On 8 December 2020 the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report on fundamental rights issues at external land borders. The report looks at the main challenges of border management and puts forward proposals for actions to improve the current situation. The European Parliament requested FRA to prepare this report in January 2020.
With the Coronavirus pandemic, the report could only be issued now.
FRA’s report ‘Migration: Fundamental rights issues at land borders’ first describes the applicable EU law governing border controls. It then clarifies how EU countries’ duty to protect their borders can affect fundamental rights.
It reviews different aspects of border management, such as border surveillance, preventing irregular border crossings, and checks at border crossing points. It also illustrates the impact. This ranges from people dying at borders to allegations of pushbacks or the use of excessive force.
To ensure full respect for fundamental rights at the EU external borders, FRA suggests:
- enhancing the fundamental rights component of existing oversight mechanisms, such as the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism;
- supporting border guards in their daily work through practical guidance, tools and training;
- fully embracing a victim-focused approach, and mainstreaming child and gender aspects, when combating organised crime at external land borders;
- increasing the transparency and effectiveness of investigations into pushbacks and ill-treatment allegations at external land borders;
- establishing independent and effective fundamental rights monitoring mechanisms at borders.
A copy of the report is available :
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