utmost to protect people’s fundamental rights. Fundamental rights monitoring of operations at the land and sea borders can help ensure that rights violations do not occur.

The fundamental rights monitors are an important preventive tool and FRA will provide its fundamental rights expertise to help establish them. The vacancy notices should be published as soon as possible so the monitors can be deployed”, said FRA’s director Michael O’Flaherty.

Under this agreement, the Fundamental Rights Agency will help develop a comprehensive manual for the future Fundamental Rights Monitors.

To guarantee independence, the monitors should work under the overall supervision of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) and be able to monitor all Frontex activities.

FRA and Frontex have already developed the terms of reference of the future monitors, after thoroughly assessing the qualifications needed for their profile. Frontex should publish the vacancy notices as soon as possible.

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