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On 3 December 2014, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) presented two new reports to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament: “Fundamental rights at land borders: findings from selected European Union border crossing points” and “Fundamental rights at airports: border checks at five international airports in the European Union”. These studies follow the publication, in 2013, of a report entitled “Fundamental rights at Europe’s southern sea borders”.
It appears that, even if border checks generally take place without incident, fundamental rights are sometimes eroded in five areas: access to international protection, access to information on the right to appeal, the way minors are treated, the respect of private life and data protection and the detention of migrants. Based on these findings, the FRA included in each report advice and recommendations to the concerned authorities.
AEDH has read these reports with interest and hopes that the recommendations addressed to border guards by the FRA will be implemented with diligence in order to ensure that migrants at borders are treated more in conformity with the requirements of States governed by the rule of law. However, it has to be noted that these observations only relate to “official” border crossing points, through which most travelers enter the EU. Elsewhere, along borders crossed by undocumented migrants, respect of human rights standards is far from being as strict; testimonies on border crossing from Turkey to Greece demonstrate it and the last report published by APDHA on the border fences between Morocco and the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla dramatically illustrates the situation in these zones where the law is flouted in too many cases.
Read the report “Fundamental rights at land borders: findings from selected European Union border crossing points”.
Read the report “Fundamental rights at Europe’s southern sea borders” and the summary of the report.
To learn more about the non-respect of human rights on the borders of Ceuta and Melilla, read the report “Human Rights on the Southern Border 2014” (English, French, Spanish) published by the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA), a Spanish member organisation of AEDH.