Intensive forced return monitoring training strengthens monitors’ fundamental rights awareness

Over 20 monitors from 16 Member States took part in intensive training on Forced Return Monitoring for monitors from 22–26 February in Vienna.

This included newly-appointed monitors and monitors from recently appointed national monitoring bodies. The training was organised by FRA in cooperation with the EU’s Border Agency (Frontex), the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior’s Specialised SWAT unit, COBRA.

The training was tailored to the practical needs of monitoring returns by air. Based on a step-by-step approach all phases of return operations were broken down, and all related fundamental rights were addressed through case studies, scenarios and role plays and simulation exercises. Participants had the possibility to draft a monitoring report while observing a return scenario facilitated by the Austrian police. Based on these experiences monitors could build those skills that are necessary to: identify indicators for potential fundamental rights violations; identify vulnerabilities; and to assess the use of force based on necessity and proportionality principles. At the end of the training course participants felt more confident in being able to identify fundamental rights violations and to report on them in the context of forced return monitoring.

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