Fundamental Rights

The Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) is mandated with monitoring Frontex’s implementation of its fundamental rights obligations in accordance with EU and international law and with advising the Executive Director on fundamental rights-related issues. The FRO and the staff of the Fundamental Rights Office have an independent role within the agency to support its work from a human rights perspective and to reinforce the respect, protection and promotion of fundamental rights. In order to effectively monitor the agency’s compliance with fundamental rights, the FRO can conduct investigations into any of its activities and carries out regular on-the-spot visits.

The Fundamental Rights Officer issues opinions in relation to any Frontex activity both at a policy and operational level and with regards to the agency’s cooperation with partners, identifying the fundamental rights challenges, possible fundamental rights violations or the risks thereof. The FRO also informs and advises the Executive Director about possible violations of fundamental rights during any Frontex activity. The officer is appointed by and reports directly to the Management Board, as mandated by Regulation (EU) 2019/1896. In addition, the FRO provides training on fundamental rights and access to international protection to Frontex staff and to members of relevant Member States representatives in operations organised or coordinated by the agency.

The FRO is responsible for handling the complaints received via Frontex Complaints Mechanism and the Serious Incident Reports related to potential violations of fundamental rights within Frontex activities. The FRO office is also supported by fundamental rights monitors who, independent in the performance of their duties, constantly monitor and assess the fundamental rights compliance of the agency’s activities, provide advice and assist participants in implementing and safeguarding relevant provisions.

The Fundamental Rights Officer’s Annual Report

The FRO publishes annual reports on the activities carried out by the Fundamental Rights Office, pursuant to Article 109(4) of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1896.

The aim of the annual report is to inform on the status of the implementation of fundamental rights in Frontex’s operational activities in line with the agency’s Fundamental Rights Strategy. The report outlines the structures and instruments put in place as well as the concrete actions taken to ensure the agency’s compliance with fundamental rights.

FRO annual report 2021

FRO annual report 2020.

Jonas Grimheden

Jonas Grimheden joined Frontex as Fundamental Rights Officer in June 2021. Before taking the position of Fundamental Rights Officer, he worked at FRA (the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights) for 12 years, where he focused on legal procedures, monitoring, and complaints mechanisms in various contexts.

Prior to working for the EU, Jonas was a researcher and lecturer based at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) at Lund University in Sweden, where he was the Deputy Head of the Academic Department. Earlier he worked for the RWI with human rights development cooperation where he established and headed the first of the institute’s field offices in China (1999–2000). Jonas has been a Thunberg-scholar at Niigata, Nagoya and Waseda law schools in Japan; visiting assistant professor at Cornell Law School and part-time visiting professor at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Beijing. In addition, he has edited books and written numerous articles in the areas of international, human rights, comparative, Chinese and EU law.

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