EU trains border guards, customs and migration officers in Central Asia

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — A regional workshop organised within the EU-funded Border Management in Central Asia Programme (BOMCA) is taking place on 19-21 February in Ashgabat focusing on using new technics and international standards in border checks, the EU Liaison Office in Turkmenistan reports.

A total of 18 border guards, customs and migration officers from four Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) are being trained to use new technics and international standards in border checks. The regional workshop in Ashgabat is organised by the EU-funded Border Management in Central Asia Programme (BOMCA) in cooperation with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX).

During the workshop the European experts have presented to the participants legal and procedural instruments to manage both regular and irregular migration flows/mobility (flow of persons and goods at the borders), by taking into account innovative work methods and the possibilities provided by IT and technological solutions as key elements of an integrated approach to border management.

The participants are informed about the practice of the EU countries to strengthen cooperation between the agencies that control the border crossing points.

In addition, the issue of a need to assess the level of services provided to groups of migrants, including the most vulnerable groups (legal and illegal), is discussed. Participants are provided with training on professional ethics including on gender policy and conflictology. The workshop also addresses issues of personal data protection and respect for human rights, especially in relation to vulnerable groups of refugees, asylum seekers, minors and the elderly.

The program includes introduction of the modern border checks facilities of the Ashgabat International Airport to all participants.

The first BOMCA operations in Central Asia began in 2003 and, since then, BOMCA has strengthened the partnership between Central Asian Governments in the field of border management. The European Union allocated a sum of EUR 40.1 million to BOMCA for the period of 2003–2019, out of which EUR 6.6 million was assigned to its 9th implementation phase (2015-2019).

Sergey Kwan

TCA