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Border controls to focus on respect for human rights

FRONTEX, the EU border control agency set up in 2004, is to appoint an inspector to ensure that EU border checks respect human rights, under changes to its mandate adopted by the European Parliament.

At MEPs' request, the agency will hire a "fundamental rights officer" and set up a "consultative forum on fundamental rights" to assist the agency's management board. The consultative forum will include the EU Fundamental Rights and Asylum Support agencies, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and NGOs specialising in this field.

Under the new rules, Frontex missions may be suspended or terminated in the event of a breach of human rights. The agency's tasks will also include providing assistance to Member States in situations that may involve humanitarian emergencies and rescue at sea.

Frontex will also develop codes of conduct to guarantee compliance with human rights in all missions, including return operations. Under international law, no person may be disembarked or handed over to the authorities of a country where his/her life or freedoms could be threatened. The agency is to respect this principle in all circumstances.



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