Joint OSCE, UNDP Women’s Border Management Awareness Course Concludes at OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe



Photo caption: A participant from Afghanistan discusses cross border cooperation at the OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe, 28 August 2017. (OSCE BMSC/Vadim Suleimanov)

DUSHANBE, 31 August 2017 - Twenty-six women officials specialized in border security and management from Afghanistan and Tajikistan graduated today from the Border Management Awareness Course at the OSCE Border Management Staff College (BMSC) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The ten-day training course was focused on improving participants’ knowledge of the principles and procedures of border security operations, the concept of mainstreaming human rights and the role of gender equality in border management. Organized jointly with the EU-funded, UNDP-implemented Border Management Northern Afghanistan (BOMNAF) project, the course brought together mid to senior level officials from border and customs agencies of Afghanistan (20) and Tajikistan (6).

As a part of the OSCE BMSC’s effort to promote and apply gender equality and gender awareness in its training courses, this Border Management Awareness Course was designed for female border security and management officers only. The foremost objective of the course was facilitation of professional competencies of participants and promotion of effective cross-border co-operation at the regional level.

“This was the 3rd Women's Border Management Course organized by EU-UNDP BOMNAF in partnership with the OSCE Border Management and Staff College, and it achieved all its aims. Delegates from the Afghan Border Police and from the Tajik Border Force and Customs Service received up-to-date training from international experts in a range of relevant skills. But perhaps just as importantly, they gained a better understanding of the challenges faced by their colleagues on the other side of the Tajik-Afghan border, which must be encountered and overcome on a daily basis,” said Michael Holman, the EU-UNDP BOMNAF’s International Training Specialist.

Specific topics covered during the course included human rights and gender in border security and management, integrity and anti-corruption, cross-border co-operation, human trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees at the border and the associated international legal frameworks. The course also included sessions on leadership, first aid and stress management.

“I feel very proud and privileged to have been asked to design and deliver the Leadership, Communication and Coaching phase of this course,” said Annita Clarke, a trainer with the United Kingdom Police. She noted the enthusiasm and energy with which participants contributed to the discussions. “During one of our sessions, one of the students assured me that she could use the information received when she conducts intelligence interviews in the future. This is a true reflection of the relevance and understanding both of the material and of the candidate,” Clarke added.

“This is my first such training course and the first opportunity to go outside of Afghanistan to improve my professional competencies. Both I and my colleagues received information crucial to our everyday work. We especially cherish the chance provided to us to gain more knowledge on Tajikistan, the country we share our border with,” said Farzana Alizada, Lieutenant at Border Police of Afghanistan.

Alizada also expressed her and her colleagues’ hope that more training courses for women leaders from Afghanistan will be conducted in the future by the OSCE BMSC, as they are an important tool for promoting effective co-operation between the border and customs officers of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, as well as increasing female representation in professional development programmes.

The Women’s Border Management Awareness Course marked a milestone for the OSCE BMSC. Since its inauguration in 2009, the BMSC jointly with the EU UNDP BOMNAF has conducted 20 Border Management Awareness Courses.