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Booklet information about Complaints Mechanism
The Frontex Complaints Mechanism was established by the Regulation 1624/2016 on the European Border and Coast Guard.
All complaints will be handled by the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), an independent expert who monitors and promotes fundamental rights within Frontex.
Submitting a complaint is free of charge and does not prejudice other procedures, such as an application for asylum.
Who can submit a complaint?
- You, or a person or party acting on your behalf, may submit a complaint to Frontex, if you believe that you are directly affected by the actions or failure to act on the part of staff involved in a Frontex activity, and you consider that one or more of your fundamental rights have been violated due to those actions or that failure to act. For a list of fundamental rights as per the EU Charter see below, in the Additional Information section, the 'List of Potential Fundamental Rights Violations During Operations'.
- You can be represented by any party (e.g. another person, lawyer, organisations, family member, legal guardian, etc.). Any of these parties may file a complaint on your behalf.
- In case of suspected violations of the rules on the use of force by Frontex staff deployed as members of the teams, any person may report such alleged violations.
- Cases involving multiple complainants can also be submitted.
How do I submit a complaint?
- Your complaint must be submitted in writing, either by using the complaint form available here, or by any other written means of your choice. Your complaint will be handled by the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), an independent expert who monitors and promotes fundamental rights within Frontex. At any stage of the procedure, the FRO may request you to submit additional information, documentation or clarification to your complaint. For this reason, it is important you add your contact details.
- Complaints may be submitted in any language. Complaint forms are available in several languages.
- There is no maximum length for your complaint, but it is preferable that all the information is contained in no more than 15 pages.
- You should submit your complaint within a year from the date on which the alleged violation of your fundamental rights occurred or you were informed or learnt about it or otherwise were able to submit the complaint.
- Your complaint can only refer to the facts that occurred or whose effects continued after 6 October 2016.
- You do not need to go through national procedures before submitting your complaint. Submitting a complaint to Frontex does not prevent you from accessing other forms of complaint, such as national or European Ombudspersons or courts.
- You should explain the detailed facts of your complaint, identifying the impact those actions or failure to act had on your fundamental rights, to the extent possible.
What happens after I submit my complaint?
- Frontex and the FRO will treat all complaints as confidential unless you explicitly waive your right to confidentiality.
- If your complaint refers to actions or failure to act performed by a member of the teams from a participating Member State deployed in a Frontex activity, your complaint will be referred by the FRO to national authorities who handle individual complaints and to national fundamental rights institutions. The FRO will inform you which authority(ies) have received your complaint.
- If your complaint refers to actions or failure to act performed by a Frontex staff member, the Executive Director of the Agency shall ensure the appropriate follow-up and report back to the FRO.
- You need to specifically consent in order for the FRO to forward your personal data to the relevant authorities.
- If your complaint is declared inadmissible, the FRO will inform you in writing about the reasons for the inadmissibility and, if possible, provide you with further options for addressing your concerns.