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Tool 6: Border Management and Gender

27 February, 2020



This Tool is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit.

Integrating a gender perspective into the work of state institutions responsible for border management can have a significant impact on the ability of border officers to recognize and respond to the different needs and vulnerabilities of women, men, boys and girls. It can also help border services to collaborate more effectively with border communities. To do so, border institutions themselves need to be inclusive, representative and non-discriminatory.

The Tool provides a framework to identify the multiple and varied gender aspects of border management so to:

  • protect and promote human rights within border services and while discharging border-related functions 

  • comply with international human rights frameworks and obligations 

  • combat organized crime, including smuggling and trafficking in human beings, while protecting human rights 

  • understand why women, men, girls and boys migrate 

  • understand the implications of global events on people’s movements 

  • facilitate cross-border trade.

The Tool gives examples of progress made in integrating gender equality into border security management, highlighting five key approaches:

  • Gender strategy and specialized gender staff.

  • Using gender analysis.

  • Training for staff on gender issues.

  • Regional co-operation.

  • Administering immigration detention in a way that complies with human rights.

It presents case studies from around the world plus an institutional self-assessment checklist. 


Graziella Pavone, OSCE/ODIHR