ISLAMABAD: The Embassy of Denmark in Islamabad together with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) launched a project aiming to support Pakistan to implement sustainable, rights based border management practices in the area of document security and control of national borders.

The project ‘Rights Based Border Management in the Silk Routes Countries’ seeks to equip a number of airport border crossing points and a document laboratory with advanced technical equipment, and provide training and technical expertise to improve the functioning of document examination and identification processes at border crossing points.

The launching ceremony brought together senior government officials from Pakistan’s border-related authorities, and the ambassadors of Denmark, the Czech Republic and Norway, as well as the Chiefs of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) respectively.

During the discussions, special attention was given to the rights based approach of the project.

The integration of a rights-based approach throughout border checks and related procedures is integral to ensure that the rights of travellers are protected when crossing borders.

This can include the protection of privacy, data and dignity of travellers during screening and interviewing at borders, the identification of vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied children and those seeking international protection, as well as ensuring referral to immediate assistance for those who are at risk.

Danish Ambassador Ms Lis Rosenholm noted that “Strengthening existing border management operations, especially in the area of identity and document management and application of a rights based approach at border crossings will contribute to safeguarding the rights of vulnerable migrants, reduce the capacity of organised crime groups to operate across borders with impunity and, at the same time, facilitate cross border economic activity and trade.”

Mr Ashraf Zubair Siddiqui, Additional Director General (ADG) Immigration, FIA acknowledged the role of ICMPD as a trusted partner of the FIA in strengthening the capacities of the agency based on best practices from around the world.

He highlighted that “the activities envisioned under the Danish funded project complement the FIA’s existing efforts to manage Pakistan’s borders in a safe and efficient manner”.

He also mentioned that the establishment of a forensic document laboratory would add to the FIA’s forensic examination capabilities leading towards increased prosecution and development of a database of fraudulent documents and information sharing system’.

ICMPD presented the key objectives of the project and its expected outcomes. Ms Raana Rahim, ICMPD Head in Pakistan thanked the Pakistan government and the Danish ministry of foreign affairs for continuous support and cooperation throughout the years and expressed her hope to deepen these partnerships further.

The project “Rights Based Border Management in the silk routes countries” is funded by the Danish ministry of foreign affairs and implemented by ICMPD, and runs between January 2022 and December 2024.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2022

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