PNG gets help with border management from IOM
The International Organisation for Migration links up with the Papua New Guinea Government to improve border management.
The aid agency the International Organisation for Migration is working with Papua New Guinea to stop smuggling and people trafficking over the Indonesia border.
The IOM, with Canada's Border Protection Agency, has just surveyed the illicit movement of people and goods, smuggling routes, surveillance systems, border management and people-to-people contacts.
The agency's PNG head of mission, George Gigauri, says there is not a lot of people smuggling there.
GEORGE GIGAURI: What's happening on the Indonesian border, according to the assessments that we have done so far, is that there's more evidence of smuggling of goods rather than people. Of course people are being smuggled across, but these people are what we call, usually, third country nationals, for example, a national of Somalia, who's travelled to Indonesia and then to PNG. But ultimately the vast majority of these people are not trying to come to Papua New Guinea, they are of course, trying to get to Australia. But I think it's important to remember that this phenomenon, the smuggling from Indonesia to PNG, is not, at least according to the latest information we have here, we're not talking about huge numbers here, we should not exaggerate the scale of this amount.
DON WISEMAN: What sort of numbers then?
GG: Well given the clandestine nature of this situation it's very difficult to get accurate information but we're talking about, dozens, rather than hundreds, I think I can put it that way, per year.
DW: It's a very long border, and it's very inhospitable country so how do you go about trying to do something about it?
GG: Well we're working with the Indonesian authorities and customs and other government stakeholders in a number of directions, one is capacity building in country smuggling. That first of all refers to realising where are the weak points, where smuggling actually takes place. That one was of course built into the human resource capacity of the Government and then the third one is the infrastructure and equipment aspect. But ultimately we are moving towards a community based surveillance system, I think, as you said, given the nature of the terrain, it is incredibly difficult to create border posts across that huge border and traditionally there is a lot of customary land on both sides so you have near border movements of people who are basically working on the PNG side but whose village is on for example the Indonesian side, so for them it's not even a border. So I think in this context, what we're trying to model, trying to promote is a community based model where you have the community as the first responder and they communicate with government officials when they see something suspicious.
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