EU-IOM migration project in Belarus to present results

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Office in the Republic of Belarus in cooperation with the European Commission’s Delegation to Belarus and the Ministry of the Interior of Belarus are convening the Final meeting of the Steering Committee of the EC/IOM international technical assistance project “Strengthening migration management in the Republic of Belarus (MIGRABEL)”.

The project, funded by the EU and developed by IOM in response to the official initiative of the Government of the Republic of Belarus back in 2005, was implemented by IOM Minsk in course of the last two years (2007-2009) being primarily aimed at the exploration of technical and legal aspects of introducing in Belarus e-passports, containing holders’ biometric features.

Within the project’s framework international experts in IT/Biometrics and Law launched a complex study of the current technical infrastructure and legislative base of Belarus in light of the future transition to e-technologies in passports. Furthermore, the project published the outcomes of their research, along with recommendations on the modernization of the state passport issuance system and the national legislation.

State experts, representing various ministries and institutions, engaged in the 5 networking visits to the EU MS (Germany, France, UK, Austria, Switzerland), where they familiarized with the work of the world’s leading manufacturers of e-passports, chips and personalization equipment. Moreover, Belarusian experts also thoroughly examined various countries’ experience in transiting to biometric IDs.

In course of implementation the project, in close cooperation and with financial assistance from the OSCE Headquarters organized a number of educational events, dedicated to biometrics (Seminar on legislation, July 2008; Training of trainers in IT, February 2009; International Biometric Conference, March-April 2009; Training on travel documents security, July 2009).

Moreover, project experts have developed an equipment procurement plan, based on which the project purchased equipment for the needs of the Government of Belarus in view of the future transition to biometric passports.

The project found strong support with the Government of Belarus, which developed the State Biometric Concept. In its turn, IOM Minsk developed and presented to the Government a project proposal “MIGRABEL Phase II”, aimed at further action to take over new generation IDs, and, inter alia, establishment of biometric control along Belarus-EU border.

Final meeting of the Steering Committee of EU-IOM “MIGRABEL” project will take place on July 23, 2009 at 16:00 at the premises of the International Training Center of the Police Academy (address: Minsk, Masherova Ave.6). Please contact for media accreditation IOM Office in Belarus.

Focal point for all issues, related to “MIGRABEL”, is Mr. Pavel Kholod, tel: + 375 17 284 40 82; mob. + 375 29 350 10 53; e-mail: pkholod@iom.org.by