Students at the National Police Academy of Costa Rica are taking an IOM-designed course to enable them to better assist and protect migrants in vulnerable situations. Graduates of this training, which finishes tomorrow (13/07), will likely become border police officers.
The training aims to strengthen the capacity of border police to provide assistance and protection to vulnerable migrants, building up from awareness, reflection and critical analysis of the daily work of the police force.
“The objective is to encourage a committed and engaged institutional response on behalf of migrants transiting the country’s borders,” said Roeland De Wilde, IOM Chief of Mission in Costa Rica.
This type of training is important in Central America, where providing effective protection and assistance to populations on the move is an increasingly complex challenge. More people are crossing borders and social, political and security issues are increasing the risks that they face.
During the training sessions, police cadets learn about the main characteristics of current migration flows in the region and populations involved in them, with a focus on protection. Students become aware of the situations experienced by migrants, many of whom have suffered human rights abuses and need special protection.
Trainees get basic guidance on how to proceed in specific cases and respond to a variety of needs, with a primary emphasis on children and adolescents, victims of human trafficking, abused women and indigenous people.
This course is based on the first module of IOM’s Introductory Course on the Protection of Migrant Populations in Vulnerable Conditions (downloadable in Spanish).
Both the course for cadets and the document are part of IOM’s Mesoamerica Project, which aims to enhance capacities for protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants in the Central American region. The project is implemented by IOM, supported by the Costa Rican government, and funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).