Sunday, 2 October 2011

Human Rights Watch slams Frontex, & recommends EASO to...

With EASO gradually increasing its activities, and more interest being shown in the Office, the volume of information to process for this blog is on the increase.  We've decided to slightly change the format of updates to ensue that, whilst still being able to provide timely updates, we won't fall too back in trying to cope with the available information.  The new form will gather information, in a more abridge form, under group headings, which should also facilitate reading and processing from your end.  

We'll see how it works and move accordingly.

News

  • Tuesday 18th October is the fifth EU Anti-trafficking Day.  The designated webpage seems to indicate that EASO could be a relevant agency in the EU's anti-trafficking plans;
  • A Justice & Home Affairs Council Meeting was held in Brussels on 22nd and 23rd September.  The Ministers discussed the state of play of CEAS, which as we all know is currently at a bit of a political stand-still.  EASO features in the Ministers' discussions, yet we are still keen to understand the active role EU MS will give to EASO in CEAS' finalisation and eventual implementation;
  • In August EASO was listed in the list of EU agencies and decentralised bodies entitled to recruit from the the call for expression of interest procedure run by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO).  This should add clarity for all those persons interested in working with EASO.

Special attention to...

On 21st September Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a scathing report on the role played by the EU, through Frontex, in exposing persons to inhuman and degrading treatment in Greece.  The report, 'The EU's Dirty Hands', provides a detailed analysis of movements of persons between Turkey and Greece, highlighting Frontex's border control operations and the impact of these operations on intercepted persons.  It is a very interesting and provocative report, raising serious questions on the EU's chosen approach to border management and 'stemming the flows'.  WIth regard to EASO, the report contains specific recommendations directed to the Office:
  • "develop training in asylum procedures specifically designed for Greek personnel posted in Evros (according to Article 6 o EASO's mandate);
  • work to improve access to asylum for migrant detainees in the Evros region and the Greek islands by, amongst other steps, ensuring that trained asylum officers will also be available to interview asylum seekers in locations where Frontex officials are conducting nationality-determination interviews;
  • assess the impact of inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees on access to asylum in greece;
  • report publicly on any violations of the rights of asylum seekers by Greek or Frontex personnel in detention centres in Greece."

From our end, we definitely join HRW in its recommendations to EASO, specifying that its core mandate task to report annually on the state of asylum in the EU must necessarily include an objective portrayal of the extremely worrying situation in detention and open centres through the EU. 


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