DCI Eric Afari, Bono Regional Commander, Ghana Immigration Service

The Bono Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), DCI Eric Afari, has urged officers to enhance their knowledge base and sharpen their managerial skills in their dealings with asylum seekers/refugees, in order not to infringe on their rights.

He believes such skills acquired will help provide legitimate humanitarian services and ensure the protection of the refugees. 

The commander made the remarks during the opening ceremony of a four-day training workshop on legal instruments of refugee management in Sunyani.

In all, 45 sector commanders of GIS from the Northern Sector, including Upper East, Upper West, North East, Bono, and the Northern Regions, are being trained to expose them to the requisite legal regimes and provisions underpinning refugee management and the management frameworks required for effective refugee administration from the global, regional, and national perspectives.

Immigration officers undergo training on legal instruments of refugee management

The training, being facilitated by officials from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is a follow-up on a high-level dialogue on Refugee Management held in Accra in August 2011.

DCI Afari explained that the security and political situation in parts of the sub-region is unpredictable, and is, therefore, a matter of survival and self-preservation for people to flee from their country of abode to seek shelter at a safe place in Ghana. 

Because of such situations, he said the issues of refugee management would continue to be a part of the activities of GIS for as long as the security situation in countries around Ghana remains uncertain.

Immigration officers undergo training on legal instruments of refugee management

“We should therefore brace ourselves to receive asylum seekers from far and near per the UNHCR principle of non-refoulememt”.

UNCHR, in the refugee management space, serves as the lead agency in partnership with the Ghana Refugee Board, with the GIS playing significant roles together with other allied agencies such as Ghana Police Service, National Investigation Bureau (NIB), NADMO, and the CSOs.

But the management of migration, according to the Bono Region GIS commander, DCI Afari, is a core mandate of the Service, the reason why their operations have become visible at all stages of the refugee management value-chain. 

He further said their duties in the management of refugees commence from “the point of admission into Ghana, distinguishing asylum seekers from the regular travelers to the refugee status determination and finally the durable solutions stage in respect of voluntary repatriation, local reintegration and resettlement”.

It is based on these critical roles, the commander said, that the capacity building for the sector officers is important to equip them with the requisite knowledge and provisions required for the effective refugee administration.

Immigration officers undergo training on legal instruments of refugee management

He, therefore, urged the officers to take advantage of the learning opportunity so they can provide legitimate human-centered services while ensuring the protection of the rights of asylum seekers.

He further urged the officers to approach their duties with the needed ethical values of integrity, equity, fairness, professionalism and be gender-sensitive to the unusual needs of the refugees.

The Bono Regional Commander of the Service, DCI Eric Afari, expressed his appreciation to the UNHCR and the Ghana Refugee Board for organizing capacity-building training to aid their roles in refugee management in Ghana. 



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