Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer: Annual Report for 2021
At the end of June 2022, Frontex's Fundamental Rights Officer released the Annual Report for the year 2021. The report provides an overview of the activities carried out by the Fundamental Rights Office in the last year, including the work of the Fundamental Rights Monitors.
The report looks at the situation at the European borders and beyond and provides an overview of the work of the Fundamental Rights Office in 2021, in line with the Fundamental Rights Action Plan. It outlines the activities of the Fundamental Rights Office regarding fundamental rights monitoring, especially regarding field monitoring, return operations, and aerial surveillance. Reporting and accountability mechanisms and fundamental rights safeguards which guide the work of the Fundamental Rights Office are set out as well. Furthermore, the report provides a brief overview of capacity building activities and new technologies. Ultimately, it looks at internal processes to enhance the fundamental rights compliance of the Agency and the work in collaboration with the Consultative Forum.
In 2021, the new Fundamental Rights Officer took office in June, 20 of the minimum 40 Fundamental Rights Monitors became operational and the recruitment of 20 additional Fundamental Right Monitors was initiated. The staff of the Fundamental Rights Office and Fundamental Rights Monitors were deployed in monitoring missions for an overall duration of more than 200 days, covering 9 countries. The main operational focus was on Lithuania and Greece. In addition, the Fundamental Rights Office engaged in training on relevant fundamental rights standards and practices for Standing Corps, Frontex, national officers, and border management officials of third countries. The Fundamental Rights Office provided advice to the Agency, gave inputs to the Frontex processes (from operational plans to evaluations and working arrangements) and handled an increasing number of Serious Incidents Reports.
Looking ahead at the year 2022, the Fundamental Rights Office sets out three priorities:
- Reinforcing the team;
- Bringing processes and tools further together;
- Maximising the impact of its work.
Frontex's Fundamental Rights Officer is mandated with monitoring the implementation of the Agency's fundamental rights obligations in accordance with EU and international law. This includes reporting on possible violations, promoting the inclusion of fundamental rights in the activities of the Agency, and providing advice and recommendations.