Afghan students and their instructors take part in a high-altitude training exercise in preparation for two weeks of winter training on survival, mountaineering, search and rescue, avalanche awareness, and snow analysis in Khoja Obigarm, 50 kilometers north of Dushanbe, 12 February 2013. (OSCE/Mansur Ziyoev)
Tajikistan’s border officers are faced with a number of serious challenges. Given the country’s long land border with Afghanistan, the trafficking of drugs and of human beings is rife, but also the smuggling of goods via the borders with China and Kyrgyzstan is a problem.
In 2010, the Tajik government adopted a National Border Management Strategy, which gives both border and law enforcement agencies a clear policy framework up to 2025. The objective of the Strategy is to strengthen border security and promote cross-border co-operation and trade, while respecting human rights. The OSCE helped the authorities develop the Strategy, and is participating in a co-ordination group tasked with overseeing its implementation.
The Office also trains Tajik and Afghan border officials in detecting and intercepting illegal movements across the two countries’ borders, and helps them uncover so-called precursor chemicals – essential for narcotics production – coming through the borders with neighbouring China and Kyrgyzstan.
Regional co-operation is a particular focus of the Office’s efforts in strengthening the border management structure in the area. This includes not only training projects and seminars for Tajik, Afghan and Kyrgyz border officers, but also assisting Tajik border management institutes to develop their own training systems and curricula, and to improve the professional skills of their teachers and instructors.
Since 2009, Tajikistan hosts the OSCE Border Management Staff College, which was created by the Organization as an independent institution to train senior managers of border security and management agencies from the entire OSCE region.