Home » OSCE and UNODC continue efforts toward gender inclusive border security in South Eastern Europe

OSCE and UNODC continue efforts toward gender inclusive border security in South Eastern Europe

Together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the OSCE Transnational Threats Department’s Border Security and Management Unit (TNTD/BSMU) organized a two-day regional training on gender mainstreaming in border and law enforcement agencies that concluded today in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The interactive training was delivered to 31 representatives from border and law enforcement agencies (17 men, 14 women) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. They were trained on integrating a gender perspective into their daily work, with a view to increasing the efficiency of border and law enforcement agencies. With the support of an international expert, participants engaged in exercises and joint analysis on Women, Peace and Security, the nexus between gendered biases and stereotypes, and identification of cross-border crime. 

Together with experts from UNODC, the participants also discussed possible ways of preventing and combatting sexual harassment at the workplace, and were equipped with tools and knowledge to recognize and seek redress against such behaviors, in order to ensure a harmonious working environment.

“Over the past years, UNODC has played an increasingly active role in promoting gender mainstreaming and women’s role in such agencies which are important and major counterparts for the Organization”, said Anne Linn Jensen, Programme Officer of the Container Control Programme, UNODC, opening the event. 

The OSCE’s Border Security and Management Unit recalled the importance of men as partners in work on achieving gender equality. Participants then identified ways in which men can be engaged in overcoming gender-related challenges in border agencies.

In order to shed light on the purpose of the event, Inesa Nicolaescu, Associate Border Security Officer, OSCE Border Security and Management Unit noted the following:

“Gender equality and gender-sensitive border management will not only benefit women crossing borders, but also men and children, Thus, it is our common task, both of men and women to achieve gender equality, which will ultimately lead to stability and inclusive security for all of us, ”

This sentiment was matched during the event by Sanja Fitzgerald, National Programme Officer with the Security Co-operation Department of the OSCE Mission to BiH. She highlighted in her address that “Gender mainstreaming is a way to improve effectiveness of operations without necessarily needing to hire new people or obtain new equipment. This is of particular importance for BiH, where border police continues to be understaffed.”

Source : OSCE