Group photo in Rwanda

On 30 October, MIEUX was in Kigali to launch an Action supporting the Directorate-General of Immigration and Emigration (DGIE) in investigating and prosecuting cross-border crimes within a migratory context, such as smuggling of migrants and Trafficking in Human Beings, as well as improving the knowledge of Rwandan authorities on after-entry migration management.

In recent years, Rwanda has invested heavily in the development of its infrastructure, revision of its laws and regional integration. Its landlocked position in a volatile region, however, still comes with a very specific set of challenges. In an endeavour to prevent cross-border criminal activities, the Government of Rwanda collaborates with MIEUX to strengthen the capacities of the Rwandan authorities in the abovementioned areas.

The eight-step approach developed by MIEUX and DGIE will involve a series of capacity-building activities with the focus on developing a training handbook for the investigation and prosecution of cross-border crimes within a migratory context. Knowledge received during seminars led by MIEUX experts and a study visit of a Rwandese delegation to a European Union Member State administration will feed into the drafting of the handbook which, in turn, will be used by a number of participants from the DGIE to train their colleagues.

The first knowledge exchange seminar on investigation and prosecution techniques related to irregular migration including the smuggling of migrants and THB has already taken place. It launched the discussions with all services involved in combatting cross-border crimes and two MIEUX experts from the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service have led discussions on a variety of relevant topics, ranging from important definitions over regional and national frameworks to human rights.

Stephanie Berry, MIEUX Project Officer and Coordinator for East, Central and Southern Africa, shares first impressions and thoughts regarding the way forward:

“Despite its small size and landlocked position, Rwanda has taken on a leadership role on migration issues in the region and is, therefore, an interesting partner to collaborate with. The exchanges the experts will have with Rwandan authorities will be beneficial for both sides, as the legal framework is very ambitious and it will be interesting to see its implementation.”