Government border agencies are responsible for the processing of people and goods at points of entry and exit, as well as for the detection and regulation of irregular flows of people and goods across borders. These agencies are faced with the challenge of facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods, while also maintaining secure borders, in other words, they need to ensure the right balance between openness and control. IOM assists migrants and governments in the region along the entire spectrum of migration, as well as supporting governments’ efforts to enable orderly and humane population movements across borders at all times.
IOM’s key objective in this area is to promote effective immigration and border management to facilitate the legitimate movement of people and goods, while also maintaining secure borders, including in the context of complex migration flows and in crisis situations. To achieve this objective, the IOM works in the region to assist governments in:
Enhancing border management
The high prevalence of irregular migration in the region, with related transnational crimes and human rights abuse, the complex composition of migration flows20 and their growing volume call for the strengthening of the immigration and border management structures in SEEECA to ensure better and more efficient management of these flows. Efficient immigration and border management policies and structures, supported by professional and well-trained immigration and border officers, are needed to not only foster smooth movement management at borders but also to counter transnational organized crime, such as terrorism, migrant smuggling and trafficking. Detection of smuggled migrants and trafficked persons then contributes to the dismantling of organized crime networks and better protection of the human rights of vulnerable persons.
Providing support in humanitarian border management
The border management challenges can be significantly exacerbated in an emergency situation, as natural or manmade disasters often lead to sudden changes in cross-border movements, such as mass flows and a significant increase in the number of vulnerable migrants. To assist States in adapting their border management to a crisis situation, IOM developed Humanitarian Border Management (HBM). HBM is an approach to border management at times of emergency aimed at ensuring protection of the human rights of those who cross international borders as well as protection and assistance to those in need of support, shelter and relief, while also enabling continued maintenance of the national security of States affected by migration crises.