SIEM REAP, Cambodia – Enhancing border security across Southeast Asia to address transnational crimes such as migrant smuggling and human trafficking was the focus of an INTERPOL training course held under the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II.
Hosted by the Cambodian Ministry of Interior, the six-day (14 - 19 March) train-the-trainer meeting on integrated border management involved some 20 law enforcement participants from nine ASEAN member states.
The training was tied to INTERPOL’s global policing capabilities and included digital forensics, identifying and interviewing human trafficking victims, and counterfeit document analysis.
Police Lieutenant General Khun Sombo, Deputy Director General of the General Department of Immigration, Cambodian Ministry of Interior, underlined the role of the meeting as an important tool for further trainings and daily operations across the ASEAN region, with participants acting as ‘operational coordinators’ for border management initiatives in their countries.
Funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by INTERPOL, the EU-ASEAN Migration and Border Management Programme II seeks to strengthen law enforcement networks and cooperation at main regional transit hubs in ASEAN countries. It was launched in Jakarta in October 2015.
"The movement of goods and people around the world, particularly in Europe and South East Asia, is now occurring at an unprecedented rate," said Franck Viault, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Indonesia. "The programme which supports ASEAN Connectivity, for which the EU can share its rich experience, requires sound coordination amongst ASEAN's law enforcement agencies in implementing modern and effective border controls; this to prevent crimes and trafficking which typically affect the most vulnerable ASEAN citizens," added Mr Viault.
With Southeast Asia experiencing increased 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 in illicit goods.
“The EU-ASEAN Border Management and Migration Programme addresses some of today’s greatest law enforcement challenges – the growing movement of people across borders in an increasingly global and connected world,” said Michael O’Connell, Director of INTERPOL’s Operational Support and Analysis unit.
“By enhancing police capabilities through the EU-ASEAN programme, INTERPOL works with member countries throughout the ASEAN region and beyond to secure their borders and close off opportunities for criminals and terrorists,” added Mr O’Connell.
In this respect, INTERPOL Project Manager Rastislav Sasik, said: “The training course in Siem Reap has been important in empowering participants with a deeper understanding of INTERPOL’s global policing capabilities, thereby enhancing their abilities to conduct border management operations.”
The 10 ASEAN countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.