MEPs: Frontex must adhere to human rights

MEPs: Frontex must adhere to human rights

On Thursday 7 September, MEPs on the Subcommittee on Human Rights had an exchange of views with Hans Leijtens, Executive Director of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, on human rights in Frontex activities and in relation to third countries.

Udo Bullmann, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), issued the following statement after the meeting.

“In the Mediterranean’s challenging waters, Frontex’s expanding reach casts a growing shadow. As their activities intensify externally, it is paramount that they steadfastly adhere to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the conventions safeguarding the rights of refugees.

Yet, amid this backdrop, the troubling surge of ‘pull-backs’ by Tunisian and Libyan authorities, as well as pushbacks by EU Member States such as Greece, jeopardises countless migrant lives, leading to grave mistreatment and flagrant breaches of human rights. As Frontex’s significance increases, so must its commitment to humanity and rights above all else.

The EP Subcommittee on Human Rights remains resolute, vowing to consistently advocate for these principles. We stand as a committed partner in ensuring justice and humanity prevail, as demanded in a joint statement from 56 NGOs on 28 August that underscores the urgency, calling on EU Member States to stop hindering civilian rescue efforts—a plea that amplifies the gravity of the situation.”

“Today, I was presenting my views and sharing my experience as @Frontex Executive Director with the @Europarl_EN human rights committee (DROI). Critical questions from MEPs showed that we share a commitment to delivering border security whilst upholding fundamental rights,” posted on his X account Hans Leijtens.


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