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/ Mandates / Forced Returns Monitoring Mechanism
Forced Returns Monitoring Mechanism
Γραφείο Επιτρόπου Προστασίας Δεδομένων Προσωπικού Χαρακτήρα
sets out the common standards and procedures that are applied in Member States for returning irregular staying third-country nationals, in accordance with fundamental rights as general principles of Community as well as international law, including the legal obligation for refugee protection
Within the framework of harmonization with article 8(6) of the Directive and under article 18Π(6) of the Aliens and Immigration Law, under decision no 74.333 dated 4 December 2012 of the Council of Ministers, the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights has been entrusted to establish and operate an effective monitoring system for the
return of irregular staying third-country nationals
The action the Commissioner undertakes to implement, as a Mechanism, starts from the moment the forced-return procedure commences and ends with the departure of the third-country national from Cyprus and his/her readmission to his/her country of origin or to a country host or to another third-country to which he-she decides voluntarily to return and be accepted.
The aim of the Mechanism is to monitor all stages of the forced-return operation undertaken by the competent migration authorities and to exercise effective control in order to ensure the implementation of common rules and procedures provided for in both the European and the National legislation as well as in the Codes of Contact published by Frontex. The Mechanism has access to all entry and exit points of the Republic used for forced-returns.
The monitoring of the forced-return operation includes the following three stages:
From the moment the forced-return decision is made to the initiation of the return procedure at the place of detention at the airport/port;
From the transfer of the person from the place of detention to the airplane/boat for departure;
The trip by airplane/boat and the arrival and admission to the country of destination
The Mechanism shall have the following competences/powers:
Is informed by the migration authorities of any forced-return procedure before the transfer of the returnee to the airport/port for his/her departure;
Has absolute discretion to decide which forced-return operations shall be monitored;
Can hold confidential interviews and communication with the returnee at any stage deemed necessary. The competent authority shall facilitate communication between the Mechanism and the returnee whenever is requested.
Can inspect the place where the returnee(s) is(are) or may be detained during the forced-return operation.
Observes and records the conditions under which the forced-return operation is carried out but without the authority to terminate or suspend it. However, in case of severe violation of the returnees’ human rights the Mechanism’s representative may intervene with direct oral or written recommendations to the competent authority.
Once the monitoring of the forced-return operation is completed, a report with observations and remarks shall be prepared and, where appropriate, recommendations for improvements may be made.
The Mechanism’s recommendations shall not be binding but they shall be taken into account by the competent authorities as gguidelines for the improvement of policies and practices with regard to forced-return operations.
Whenever deemed necessary, the Mechanism may be accompanied by independent experts, whom can assist in better monitoring the return procedures.
The Mechanism’s monitoring activities, relevant observations and recommendation are included in a separate section of the Annual Report. The Annual Report is sent to Governmental authorities and posted on the Office’s website and on social media
The Mechanism shall aim to safeguard the respect of the returnee’s fundamental rights, during all stages of the return and readmission operation.
The Mechanism is expected to have multiple benefits for both the irregular migrants and the migration authorities that are involved in carrying out the relevant order.
The Mechanism’s objectives are:
To safeguard the dignity of the returnees and to nullify the risk of abuse or mistreatment by the police or other authorities involved during the return operation;
To enhance the returnees’ sense of security by ensuring the respect of their human rights by the competent authorities;
To increase the transparency and accountability of the authorities involved in the return operation;
To inform and provide feedback to the competent authorities in order to improve the return procedures;
to reduce/diffuse tensions that may be created during the execution of the return operation;
To acknowledge and record any of human rights violations, improper, indecent and/or abusive behaviour by the authorities towards the returnees;
To minimise the concerns of the returnees and increase the acceptance rate of forced-returns as an institutional measure.
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