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On 25th October, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights launched a new Trainer’s Guide on Human Rights at International Borders. The guideline has been a product of collaboration between the OHCHR and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, which has the main purpose to assist border officials in taking a human rights-based and gender-responsive approach to border governance, including in the context of counter-terrorism.
Complementing the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders, which includes positive practices in the Global Context for Migration, this new guideline provides an introduction to relevant human rights principles and issues.
The Trainer’s Guide is based on OHCHR human rights training methodology. The methods proposed in this Trainer’s Guide aim not only to build knowledge and understanding of the human rights framework, but also to enhance skills and attitudes that will enable practitioners to better promote and protect the human rights of migrants.
At the launch event, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet affirmed that although States have legitimate interests in exercising immigration control, viewing border governance solely as a national security or migration management issue without properly integrating human rights considerations has caused harmful consequences to migrants. . Migrants may face dangerous conditions, violence, including gender-based violence, and extortion at borders. Some of them may also face unlawful profiling, discrimination and arbitrary decision-making at borders, as well as stigma and xenophobia, faced push-backs or forced return in violation of non-refoulement and prohibition of collective expulsion. It is expected that this capacity-building tool could prepare States with their human rights obligations at international borders, including in the context of counter-terrorism, and border officials with the knowledge and skills to carry out their critical functions in a human rights-based and gender-responsive manner and protecting the rule of law.