Revised Immigration Handbook and Operational Strategy Validated

Islamabad, 24 May 2017- UNODC Country Office Pakistan conducted a validation workshop in collaboration with United States Department of State and Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection at Islamabad. The purpose was to revise and upgrade the Immigration Handbook and the Operational Strategy of FIA for field of Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling.  

The Immigration Handbook is a guide to the frontline immigration officers that was drafted in the year 2007 by the then Director General. The purpose was to put together all the relevant laws, job descriptions, recommendations, standard operating procedures, circulars, standing orders and other important material related to human trafficking and migrants smuggling in one place to enable easy access to the relevant material by the practicing officers.  

During the course of time, need was felt to revise and update the handbook by incorporating revisions in standard operating procedures, laws and standing orders. UNODC while assisting the Federal Investigation Agency revised the handbook and invited relevant officials for its validation. 10 middle level FIA officers from four provinces were invited to provide their feedback and validate the revised material. 

Mr Naweed Riaz, a senior expert and International Law Enforcement Advisor UNODC, in his opening remarks stressed on the importance of the "Immigration Handbook". He said that it is a very important tool for a frontline officer while performing their immigration duties.  It is a ready reference for any practical issue that may arise. The previous handbook was a great effort by the Federal Investigation Agency. UNODC has upgraded it after due consultation with the senior management of the FIA. Revised standard operating procedures have been added along with many other relevant circulars that can come handy anytime while performing our duties. 

Mr Ehsan Gilani, a researcher from UNODC, briefed the participants about the draft operational strategy. He said that the strategy is based on 5Ps: Prevent, Protect, Partnership, Pursue and Prosecute. The operational strategy document chalks out recommendations that are in-line with international best practices and should be considered at all tiers.

The participants fetched a wealth of knowledge with their experience and contributed towards admirable delivery the workshops. Suggested additions and changes were duly noted thereby making the Immigration Handbook more realistic, practical and innovative. 

UNODC would continue its support to the Federal Investigation Agency in Pakistan to become more effective at protecting the public against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.