By August 2016 the European Institutions aim to replace Frontex with a new coast guard and border-guards agency. However there are a lot of concerns about possible human rights violations. This new mandate reinforces the serious concerns expressed by the FRONTEXIT campaign since its establishment: deter, control and keep away men, women and children deemed undesirable while they are exerting their right to leave any country and the right to seek asylum.
Since 2004, Frontex, which coordinates border control management at the European Union´s external borders, has benefited from a constant increase in its competences: deployment of rapid border intervention teams (2007), administration of the EU border surveillance system EUROSUR (2012), possibility to intercept people at sea and disembark them outside of the EU (2014), increase of its budget by 13 times in ten years.
Despite numerous criticism in relation to the risk for human rights violations, including those expressed by the United Nations or European human rights bodies, the EU has maintained its policy thereby ensuring the agency a complete impunity that contrasts with its growing action and deployment capacity.
After the terrible tragedy of 15 April 2015 (which claimed the lives of 800 people) on 12 April 2016 another 500 people from the Horn of Africa have drown.
Despite all these tragedies the European migration policy is much more concentrated on keeping at a distance the migrants and refugees in the name of ´´fight against smugglers´´ than trying to protect the human rights and the lives of these people.
The European agency Frontex is useless and dangerous: it does not prevent the use of smugglers since both trends have grown in scale since the agency’s inception. It does not stop deaths at sea as it considers that search and rescue is not its priority and that SAR operations might even act as a “pull factor”. On the contrary, the reinforcement of Frontex’s presence leads people to take increasingly dangerous routes.
It is important to stop the activities of this agency instead of reinforcing it and to overhaul all the European migration policy, in order to welcome refugees and protect their fundamental rights.
Marie Shand, EuroMed Droits [EN/FR]: +32 (0) 484 675 543
Brigitte Espuche, Migreurop [EN/FR/ES] : +33 (0) 156 278 781
For more information go to http://www.migreurop.org/article2686.html?lang=fr