The OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid (centre) participating the OSCE BMSC-organized roundtable discussion on integrating gender sensitive and gender inclusive approach in border security, 2 September 2022, Vienna. (OSCE)
2 September 2022
Integrating a gender sensitive and gender inclusive approach in border security and management in times of crisis and conflict was the focus of a roundtable discussion organized by the OSCE Border Management Staff College on 2 September 2022 in Vienna.
The participants exchanged ideas on incorporating gender sensitive approaches to improve the effectiveness of border security and management agencies in preventing and detecting a variety of cross-border crimes. The topics of discussion also included combating sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking in human beings and protecting the human rights of those fleeing across borders in times of crisis and conflict.
In her opening remarks, the OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid emphasized the importance of incorporating gender sensitive approaches in times of crisis, particularly when war is being waged in the OSCE region and millions of civilians consequently fled their homes. She also noted that in times of crises, women and girls are disproportionately impacted, being at great risk of abuse, trafficking and violence.
The Acting Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe Tea Jaliashvili echoed the Secretary General’s remarks. She underlined the fact that the roundtable discussion helped to review the connections between gender-inclusive and human rights-based border security and effective border managed in line with the OSCE’s comprehensive approach.
During practical exercises, the participants learned about unconscious biases, discrimination towards people in-need of protection and recognition of potential victims of human trafficking at the borders.
The roundtable discussion represented the third in a series of discussions covering various aspects of international cooperation in the context of border security and management.