Caribbean countries meet to discuss border management and security

Posted: 
03/19/13

Trinidad and Tobago – Officials from 11 Caribbean countries have taken part in a regional workshop in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago to discuss increased cooperation in border security and management.

Funded by the US Department of State, the two-day IOM workshop focused on the best practices in border security and fostering regional cooperation.  

IOM migration and border management specialists shared their expertise and led the discussions on ways of enhancing international standards among participating countries; creating a platform for continued discussion and collaboration; increasing security by reducing illegal actions such as the use of fraudulent documents; addressing legislative gaps and providing a comprehensive capacity building program.

IOM is currently working with several countries in the region in the area of border security.  In Belize, through a US-funded program, IOM has provided the country with a new border management system which includes computer work stations, webcams, passport readers and fingerprint scanners, to be installed at all land, air and sea borders and district offices.

The system will be managed through a central server at the Immigration Department and runs on IOM-developed software known as the Personal Information and Registration System (PIRS), which IOM has supplied to 18 countries around the world to assist with border management, data collection and passport verification.

In 2006 the Government of Trinidad and Tobago approved a technical cooperation plan entitled Strengthening Technical Capacity (STC) in Trinidad and Tobago, to Enhance Migration Management and Regional Security.  It focused on building the capacity of government agencies and law enforcement officials to discourage and deter irregular migration into and through the country.

Under the STC project, there were significant upgrades of migration security technology; strengthening of institutional and human resource capacity with more than 850 persons trained; a comprehensive review of all legislation relevant to migration; and contributions to enhancing contingency planning for mass migration flows.  

The Caribbean region is characterized by a very fluid internal movement of people, and by significant transit movements of non-Caribbean migrants.  Lack of economic opportunities in many areas, coupled with historical patterns of movement, and in some cases human rights abuses and disasters, are the main drivers influencing migration of people from the Caribbean both within and outside the region.  Irregular migration, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, brain-drain, environmental migration and mass outflows of migrants are all part of the current migration dynamics in the Caribbean.

For more information, please contact

Rui Oliveira Reis
IOM Guyana
Tel: (+592) 225 3745
Email: iomguyana@iom.int