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Based on its findings and research FRA provides practical guidance to support the implementation of fundamental rights in the EU Member States.
FRA provides practical guidance in the following area:
Apprehension of irregular migrants
FRA has compiled a document providing practical guidance on the fundamental rights considerations of apprehending migrants in an irregular situation, drawing on input from stakeholders.
It includes do’s and don’ts for law enforcement officials. The findings were drawn up following two meetings with Member State experts, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) as well as the European Commission. It is part of FRA’s larger work on the fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation and follows suggestions made during the Fundamental Rights Conference 2011. The conference showcased FRA’s work on the rights of irregular migrants which revealed that certain practices to detect irregular migrants may disproportionately discourage them from accessing essential services, such as health, education and legal services.
This latest document, providing operational guidance on fundamental rights, has been handed over to relevant EU institutions for further consideration. It was presented to the Council Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion on 26 September and on 28 September to the Contact Committee of EU Member State representatives, which is convened by the European Commission under the Return Directive. The Contact Committee meeting, which took place on 15 March, decided to include the guidance document in the minutes of the meeting. The aim of the minutes is to develop joint views on how the requirements set out in the Return Directive might be met.
The obligation under Article 6(1) of the Return Directive to issue a return decision to any third-country national staying illegally on their territory is subject to the principle of proportionality expressly recognised by the Return Directive. The minutes state that the legitimate aim of fighting illegal migration may be balanced against other legitimate State interests, such as general public health considerations, the interest of the State to fight crime, the interest to have comprehensive birth registration, respect for the best interest of the child as well as other relevant fundamental rights recognised by the EU Charter.