IOM, Ghana Immigration Service Unveil Counter Smuggling National Action Plan

Report
from International Organization for Migration
Published on 16 Feb 2018 View Original

Accra – IOM in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) this week launched a new Counter Migrant Smuggling National Action Plan and Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) on Information Sharing and Regional Cooperation. The launch was part of a reflection event to conclude IOM’s counter migrant smuggling project Addressing Counter-Smuggling and Protection Gaps in Ghana, Benin and Togo: Strengthening National and Regional Mechanisms. The project is funded by the Government of Canada through its Anti-Crime and Capacity Building Programme (ACCBP).

The National Action Plan (NAP) is a five-year plan (2019-2023) aimed at introducing a whole-of-government response to the threat of migrant smuggling. The 46-page document is structured into six pillars including:Improved Legislation, Stringent Law Enforcement, Public Awareness Creation, Improved Information Gathering & Sharing, Rights Protection of Smuggled Migrants and Regional Cooperation.

The SOPs on Information Sharing and Regional Cooperation were developed and adopted jointly by Benin, Ghana and Togo as part of the project. The document provides a formal, non-binding but pragmatic platform for the three participating countries to share information on counter smuggling activities and intelligence on smuggling networks and migrant movements.

The Deputy Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (Operations and Command Post) and Chair of SC/TWG, Laud Affrifah, stated that “Information sharing is a major tool in the fight against transnational crimes. This kind of cooperation will enhance collaboration among the three countries in curbing the crime of migrant smuggling.”

IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra shared that “Both the NAP and the SoPs are major achievements. However, this is only the beginning of the work ahead. We need to ensure that there will be a solid and sustainable implementation of both documents. Our success will measure in how effective we will be at preventing the proliferation of those networks in the three targeted countries as well as in terms of the positive impact we will have in migrant protection.”

IOM’s counter migrant smuggling project was implemented in partnership with GIS, Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs Division, Ghana Police Service, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Attorney-General’s Department, Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Navy and Bureau of National Investigations.

The project which started in June 2016 and ended on 15 February 2018, has facilitated multi-country trainings on counter smuggling for land and maritime officials as well as Training of Trainers in Benin, Ghana and Togo. Equipment was also donated to support frontline officers’ important travel documents fraud detection work at land borders.

For further information, please contact Daniel Tagoe at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930 Ext. 2408, Email: dtagoe@iom.int

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