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Protecting migrants by training Viet Nam border officers
24 May 2012

(Click to see large image)

Training course participants (back row) together with (front row, from left) UNODC trainers Mr. Chris Batt and Mr. Roger Britton, Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Vice Director of the Immigration Department, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Cu, Vice Director of the National Border Guardn Command, and Mr. Paul Hollis, Australian Embassy, and Mark Norton, Embassy of the United Kingdom


The S79 project is funded by the Australian and British governments. Paul Hollis from the Australian Embassy (left) and Mark Norton from the British Embassy at the opening ceremony


Roger Britton, UNODC's international technical advisor to the S79 project, outlines good border management practices to combat the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. The Training for field trainers will also be held in Ho Chi Minh City


UNODC trainer Roger Britton (left) taught the technical elements of border control while colleague Christopher Batt presented the methodology of border control


Future trainers: The 12 course participants came from various border ports in northern Viet Nam, including Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi and the important Hai Phong seaport. After training to become a trainer, they will return to their workplaces and train colleagues. Later in the year, after an evaluation round, the practical experiences and the recommendations of the field trainers will be used to improve the second UNODC course in Ho Chi Minh City.


Throughout nine long days and despite a fairly ambitious course agenda the participants remained attentive, and participated actively. The success of the training project relies on these field trainers and their commitment to training workplace colleagues.


Immigration Officer Ms. Nguyễn Thị Bình Phuong, the only female participant. An effective teacher with natural authority, Ms. Nguyễn is a confident, expressive public speaker - a key ability for a trainer. Throughout the course, participants were continuously encouraged to address the audience.


Along with their teaching talents, some participants displayed promising acting skills in role-playing exercises. Here, an officer in sunglasses plays a very convincing villain as two colleagues interview him using good cop, bad cop methods.

Role-playing can be a very useful training element as it prepares immigration officers for real-life situations.


Trainers constantly give feedback to their students. Here, the UNODC a role-playing exercise, from back left: Mr. Anh Ha, interpreter, Mr. Roger Britton and Mr. Chris Batt


Every migrant makes a story. If migration is well administered and regulated, the migrants, their families and both source and destination countries are likely to benefit from migration. Here, the class discusses how border control officers can facilitate regular migrations in a globalized world and protect vulnerable migrants from being smuggled or trafficked under life-threatening situations by transnational organized criminal groups.


International cooperation is important for effective border management in the region. During the course, several international immigration agencies delivered up-to-date technical presentations. Here, Robin Misir from the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), delivers a presentation on passenger assessment and the modus operandi of migrant smuggling by air.

Other participating expert presentations included the UKBA's Janki Miles on impostors, and Carol Veitch from the Australian Embassy in Thailand on document examination. In addition, Andras Czako, from the Hungarian Embassy, and Markus Ferber of the German Embassy introduced themselves as focal points in all visa matters to the Vietnamese border control agencies.


Mission accomplished! Participants from the National Border Guard proudly display their course-completion certificates