The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) recentky held a conference and ceremony to celebrate the closing of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)-funded project Swiss Support to IBM Lebanon.

The event was held in Anjar, and was attended by representatives of General Security (GS),  Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), Internal Security Forces (ISF), Lebanese Civil Defence, the Ministry of State for Women’s Affairs, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon, the European Union Delegation to Lebanon and Caritas Lebanon.

Keynote speeches from GS, SEM and ICMPD highlighted the importance of the Swiss contribution to Integrated Border Management (IBM) in Lebanon and to the integration of a human rights-based approach within IBM.  All speakers noted the significant quantity and quality of activities conducted within the two-year project, praised the flexible and inclusive approach adopted for its implementation, and expressed high appreciation of the excellent cooperation among GS, ICMPD and SEM.

H.E. Ambassador Urs von Arb announced that SEM will continue supporting Lebanese security agencies in fostering a rights-based approach to migration, by financing a second phase of the project. Phase II will start in 2018 and run for 24 months.

The event included the handover ceremony to GS of the infrastructure funded by Switzerland at the Masna’a Border Crossing Point (BCP). In line with the project objective of increasing GS capacities to implement a rights-based and gender-responsive approach to managing migration at BCPs, the safe shelter for migrants apprehended in the attempt of illegally crossing the border will offer protection to those awaiting for their cases to be processed, whilst allowing GS to more effectively take into consideration their protection needs and specific vulnerabilities.

Swiss Support to IBM Lebanon aimed at supporting Lebanon in fostering a rights-based approach to migration management. This was achieved through the implementation of training activities and formulation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and training modules in the areas of human rights, migration, gender issues, crisis management and international cooperation, and in the infrastructure built at the Masna’a BCP. Outcomes include:

  • 6 workshops, 3 study visits to Switzerland and EU countries, 6 technical seminars
  • Drafting of 6 training modules and 1 SOP on large movements of people at BCPs
  • Piloting of all draft training modules and related Training of Trainers activities
  • Gender Equality Gaps & Needs Analysis of GS

Phase II will be based on the outcomes of Swiss Support to IBM Lebanon and particularly on the training modules developed with GS, expanding the list of beneficiaries to LAF and ISF, and work at intra-agency level to foster a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to migration and border managment.