In recent years Belarus has reached a new level of border control, which is important as an element of geopolitical, economic and cultural interaction with the neighbouring countries. It became possible due to the innovations in the legislature, infrastructure and the way the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus operates that were introduced within the framework of the EU-UNDP project "Supporting the Republic of Belarus in Addressing Irregular Migration and Promoting Human Rights of Vulnerable Migrants".
The ceremony was attended by the representatives of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union, International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Last year we had the most number of displaced people, internally displaced as well as refugees, since the World War II, or more than 65 million.
"I think if you ask any of these people, certainly most of these pepple if they had better options at home they wouldn’t leave because its home after all. Unfortunately I think if we look to the future, this is going to be a continuing phenomena, its not just people fleeing conflict, because they have no place to live safely and bring up their children safely, but also because of issues related to climate change. So what we need now im very convinced is not walls, not fences. What we need now is a different approach to manage our borders. An approach that seeks to learn from each other across borders. An approach seeks to encourage legal orderly migration. An approach that seeks to treat human beings humanely when they are feeling from conflicts." - said Sanaka Samarasinha, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus.
The project helped improve the processes of recruitment and training of staff in order to comply with the accepted international standards adopted by the EU, and it has aided the development of a psychosocial support service at the State Border Committee. Procedures were put in place to prevent and respond to cases of trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence against migrants, as well as mechanisms were created to provide legal and social assistance to victims through the involvement of non-governmental organizations. Thanks to the project, over the past 3 years, 714 victims of trafficking have received legal and psycological help in Belarus. The implementation of the project contributed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal No. 16 which focuses on the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies.
"There are very important results that are invisible by nature, but which have influence the way migrants are seen and treated. The change in approach to migrants and especially vulnerable migrants such as women, children, possible victims of trafficking and other sort of crimes is in my understanding even more important to make sure that the rights of migrants are respected and there I owe you a great thanks that we cooperated so well on this aspect." - stated Andrea Wiktorin, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus.
The project was implemented in cooperation with IOM and UNHCR and funded by the European Union.