The EU has embarked on an ambitious project of cooperation with third countries regarding policies of justice and home affairs. The European Commission has produced a Communication on the subject, the Council has published a Strategy and the two institutions together with some Member States have produced policy documents for the furtherance of the project with third countries specifically with Afghanistan, the Western Balkans, the Russian Federation and the USA. This briefing paper outlines the key elements in the documents which engage border control and the fight against organised crime. It then examines those elements in light of the relevant human rights obligations of the Member States under the European Convention on Human Rights in particular. It concludes that, so far, the centrality of human rights in the activities of the EU in border control and the fight against organised crime with third countries has not been made out. Even the references to human rights in the documents are limited, in some cases non-existent. The implementation of human rights standards in the action plans is seriously underdeveloped and requires urgent action if the Member States are to fulfil their obligations in international human rights law.