IOM's 6th BMIC Report is entitled "Solutions to Minimise Disruption to Cross-Border Movements of People and Trade while safeguarding National Security during Crises". This theme was addressed from a variety of perspectives and approaches, presented by selected speakers.
The 6th Border Management & Identity Conference (BMIC), co-organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association (APSCA) was held in Bangkok from 7-9 December 2022 and gathered 424 participating delegates from 55 governments all over the world, international organizations, solution developers in the border technology industry, and academic institutions.
Stephan Hofstetter, Founder of SECOIA was invited to one of the panels on the topic of solutions to minimise disrupton to cross-border movements of people and trade while safeguarding national security during crises. Mr. Stephan Hofstetter described how certain policy and border management regulations can create barriers to regular migration for certain groups. For example, he explained how lack of internet access, the cost of travel documents, and varied resources at different ports of entry can serve as a hurdle to free movement in multiple contexts, such as in border communities where daily crossings are necessary. He noted that different standards for Evidence of Identity (EOI), different civil registries, and varied legal structures in free movement zones can impact levels of integration and accessibility. A resource on this subject can be found in the IOM publication here: "Free Movement Zones: Guide for Issuance and Border Management".
One of the solutions in adressing low cost, high performance, distributed issuance and use in low-networked environment and virtually no technical or societal discrimination is CROC and BeyOND-card. This topic was covered in earlier blog posts (see linked blog posts below) and on the SECOIA-website, with more information on the cards to follow.
Speaker cast at BMIC during day 3, session 2: From l-2-r: Dion Chamberlain (Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand), Claudio Kavrecic (Frontex), Amalina Majit, (UNHCR), Stephan D. Hofstetter (IOM/SECOIA), Dr. Japhet Lishomwa (Government of Zambia)
Excerpt from the "6th Border Management & Identity Conference Report":
Contrasting document and identity fraud in field activities at borders,
by Claudio Kavrecic, Frontex
Mr. Claudio Kavrecic noted the importance of shifting from opinions to formal assessments when checking travel documents, and shared Frontex’s Quick Reference Guide as an example of a streamlined assessment tool that consists of terminology for facial comparison, to be used at border crossing points by border guards and investigators. He went on to describe the integration of fingerprints into border management activities and identity documents and introduced Frontex’s fingerprint comparison guide for border guards.
Moving Identity Management into the Digital Age: Humanitarian Delivery into Refugee Crisis
Amalina Majit, UNHCR
Ms. Amalina Majit introduced UNHCR’s use of remote registration for asylum seekers, a system that also provides asylum seekers with a platform to access specific assistance in certain parts of a country. The registration system provides an ID document, QR code, and application to authenticate biometric data and helps UNHCR prioritize vulnerable persons for vaccinations. Ms. Majit stressed the importance of high standards for identity management through facial verification technology, the safe use of technology, including privacy parameters, and a refugee-centric approach and constant feedback.
Post-Pandemic is Pre-Pandemic: What Role can Free Movement Zones and Cross-Border Identities Play
Stephan D. Hofstetter, SECOIA Executive Consultants
Mr. Stephan Hofstetter described how certain policy and border management
regulations can create barriers to regular migration for certain groups. For example, he explained how lack of internet access, the cost of travel documents, and varied resources at different ports of entry can serve as a hurdle to free movement in multiple contexts, such as in border communities where daily crossings are necessary. He noted that different standards for Evidence of Identity (EOI), different civil registries, and varied legal structures in free movement zones can impact levels of integration and accessibility.
Migration, Trade Facilitation and National Security in Zambia
Dr. Japhet Lishomwa described the relationship between migration and trade. He noted the Small-Scale Cross Border Trade (SSCBT) Initiative, which contributes to the income of 43 percent of Africa’s entire population, but explained how limited access to finance, corruption, and harassment disrupt this informal economy. He explained how SSCBT has the potential to support the African continent’s ongoing development and that these activities should be considered when planning for migration crises. Finally, he introduced E-Jeton Solution, a simplified border pass system that facilitates cross-border movement
and is currently being piloted at the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia by IOM.