Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches to monitor deportations of foreigners

The Federal Offfice for Migration (BFM) has given a mandate to the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) for the monitoring of the deportations of foreigners from the country. This six-month pilot project will focus on legal compliance and the appropriate nature and insurance of basic rights during these state actions.

The FSPC represents the concerns of Switzerland’s Protestant churches within the country and around the world. Migration has been a focal topic for the FSPC for decades, as the organization advocates for the maintenance of human rights and respect for human dignity in a variety of areas. This advocacy is of particular importance to the extremely sensitive issue of monitoring.

The FSPC will be supported by Swiss Refuge Aid in implementing the pilot project.

The goal of the six-month pilot phase is to examine and determine methods for the practice of monitoring. The monitors of the “special flights” are to include, for example, former justice and police directors and law professors. The pilot project is to conclude with an evaluation of the changes that need to be made before monitoring is introduced on a regular basis.

“Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals of December 16, 2008” is a further development of the Schengen Agreement and requires, in Art. 8 Para. 6, Schengen member states to provide a system for the monitoring of forced returns. This regulation was adopted into Swiss national law on January 1, 2011. The monitoring of forced returns by air was regulated in Art. 15f-i of the Ordinance on the Execution of the Return and Expulsion of Foreign Persons (Verordnung über den Vollzug der Weg- und Ausweisung von ausländischen Personen - VVWA).