Safeguarding against COVID-19 when working at Border Crossing Points

Vienna, Austria: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ICMPD has supported border authorities around the world in adapting to the unprecedented chain reaction of restrictions and challenges triggered by the pandemic. Today, ICMPD launches a video on Safeguarding Measures to be taken at Border Crossing Points (BCPs) to further support border guards to prevent and protect against the virus.

The Safeguarding video, developed by ICMPD’s Regional Coordination Office for the Silk Routes Region and the Border Management and Security Programme, is aimed at providing a concise guide to front line border guards and officers working at land, air and sea BCPs on how to identify potential cases of COVID-19 and minimise the risk of infection to themselves and travelers.

Watch it here:

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Arabic

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The video presents safeguarding measures to be taken before, during and after a BCP shift. Before shifts, border officials should ensure sufficient stock of PPE equipment for themselves and travellers, and reorganise the flow of passengers to prevent bottlenecks and large gatherings across the BCP. During shifts, officers may introduce dedicated screening and contact tracing measures within existing border control measures, and divert potential cases to secondary screening points and isolation areas. Finally, the video covers measures that border officials may take after their shifts to protect themselves and family members from the risk of infection.

The safeguarding video will be used in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq and Pakistan to raise awareness among front-line officers and managers at BCPs and is available in English and Arabic.

The launch of the safeguarding video caps a year in which ICMPD reacted quickly in the Silk Routes region to provide extensive support to border authorities to manage the Covid-19 crisis, made possible through the European Union funded Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes Countries (IBM Silk Routes) project.

This support has included the provision of over 350,000 units of Personal Protective Equipment, thermometers, sanitation supplies, isolation tents and awareness materials to BCPs in all countries, the installation of a power generator at Farah BCP in Afghanistan to ensure 24/7 operability, and technical and expert support to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Academy in Pakistan to provide electronic tablets, equip a digital classroom and support academy instructors adapt to a distance learning methodology. This allowed mission critical training to continue uninterrupted despite COVID-19 restrictions and allowed new recruits to complete their mandatory training and take up their front-line operational postings on the border on schedule.

The Safeguarding Measures at BCPs video was developed in the framework of the EU funded Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes project based on Safeguarding Guidelines developed by ICMPD’s Border Management and Security Programme. The guidelines were drafted in accordance with international best practices and WHO recommendations, and are not meant to replace national guidelines. All measures taken by national law enforcement authorities should be in conformity with the applicable national legislation and international obligations.