IOM, Lao Ministry of Public Security Complete Point of Entry (PoE) Assessment across Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Posted: 
10/30/20
Themes: 
COVID-19, IOM

Lao People’s Democratic Republic – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) completed the PoE Assessment at ten PoEs from 28 August to 21 October 2020.

Together with MoPS, IOM started the first PoE mapping assessment in Vientiane Capital on 28 August, before rolling out to six other provinces across the country. A total of ten frequently used PoEs were assessed to look at preparedness and response capacities for COVID-19, which included assessing existing capacities of infrastructure, processes, and personnel to respond to COVID-19 and future outbreaks. IOM, MoPS and frontline officials discussed on best practice and future plans under the project to better protect travelers, migrants, frontline officials, and ensure safe and effective migration and border management.

The team met with authorities at each PoE to better understand their needs and discuss how the project can best support in addressing challenges arising under the current and future pandemics. Some identified needs included: procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cleaning chemicals, upgrading isolation facilities/rooms, support with ensuring physical distancing can be maintained, formalizing and documenting new processes and developing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials which are migrant responsive. The team handed over PPE supports and IEC materials to each PoE as an immediate support.

Based on the findings of this assessment, IOM will develop in consultation with MoPS the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for frontline border officials in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, IEC materials for incoming and outgoing passengers, and address PPE and infrastructure needs at PoEs. To enhance frontline officials’ capacities, the first training is to be held at the end of October in Vientiane Capital, with all trainings scheduled to be rolled out by the end of 2020.

IOM has been monitoring the large number of migrants returning across the region. The pandemic has significantly changed human mobility and trade patterns, as travel restrictions created new risks for migrants, many have become stranded or found themselves in irregular situations.

Under its Health, Border and Mobility Management Framework, IOM sets to improve the prevention, detection, and response to the spread of diseases at points of origin, transit, destination, and return.  

This activity is part of IOM’s project Support on responding to cross mobility challenges at points of entry in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, with joint funding from the Australian Government and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

For more information please contact Karen HO at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (0)21 267 734. Email: kho@iom.int

  • IOM and MOPS conducting assessment at the Boten International Checkpoint in September. IOM Lao PDR/2020

  • Meeting with Savannakhet PoE Authorities in October. IOM Lao PDR/2020

  • IOM and MOPS conducting assessment at Luang Prabang International Airport. IOM Lao PDR/2020

  • Lao migrants returning during the time of assessment at Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II. IOM Lao PDR/2020