The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) organized a Study Visit (SV) to Finland (18 – 23 March 2018) on Border Management for 9 officers from the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the General Directorate of General Security (GS) as part of the Danish Project to Support Land Border Security in Lebanon funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Participants were chosen upon their successful completion of basic and advanced training on border management at the Beirut International Airport safety and security training centre Centre d'Entrainement pour le Renforcement de la Sûreté Aéroportuaire (CERSA) in 2016 and 2017. Before the departure to Finland, a preliminary meeting with the participants was hosted at the residence of the Finnish Ambassador to Lebanon Mr. Matti Lassila to review and discuss the agenda of the visit.
The programme of the SV was tailored to the needs of the participants, and balanced between theory and field visits. It included meetings at the Finnish Border Guard Headquarters where a general presentation of the Finnish Border Guard training system and the Border Guard Academy was conducted. The meetings were followed by a field visit to the Ilomantsi Border Guard Station at the North Karelian Border Guard District where participants were given an overview of the border guard arrangements, inter-agency cooperation, car and ski patrolling, and the technical surveillance system with the use of tactical cameras.
At the Tohmajärvi Border Guard Station presentations and discussions covered the topic of crime prevention at border crossing point (BCP), the application of national and international co-operation mechanisms in addition to the use of dog handling in the Niirala BCP. The SV programme was concluded with a visit to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport where participants visited the Border Control Department and met with the management of the crime prevention unit at the airport.
The SV was an opportunity for the Lebanese delegation to exchange experiences in dealing with border management challenges, to explore further interagency cooperation systems and mechanisms, border management and crime prevention at BCPs and to assess the feasibility of such models in the Lebanese border management context.