MANILA, Philippines – In response to the growing security threats posed by transnational crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Southeast Asia, INTERPOL conducted a training course to enhance border security in the region.
The 10-day (23 July to 1 August) integrated border management course brought together 20 female police and immigration officers from nine Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to review best border management practices, including counterfeit document analysis, identifying human trafficking victims and the use of INTERPOL’s policing capabilities.
With more and more people travelling across international borders every day, police and immigration officers face the growing challenge of identifying criminals attempting to conceal themselves among legitimate cross-border travellers.
In this respect, a key focus of the training course was identifying altered or counterfeit travel and identity documents. Participants reviewed document security features, printing methods, watermarks, paper quality and the latest verification techniques to learn how to quickly and accurately verify documents and spot potential fakes.
Allan C. Guisihan, Executive Director of the Philippines Center on Transnational Crime and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Manila, said the skills learned during this hands-on training course will boost the ability of the ASEAN countries to secure their borders against all manner of threats.
“These specialized training courses which strengthen capacity and enhance cooperation among law enforcement agencies are vital in achieving our shared goals in combating transnational crime,” said Mr Guisihan.
The training course was the final capacity building event of the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II. Funded by the European Union and implemented by INTERPOL, the three-year programme sought to improve border security in the region by strengthening law enforcement networks at transit hubs across all 10 ASEAN member countries.
“This programme deals with perhaps the most challenging phenomenon of our time: the growing movement of people across borders in an ever-more global and connected world,” said Enrico Strampelli, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines.
“Such movement offers opportunities for trade and development, but can also increase security risks such as human trafficking, migrant smuggling and other forms of transnational organized crime,” he concluded.
Underscoring the importance of developing the skills of women in law enforcement, this was the first INTERPOL border management training course which was offered exclusively for female participants, who also learned effective presentation skills.
Jorge Fainstein Day Gastrell, INTERPOL Assistant Director of Capacity Building Projects and Networks, said the transnational nature of human trafficking, people smuggling and other global threats requires ‘close cooperation and information sharing between all countries in the region’. This will develop a strong regional border security system to support the global security architecture in which INTEPROL plays a decisive role, he added.
The 10 ASEAN member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.