World Border Security Congress2018-02-02 12:02:23
Border Pass Management System Facilitates Cambodian-Thai Border Crossing
Cambodia’s General Department of Immigration has launched a new border pass management system at the Doung International Border Control Post, in Battambang province on the Cambodian–Thai border. The system will use software developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.
The Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) has been installed, with financial support from Canada, to allow Cambodia to more effectively manage cross-border movements of local residents and migrant workers traveling with border passes.
Expediting border procedures is an important element of economic cooperation between the two countries. People using border passes need to be quickly and accurately identified and registered, within the mixed flow of migrants moving back and forth across the border. This calls for a cost-efficient solution that balances security with facilitation.
MIDAS is a powerful border management information system that processes and records all information about border pass travellers, including their biographical data and facial images. It also provides a systematic registration of all entries and exits, allowing for analysis of statistics and trends to inform evidence-based migration policies.
“MIDAS answers a real need,” said General Sok Phal, Cambodia’s Director of Immigration. “It allows for more effective border management of local Cambodian border residents entering and leaving Cambodian territory, while providing a solid statistical basis for migration policies and strategies.”
The new system can also register minors (in Cambodia, this is any person under the age of 12) travelling with a legal parent or guardian. Photos and birth certificates are captured and stored in a database, which allows immigration officers at the border to verify the identity of both the adults and the children travelling with them. This offers protection against child trafficking and identity fraud when issuing border passes.
“The system, which was installed in November and now processes on average 1,000 crossings a day, is already demonstrating significant potential to provide Cambodian immigration and provincial authorities with an overview of border pass movements,” said IOM project manager Brett Dickson. “Feedback from frontline immigration officers is also positive, showing that it makes identity checks and processing of border pass travellers easier and faster.”
“We hope MIDAS will help to optimize Cambodian border control posts and border operations for effective border management, and promote orderly cross-border migration,” added IOM Cambodia Chief of Mission Dr. Leul Mekonnen. “It should also help to reduce irregular migration by facilitating and expediting regular movements, ultimately helping to ensure the safer movement of migrant workers and border residents.”
Currently, MIDAS is only installed in Battambang Province on a pilot basis. The Cambodian Government and General Department of Immigration have asked for the system to be scaled up and extended to five other border control posts along the Cambodian-Thai border.
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