The Monitoring of Immigration Law Enforcement: Conclusion of Pilot Project and What Comes Next

Today the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) submitted its activity report on a pilot project titled “Monitoring Immigration Law Enforcement” to the Federal Office for Migration (FOM). The National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (NCPT) will continue the monitoring on the basis of its legal mandate. Within the next months, the commission will take action to expand the monitoring of special flights.

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» Press photos for reporting
» Download final report (german) (italian)
» Download press kit (german) (italian)
» 10 Answers to the Subject

During a media conference held today, the FSPC submitted its activity report to the FOM. The five observers appointed by the FSPC had escorted and documented a total of 10 special flights. They stated that the enforcement authorities displayed a high degree of professionalism. However, there are some system-inherent issues that warrant remedial action: For example, there were issues regarding the way deportees are informed about the special flight procedure or about how medical information is provided.

The central element of the pilot project was the expert commission headed and chaired by the FSPC. Other members included the observers themselves, the Conference of the Cantonal Police Commissioners (KKPKS), the Association of Cantonal Migration Services (VKM) and Swiss Refugee Aid (SFH). The expert commission discussed the observer reports, drew up recommendations and addressed them to the expert panel for repatriation and deportation enforcement, which consists of representatives from federal and cantonal authorities.

With the pilot project completed, a general outline of the next steps in immigration law enforcement monitoring was presented today. In the future, the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture (NCPT) will be in charge of monitoring according to its legal mandate. The NCPT wants to continue the expert commission in the form of an expanded forum. The FSPC will also be a member of this newly established forum. In the coming months, the NCPT will take the necessary steps to expand monitoring activities with the goal to escort every special flight.

Taking a cue from EU Return Directive, the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) in June 2011 issued a mandate to the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches FSPC to conduct a six-month pilot project to monitor deportations via special flights. The pilot project was concluded as planned in late 2011.