The OSCE and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) held an intensive train–the-trainers course for border guard officers on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers as well as reception practices at border entry points from 21 to 30 November 2011.
Border guard officers from across Tajikistan, including officers posted on the Tajik-Afghan border, participated in the course, which was held at the Border Troops Academy in Dushanbe and the Border Guard Training Centre in Rudaki District, south of the capital.
Topics of instruction ranged from the refugee definition in international and domestic law to the non-refoulment or non-expulsion principle to group facilitation techniques and referral mechanisms. During the workshop, the participants created training modules on refugee and asylum issues and carried out a test class with cadet officers while being supported and coached by DRC experts.
“This training course is part of the OSCE’s co-operation with other organizations to meet the specific training needs of Tajik border management agencies, including in human rights,” said Ambassador Vikki, the Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan.
“Border guards are typically the first government officials that asylum seekers meet in their host country, and it is key that border guards understand the commitments their government has made to protect refugees,” said Rexane Rasmussen, the DRC Regional Representative in Central Asia. “The training course aims at ensuring that asylum seekers are treated fairly.”
The vast majority of refugees and asylum seekers in Tajikistan come from Afghanistan, with which it shares a border more than 1,200 kilometres long.