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11 - Manage borders

GCM Objectives
11 - Manage borders

Manage borders in an integrated, secure and coordinated manner

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is based on 23 objectives. This page provides resources for objective 11 (Manage borders in an integrated, secure and coordinated manner):

"27. We commit to manage our national borders in a coordinated manner, promoting bilateral and regional cooperation, ensuring security for States, communities and migrants, and facilitating safe and regular cross-border movements of people while preventing irregular migration. We further commit to implement border management policies that respect national sovereignty, the rule of law, obligations under international law, human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, and are non-discriminatory, gender-responsive and child-sensitive.

To realize this commitment, we will draw from the following actions:

(a) Enhance international, regional and cross-regional border management cooperation, taking into consideration the particular situation of countries of transit, on proper identification, timely and efficient referral, assistance and appropriate protection of migrants in situations of vulnerability at or near international borders, in compliance with international human rights law, by adopting whole-of-government approaches, implementing joint crossborder trainings, and fostering capacity-building measures;

(b) Establish appropriate structures and mechanisms for effective integrated border management by ensuring comprehensive and efficient border crossing procedures, including through pre-screening of arriving persons, pre-reporting by carriers of passengers, and use of information and communication technology, while upholding the principle of non-discrimination, respecting the right to privacy and protecting personal data;

(c) Review and revise relevant national procedures for border screening, individual assessment and interview processes to ensure due process at international borders and that all migrants are treated in accordance with international human rights law, including through cooperation with National Human Rights Institutions and other relevant stakeholders;

(d) Develop technical cooperation agreements that enable States to request and offer assets, equipment and other technical assistance to strengthen border management, particularly in the area of search and rescue as well as other emergency situations;

(e) Ensure that child protection authorities are promptly informed and assigned to participate in procedures for the determination of the best interests of the child once an unaccompanied or separated child crosses an international border, in accordance with international law, including by training border officials in the rights of the child and child sensitive procedures, such as those that prevent family separation and reunite families when family separation occurs;

(f) Review and revise relevant laws and regulations to determine whether sanctions are appropriate to address irregular entry or stay and, if so, to ensure that they are proportionate, equitable, non-discriminatory, and fully consistent with due process and other obligations under international law;

(g) Improve cross-border collaboration among neighbouring and other States relating to the treatment given to persons crossing or seeking to cross international borders, including by taking into consideration relevant recommendations from the OHCHR Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders when identifying best practices."

(GCM, 2018: para. 27)

Movements of people require enhanced human rights-based immigration and border management policies and procedures. States are faced with the challenge of maintaining open, but secure borders, which can be achieved through full coordination and cooperation of the relevant stakeholders. A lot of initiatives exist in supporting countries in border management. Nonetheless, areas pertaining to identification, referral, assistance and protection (cf. Actions a and b), compliance with international human rights law including due process (c and f), search and rescue (d), guidance on human rights-compliant border governance measures (g) and training of border officials in areas such as child-sensitivity and gender-responsiveness (e), to mention a few, still require capacity development. Strengthening the capacity of border management bodies to prevent irregular entry while respecting the international human rights law remains a global challenge.

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) report is available in AR, ZH, EN, FR, RU, ES.

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