Croatian police officers will take part in the forced expulsion of migrants and their return to their home countries. Police officers will be part of the operation led by Frontex, the European border agency, reports Večernji List on January 11, 2017.
Police Directorate said that “Croatia has put at the disposal of the agency an appropriate number of experts”, without specifying exactly the number of people who will work for Frontex, since the Agency has still not sent a request which should include the specific number of police officers from Croatia that it needs. The duty of every member state of the European Union is to makes its experts available to the agency, said the Police Directorate referring to the decision of the European Parliament and the European Council about the European border and coast guard adopted in October 2016.
In December, Frontex called on the states to offer their police officers for a new database of experts for the return of illegal migrants which should in the end include about 690 experts. The decisions on each deportation will be made by individual EU member states, while Frontex will provide support.
Experts for return of migrants will deal with the identification of illegal migrants and obtaining travel documents for them, and they will cooperate with the authorities of the countries of migrants’ origin. According to Frontex, companions of the return process will provide support to officers from member states during the return process. Observers will carry out inspections to ensure the respect for the rights of migrants, and all police officers who will participate in the teams will have to undergo training so that they can identify people who need protection and only then will they be sent to the relevant national authorities. The teams for return will also include experts on children's rights.
Last year, Frontex coordinated the return of some 10,700 migrants, and it also helped Greece in sending additional 908 migrants to Turkey.