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06 March 2017

Securing borders across ASEAN focus of INTERPOL training in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar ‒ Strengthening border security across Southeast Asia to address transnational crimes such as human trafficking and people smuggling was the focus of an INTERPOL training course held within the framework of the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme.

Hosted by the Myanmar Police Force, the six-day (27 February - 4 March) integrated border management operational training involved some 23 law enforcement officers from nine ASEAN member states.

The specialized training also involved the International Organization for Migration and included modules on identifying and interviewing human trafficking victims. Training participants were also introduced to INTERPOL’s border management policing capabilities.

These include its secure I-24/7 police communications network, global Notices alert system, and a range of databases, including for stolen and lost travel documents.

“As the EU and ASEAN celebrate 40 years of partnership, we are really happy with the collaboration with INTERPOL in implementing the landmark EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme,” said Roland Kobia, EU Ambassador to Myanmar.

“Since its launch in Jakarta in 2015, the programme has successfully carried out training activities in eight of the ten ASEAN member states, enhancing law enforcement capacity, improving connectivity and strengthening cooperation at regional transit hubs,” he continued.

Police Colonel Kyaw Zaya, Myanmar Police Force, highlighted the role of INTERPOL as 'an important conduit' for future training seminars and regional operations involving all ASEAN member states, with participants acting as ‘operational coordinators’ in their respective countries.

With Southeast Asia experiencing continued economic development and regional integration, a priority of the programme is to provide regional support against some of the most negative aspects linked to the increased movement of people and products, including illegal immigration, people smuggling and trafficking of vulnerable individuals.

Michael O’Connell, INTERPOL’s Director of Operational Police Support and Analysis, underlined the role of INTERPOL's border management training in helping member countries implement stronger security measures at border points. 

“This programme has been specifically designed to better equip and support ASEAN member states with the management of their borders to effectively address challenges posed by human trafficking and other transnational organised crimes,” said Mr O’Connell.

The ten ASEAN countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Roland Kobia, EU Ambassador to Myanmar

Colin Steinbach, European Union delegation to Myanmar

Fitriana Nur, International Organization for Migration

Herbin Marulak Siahaan, INTERPOL EU-ASEAN Migration & Border Management programme

Ye Zikang, INTERPOL Regional Specialized Officer for Asia and the Pacific