IOM Facilitates Training for 100 Law Enforcement Officers on Humane and Rights-Based Approaches During Reception and Post-Arrival Assistance

IOM facilitated the training of 100 law enforcement and immigration officers at Banjul International Airport on humane and rights-based approaches to ensure reception and post-arrival assistance for returnees remains safe and dignified. ©IOM 2022/Robert Kovacs

Banjul – This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) trained 50 law enforcement officers involved in the arrival and reception of returnees on humane and rights-based approaches during return operations.

The training – conducted at Banjul International Airport – concludes the series of trainings organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior (MOI), to train 100 law enforcement officers involved in return operations and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond to the immediate needs of returning migrants.

“Return operations - reception and post-arrival assistance - remain key to our multidisciplinary services for migrants in The Gambia,” explains Marie Stella Ndiaye, IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme Manager. “Humane treatment at the first contact point is vital for returning migrants after many months or years of exposure to negative and traumatic experiences.”

Since January 2017, IOM in coordination with the Government of The Gambia, has facilitated the voluntary return of more than 6,600 stranded Gambian migrants and provided post-arrival reception assistance. The training is timely and will ensure that their arrival assistance is safe and dignified and that their reintegration to their family and community is smooth.

Through a psychological first aid, human-rights and international migration law framework, the training is intended to build the capacity of Gambian government authorities who function as the first point of contact for returning migrants. This approach will improve the coordination, procedures and structures concerning the reception and reintegration of returnees which contributes positively to their sustainable and holistic reintegration.

This training includes officers from: The Gambia Immigration Department (GID), Gambia Police Force (GPF), State Intelligence Service (SIS), Gambia Civil Aviation Security, the Joint Airport Intervention Task Force and additional airline staff members who work directly with returning migrants.

“The training comes at a crucial time, because there has been an influx of returnees coming back to The Gambia on humanitarian grounds and they need help,” explains Pa Ousman Manneh, GID Administration and Liaison Officer. “Being on the forefront of return operations, we give these migrants hope and courage, and we treat them in a dignified way.”

This series ensues a series of capacity building initiatives in migration management by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, through the development of Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration and National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for the Protection and Assistance of Vulnerable Migrants, including Victims of Trafficking.

This training is part of the activities of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in The Gambia, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

For more information, please contact Frehiwot Tefera, Program Support Officer (+220 330 3312,

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