The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) organized two workshops for 6 officers from the Directorate General of the General Security (GS) on human rights at international borders and managing mixed migration flows (March 20-23, 2018). Activities were conducted as part of the technical assistance project Swiss Support to Integrated Border Management (IBM Lebanon), funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and implemented by ICMPD.

Pursuing a right-based approach to IBM, the workshops aimed at engaging GS officers in the  design of SOPs, namely two training modules on human rights at borders and on the management of mixed migration flows, identification and treatment of vulnerable cases (including effective practices), for future endorsement by GS and inclusion in GS training offer.

Participants explored the main elements of a training module, such as developing curricula, setting learning objectives, choosing the preferred methodology, identifying relevant source documents and selecting adequate evaluation tools. Through brainstorming sessions, open discussions, case studies, and role plays, participants exchanged views on how to best develop such elements for each training module, based on their experience and on training needs identified throughout their work in GS.

The international legal framework and key definitions were presented for discussion, with a focus on two referential source documents: the Office of the High Commissions for Human Rights (OHCHR) Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and International Borders, and the Global Migration Group (GMG)/OHCHR Draft Principles and Practical Guidance on the Protection of Human Rights of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations. A representative of the OHCHR (Regional Office for the Middle East) participated in the workshop, sharing insights on the purpose, context and content of the principles and guidelines and how those can facilitate harmonizing national systems and practices with international human rights standards.

Through group work, participants then identified the most typical cases, challenges and effective practices encountered in their daily work, based on which they designed case studies to be integrated in the future training module. 

Designing those two training modules will contribute to raise awareness on a rights-based approach to border management, enhancing compliance with human rights at borders and protecting migrants’ rights, with a special focus on vulnerable groups.