Ukriane - lessons in border management

excerpts from an interview with steve cook (iom, kiew):

02.Oct.02 - "we are active in Ukraine since 1996. .. In 1998 we consulted very closely with high-level authorities of Ukraine, authorities involved in migration management in some nature or other, to re-assess the priority of Ukraine as regards migration management. the two primarily priorities that emerged from assessment was the need to better control illegal migration to and through Ukraine and to take affords to more effective combat to trafficking of women. so we set about designing a framework approach or strategy, if you will, on how iom could most effectively support the government in addressing those 2 particular issues. framework become known as "capacity building for migration management program" and it was discussed and approved by the cabinet of ministers in the may of 1999. since then we've been working with government to elaborate programs and strategies to address those 2 priorities.. or program fields. ..... "

then he is talking about good management of western Ukrainian borders and almost not managed eastern borders. ....

" eastern border traditionally wasn't the border so it doesn't have the necessary control system in procedures. all these need to be developed from the ground up. so in 1999 we worked with the border guard and the ministry of interior, primarily to establish a demonstration, pilot project in Kharkiv. we chose to locate the demonstration project in Kharkiv because in that time the Kharkiv was the primly vector of illegal migration in Ukraine. so that was a sort of experiment or the test - we wanted to establish a limited project in major area of flow of illegal migration and see if the systems and procedures we developed through this project will have an impact of controlling illegal migration in that very limited sector. so we had iom international experts on migration, a team, it was led by the former director of enforcement of Canadian immigration. to work with as in Ukraine to develop an Approach to establish these procedures.

the approach that was established and developed was very comprehensive, it consisted of elements of monitoring and detention and check points procedures at the border itself. but it also identified border national measures that need to be developed to better control in and into Ukraine and to support the afforded measures that ongoing on the border itself. by that I mean we had to take into account visa issue procedures and what documents are used to cross the border and how they are produced and issued. to illustrate that: when we did the assessment to Kharkiv project we discovered that the full 70% of illegal migrants there were in Ukraine at that time had in fact entered Ukraine legally. and so that's been the case - that doesn't matter how effective border control is if illegal migrants presenting legal documents to enter the country. so we assessed that situation, analysed and make specific recommendations to the government on how that could be better managed, those recommendations have since been implemented and now the raid of illegal migrants in Ukraine that have entered Ukraine legally has been subsequently reduced.

but there was also identified our assessment legislative divergence that the border guard and the ministry of interior don't have a legislative base with which they could effectively charge their functions.

as a part of the process we've made a very specific recommendations for the need the create the legislation that'd fill these gaps. and as result Ukraine has in fact adopted a whole series of very specific and particular legislative statutes that support the better managing and controlling the border.

as regards the border itself priority and needs identified were enhanced communication system and enhanced monitoring and detention capacities. examples of that: we provided very sophisticated radio communication system. we provided an infrared radar which is the technology that allows the operator to see in the day and night, in the dark within 7 kilometres radiation it can detect a person. and various other monitoring and detention technologies. and we also took a delegation of about 11 high-level border guard officials to U.S.A. to study the systems and the procedures that had been in the U.S. developed on the border with Mexico.

in fact that the sector was previously the most heavily travelled by illegal migrants has been basically shut down. ... that what we wanted to demonstrate. as the result we've got sufficient donor funds to develop another project of Ukrainian-Byelorussian border - that joint Ukraine-Byelorussia project we are in the process of developing Russia-Ukraine border management project that expands Kharkiv project and we are also ready to implement very soon a joint Moldova-Ukraine border management project."

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