Frontex employees, blow the whistle

People who work for Frontex, European Border and Coast Guard Agency


We call on Frontex employees/officials to report and disclose any violations of human rights and international law that they witness. We need transparency in the agency's activities at European borders and at sea. People who knowingly cover up abuse and illegal pushbacks of those who are looking for a safe place must be held accountable. Change has to happen from within. Human rights violations cannot be ignored. If you see something, say something.

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Why is this important?

People who come forward to highlight injustices in an institutional setting play a vital role in upholding democracy. Whistleblowers, or the act of whistleblowing. can expose illegal or immoral behaviour, and contribute to a healthy democracy.

For years, Frontex has been mired in controversy with allegations of abuse from the top down. [1] Even though the Head of Frontex resigned over accusations last year, the culture of brushing illegal behaviour hasn’t been weeded out.

That's why we are calling on Frontex personnel to expose any instances of misconduct that they may come across.

A report published last year by The OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Agency) revealed how unlawful actions were carried out by Frontex without facing consequences. Human rights violations were swept under the carpet. Frontex witnessed human rights violations and people drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and did nothing to help them. They intentionally implemented measures to ensure that the violations would not be recorded or examined, and that no one would be held responsible for them. [2] They work with the national coast guards to cover up lies and conceal the truth. [3]

These cover-ups only require disregarding a report, the dismissal of an alert, or the neglect of incriminating footage. This process of systematically concealing routine yet crucial documents contributes to a culture of impunity.

Following the release of the OLAF report on Frontex, the border agency issued a statement referring to human rights abuses as “practices of the past.” [4] However, up until now, Frontex has not taken any substantial actions that convincingly demonstrate its commitment to rectify these issues. [5]

“There should be nothing secret about what we’re doing”. These are the words of Hans Leijtens, the new chief of Frontex who assumed the position in March 2023. He promised to “restore trust” and declared that “border management and fundamental rights go hand in hand". [6] But Leitjtens has been part of this culture of concealment for years, as he sat on the Frontex Management Board from 2019 to 2022, during the time when these abuses were occurring and being internally concealed.

If the promise is to leave Frontex’s shady cover-ups and lies in the past - this requires real action - not empty promises. The process begins when Frontex officials take a stand and expose instances of abuse and wrongdoing by speaking up and blowing the whistle.

Safeguarding human rights is not a choice but a responsibility. Along with this responsibility comes the obligation to speak out when observing misconduct.

Ignoring human rights violations is not acceptable. Frontex employee: If you become aware of such incidents, it is important to report them and not remain silent.

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