By David KujabiComunications Officer
The Gambia, known for its vulnerability to human trafficking and irregular migration, is taking significant steps to improve its border security and combat organized crime. In support of The Gambia’s Security Sector Reform, the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) is implementing a project funded by the Swiss Confederation, aimed at enhancing the efficiency and accountability of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID).
A key aspect of the project is the introduction of Integrated Border Management (IBM), a comprehensive approach that seeks to improve collaboration, planning, and the overall efficiency of border security across various security agencies in The Gambia. Currently, the absence of a dedicated policy has hindered effective resource distribution at the border and the implementation of joint approaches to security.
Considerable progress has already been made in improving the legal frameworks through the drafting and validation of the GID Bill 2023. However, efforts are still underway to introduce Integrated Border Management (IBM) to further strengthen collaboration, planning, and the overall effectiveness of the response to border security across different security agencies in The Gambia.
Recognizing the need for a more coordinated and collaborative approach, DCAF has organized a two-day workshop to discuss the initial proposal of IBM with government stakeholders responsible for border management and security. The workshop will facilitate discussions on the concept of IBM, identify key stakeholders involved in its implementation, explore intra-service and inter-agency cooperation, and emphasize the significance of international cooperation. The event will culminate in the development of an IBM Strategy and Action Plan, outlining the steps necessary to enhance border management in The Gambia.
Integrated Border Management aims to replace traditional, fragmented border control measures with a streamlined and collaborative approach. By encouraging information sharing, joint operations, joint patrols, and shared goals, this comprehensive system will strengthen border control points, prevent and detect organized crime, and improve overall border management in The Gambia.
The Gambia serves as a hub for human trafficking and irregular migration, with victims and survivors originating from various countries in West Africa. Additionally, the country acts as a source and transit point for irregular migration, as many migrants pass through West Africa on their way to Mali or Niger before attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya. The porous nature of unpatrolled areas and the lack of resources at border control points have facilitated the continuous flow of illicit goods and other organized criminal activities, including drug trafficking.
With the implementation of Integrated Border Management, The Gambia aims to establish meaningful partnerships, foster information sharing, conduct joint operations, and strengthen border control points to combat organized crime effectively. This collaborative approach will not only ensure the efficient movement of people, goods, and services but also maintain security and compliance with laws and regulations.