The Public Defender of Rights
Monitoring of forced returns

Monitoring of forced returns 

The monitoring of detention of foreigners and enforcement of administrative expulsion, surrender and transit of foreigners and of the penalty of expulsion of foreigners.

In connection with the so-called “Returns Directive” of the European Parliament and of the Council, since 1 January 2011 the Defender has been monitoring the detention of foreigners and the enforcement of administrative expulsion, surrender of detained foreigners or their transit across the Czech Republic, and the penalty of expulsion of foreigners who were placed in pre-expulsion custody or are serving imprisonment (hereinafter only the “monitoring of expulsion”).

What is the so-called “Returns Directive”

It is 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. The Directive requires the Member States to introduce an effective system for monitoring forced returns. In the Czech Republic, the Public Defender of Rights became the body entrusted with supervision over observance of the rights of foreigners laid down in the Returns Directive.

Powers of the Defender

The Police of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of the Interior are obliged to advise the Defender sufficiently in advance of any expulsion, surrender, transit of foreigners across the territory of the Czech Republic and render necessary assistance to the authorised employees of the Office of Public Defender of Rights. The Defender receives copies of all decisions on the detention of foreigners, extension or discontinuation of detention and decisions on the placement of a detained foreigner in a section with the strict regime. At the same time, he also receives copies of court judgments concerning actions against detention lodged by foreigners.  

Employees authorised by the Defender monitor the treatment of foreigners during their detention and in the course of expulsion.


  • Ensure that the rights of foreigners who are detained and being expelled are respected
  • Ensure that international obligations of the Czech Republic in the area of detention and expulsion of foreigners are observed 
  • Raise the standard of treatment of persons who are being expelled
  • Strengthen the protection of persons who are especially vulnerable, such as unaccompanied minors, disabled persons, victims of sexual violence, victims of torture or other form of violence, or applicants for international protection
  • Act preventively  

What is

Expulsion = decision of an administrative authority or court on awarding punishment of a forced departure from the territory of the Czech Republic owing to the breach of laws of the Czech Republic (Sec. 118 of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals and Sec. 80 of the Criminal Code)

Surrender = forced departure of a foreigner from the territory of the Czech Republic and his or her surrender to another country pursuant to an international treaty (Sec. 129 of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals)

Transit = entry, stay and departure of a foreigner from the territory of the Czech Republic carried out by the Police independent of the foreigner’s will on the basis of an international treaty or a request made by another country (Sec. 152 of the Act on the Residence of Foreign Nationals)

Presentation:  Czech Ombudsman and Forced Returns  (2.2 MB, PPTX)
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