Developing good practices: promoting compliance with the Return Directive in Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia

Since September 2013, HRL has started to implement the project „Developing good practices: promoting compliance with the Return Directive in Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia“.

The overall objective of the project is to promote the compliance of the legislation and practices of return in Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia with the Return Directive and international standards through the exchange of experience and best practices among the return practitioners from several member states. The project has several specific objectives: to assess the implementation of the Return Directive and provide comparative evidence with identification of key challenges that need to be addressed; to exchange good/best practices and develop models of good/best practices, particularly as concerns monitoring mechanism of forced return, which has just recently been established (e.g. Lithuania), is in the process of its establishment (e.g. Latvia) and has not been established so far (e.g. Slovakia), as well as the identification and protection of vulnerable groups and the promotion of alternatives to detention, which have are not being effectively applied in line with the EU and international standards by many states, including those targeted by the project; to develop cooperation between the return practitioners among various member states; to promote exchange of information and cooperation between the return practitioners, international organisations and the EU agencies (IOM, UNHCR, CoE, FRA, FRONTEX etc.).

The project activities will consist of the project meeting in Riga on the elaboration of methodology; study visits with the participation of the return practitioners to states with good practices on monitoring forced return, alternatives to detention and other issues (Austria and Belgium); national reports based on legal analysis, monitoring visits to detention centres and recommendations; national training seminars with the participation of at least 3 European stakeholders (FRONTEX and/ or FRA, IOM, UNHCR and other experts, including those from the states with good practices of monitoring forced return) and discussions on best models at national level; international conference on best practices of the implementation of the Return Directive in Riga; final report with the project's results, including comparative study highlighting the effect of various return practices applied by the selected Member States.

The project will result in raised awareness and developed models of good/best practices of the Return Directive's implementation in Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and potentially in other EU member states. The project's national and final reports will be disseminated to 200 various national stakeholders (the return practitioners, including border guards, judges, IOM and NGOs) and 200 European stakeholders.

This project is co-financed by the European Commission, European Return Fund. No. of agreement: HOME/2012/RFXX/CA/1005

We are grateful to EC for generously supporting the project!

01.09.2013 to 31.07.2015