The recently concluded MIDAS Installation training for participants from Somalia was a rousing success! The training started on the 12, May, 2014 for the first group of 12 and ended on the 15,May,2014. The second group of four participants arrived in Moshi from the 17, May, 2014 and began their training from the 19th to 23rd of May 2014. The wide range of topics covered in the training included MIDAS application to MIDAS management and Visa recording. Most of the participants not only enjoyed the pace and structure of the training but also the tranquility and the beauty of Moshi scenery! The training was so successful that we had one participant from the first group become a trainer for the second group of participants.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Kisangani, DRCFrom 25 November to 4 December 2014, the ACBC facilitated Training-of-Trainers on humanitarian border management (HBM) in Kisangani, the capital of Province Orientale of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). DRC is the first country in Africa to pilot the HBM capacity building model developed by IOM.
HBM addresses border management operations before, during and after humanitarian crises which trigger cross-border migration of affected populations. Therefore, the HBM concept encompasses both preparedness, as well as response of border agencies, such as immigration and border police, to mass influx of persons fleeing natural or man-made disasters.
The Training-of-Trainers package for DRC was designed based on an HBM assessment which the ACBC carried out in September 2014 in the border regions between DRC, South Sudan and Uganda. The training encompassed an introduction to relevant international migration legal frameworks, techniques for interviewing vulnerable migrants, biometric registration of displaced populations, search and rescue, camp security, migration health, as well as elaboration of humanitarian response plans.
Participants in the pilot Training-of-Trainers included representatives of DRC immigration, border police, border health and quarantine service, customs, as well as representatives of the provincial government. Through presentations, group work, case studies and roles plays, border officials had the opportunity to learn not only theory but also practice their new skills on specific scenarios, themselves based on concrete migration crises that took place in Province Orientale in the past and which were researched during the HBM assessment.
Mobility within West Africa has long been recognized as key to the region’s social and economic development. Therefore, in an effort to further promote intra-regional migration, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) passed in 1979 the Protocol of Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment. These Free Movement Protocols, as they are known, largely make up the legal framework that allows ECOWAS citizens to circulate and reside in other ECOWAS countries.
In January 2014, in collaboration with IOM Nigeria, the ACBC conducted a baseline immigration and border management survey of the ECOWAS Commission. The purpose of the study was to identify border management needs and priorities of the Commission, as related to the implementation of Free Movement Protocols, and come up with a set of recommendations towards strengthened implementation of these tools. The study was based on the analysis of existing documents, as well as interviews with ECOWAS and other relevant stakeholders based in Abuja.The final report contains recommendations under four distinct areas: legal and policy framework; institutional framework and coordination mechanisms; operations; and administration. It will be used to guide IOM’s follow up capacity building interventions and technical support to the ECOWAS Commission in the area of immigration and border management.
In February 2014, following a presidential order of July 2013 based on which thousands of Burundian, Ugandan and Rwandan migrants were expelled from Tanzania, the ACBC conducted a rapid humanitarian border management (HBM) assessment in Burundi.
HBM denotes border operations before, during and after a man-made or natural disaster which triggers cross-border population movements. HBM ensures that during such migration crises, borders are managed in a way that protects the national territory, while at the same time safeguarding human rights of those fleeing the disaster.
The purpose of the HBM assessment was to assess circumstances under which Burundian migrants were expelled from Tanzania and entered into Burundi. The assessment team visited several border crossing points between Burundi and Tanzania; regional immigration offices; as well as transit camps where some of the Burundian migrants are currently residing. On the basis of interviews with relevant stakeholders and migrants themselves, recommendations were formulated to assist the Burundian and Tanzanian governments with migration management in the future. In the coming months, IOM Tanzania will organize a series of training workshops and a regional dialogue conference involving the affected countries, during which these recommendations will be discussed.
From 5 to 14 March 2014, the ACBC participated in a classroom and full simulation exercise carried out between the governments of Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan which aimed at building their capacities in managing cross-border population movements during crisis situations. Police, immigration departments, as well as the ICRC and the UN were among the course participants.
The ACBC was invited to facilitate sessions on humanitarian border management (HBM). Developed by IOM as part of IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework, HBM is a key element of migration crisis management; it ensures that country’s borders are protected while fully respecting the rights of those fleeing a natural disaster or man-made conflict. Additionally, the ACBC presented on border control and security, border information systems (including IOM’s Migration Information and Data Analysis System – MIDAS) and referral mechanism for vulnerable migrants, such as victims of trafficking and gender-based violence.
Participants were tasked with putting their newly acquired knowledge to practice by resolving and responding to various border scenarios. This course is to be followed up in 2015 with exercises in the field to operationalize the scenarios practiced in the classroom, and thus complete the national emergency plan with full-fledged training and preparedness component.
IOM Nigeria, in collaboration with the ACBC, convened a regional conference on irregular migration in West and Central Africa. From 12 to 15 May 2014, five countries – Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Cameroun and Chad – gathered in Abuja to lay out the policy and operational framework for improved coordination and cooperation between immigration institutions of the five participating countries.
The ACBC facilitated sessions on integrated border management, humanitarian border management, border information systems (IOM’s Migration and Data Analysis System or MIDAS, already installed in a number of countries in the region), counter-trafficking, as well as migrant smuggling. Additionally, each delegation presented a country report on the current status of border and migration management. Finally, plenary sessions were held at the end of each day to give participants an opportunity to further exchange information and experience and formulate recommendations.
Among these was to improve regional and bi-lateral coordination to facilitate regular migration and curb irregular migration, establish joint patrols, hold regular meetings to coordinate border management policies and operations, as well as to improve infrastructure.