Brought to you by the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, Border Security and Management Unit

In this great series of podcasts, the OSCE TNTD/BSMU is interviewing front-line officers at the borders in an effort to answer questions and illustrate the current situation on the field.

As well as challenges around the COVID-19 breakout, the podcast will tackle issues such as travel and freedom of movement in these exceptional circumstances – trying to provide simple answers to difficult questions.

In this podcast, Ms. Koehler-Schindler discusses the human rights implications concerning the use of new technologies in border security, the accompanying challenges as well as the need for improved communication amongst all involved stakeholders.

In this episode Mr. Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, talks about the misuse of technology in the field of trafficking in human beings, the effect of the misuse of technology on the victims as well as what the OSCE is doing to support participating states and partners for co-operation in this field.

In this episode Mr. Andrew Priestley talks about the current state of play of API and PNR in the OSCE regions, privacy concerns, as well as the future of inter-governmental data sharing including biometrics and medical data in a post-pandemic world.

In this interview Mr. Deignan discusses the work of the UN Countering Terrorist Travel Progamme and how it has been affected by the COVID pandemic. Furthermore, he talks about the difference between API and PNR as well as the change in human mobility due to the pandemic and its impact on the travel of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs).

The guest of the tenth episode is Ms. Elizabeth Collett, Special Adviser for Policy and Strategy to the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. Previously, she was a founding Director of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Europe and Senior Advisor to the MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration. Ms. Collett also served as a Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre, at the Migration Research and Policy Department of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, and for the Institute for the Study of International Migration in Washington, DC. During 2011-2013, she was a Research Associate at the Centre for Migration Policy and Society, Oxford University, and consulted numerous governments and non-governmental organizations, including foundations, nonprofits, and UN agencies. Furthermore, Ms. Collett has produced dozens of working papers, policy briefs, and memos focused on the future of EU immigration and asylum policy, as well as national-level policy developments. In this episode, hosted by Angelisa Corbo, Ms. Colett talks about the challenges IOM had to face with regard to migration and cross-border movement of people caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and how technology may help to overcome certain obstacles in this field.

In the ninth episode of the podcast Angelisa Corbo interviewed Mr. Massimo Bontempi, Central Director of the Central Directorate of Immigration and Border Police in Italy. Mr. Bontempi is looking back on a long career in law enforcement in which he was holding several leading positions within Italy, but has also worked internationally as a liaison officer for the FBI and DEA in Washington D.C. He holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Pavia as well as a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. In this episode Mr. Bontempi talks about the challenges Italy had to overcome in the field of border security due to the COVID-19 pandemic, how airports such the Fiumicino airport in Rome had to adapt to the new situation as well as the change in international mobility in general.

Ms. Borova works for the department for Border Security and Migration and is responsible for risk analysis and issues relate to irregular migration. She has more than eighteen years of professional experience and has joined the Albanian State Police in 2001. Ms. Borova is the national focal point for FRONTEX as well as the OSCE on gender mainstreaming aspects. In this interview conducted by Angelisa Corbo, Ms. Borova talks about challenges that had to be faced due to the pandemic, changes in migration flows in these times of crisis, the co-operation with international organizations as well as gender aspects of her daily work routine.

Mr. Mitevski is looking back on more than 20 years of experience in police services and border security experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in social work and social policy and is currently working on his Master’s degree in crisis management. Mr. Mitevski is also a distinguished member of the OSCE Mobile Training Team on the Identification of Foreign Terrorist Fighters at the Borders. In this episode, Mr. Mitevski talks about the challenges that had to be faced in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes that had to made to the daily work routines. Furthermore, he talks about Crisis Management in these complicated times as well as his motivation to join the OSCE SMM as a Monitoring Officer. The interview was conducted by Florian Krejsa.

In the sixth episode, Ms. Angelisa Corbo interviewed Mr. Jonathan Holland, Director of the OSCE’s Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe. In addition to over 37 years of law enforcement, public security and international training mission experience, Mr. Holland has never stopped his education journey, having obtained diplomas in security management, investigations and criminal profiling, certificates in Homeland Security and Terrorism Prevention, Critical Infrastructure Protection and in Airport Narcotics Investigations. He is also a graduate of the FBI’s Regional Academy. Mr. Holland gives an in-depth overview of the work of the Border Management Staff College, the challenges the college has been facing during the pandemic, and, finally, an outlook on the future of adult learning as a result of the introduction of new technologies.

In this fifth episode, Angelisa Corbo had the pleasure to interview Ms. Tanja Ilijoska, Head of Customs House Gevgelija, Customs Administration Republic of North Macedonia. Ms. Ilijoska is looking back on 22 years of experience as a Customs officer 17 of which she spent as a Senior Customs Officer. For the last two and a half years she is serving as the Head of the Custom House in Gevgelija. In this episode, Ms. Ilijoska will talk about the challenges that had to be overcome due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the introduction of new technologies into the daily work routine. Finally, Ms. Ilijoska will give an example of challenges that female officers have to face in their everyday work.

In this episode, Florian Krejsa interviewed Mr. Dennis Cosgrove who is the head of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department’s Border Security and Management Unit. Mr. Cosgrove has been with the OSCE since 2013. Prior to that, his duty stations included the United States Embassy in the Republic of Tajikistan, the United States Department of Justice, as well as the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Cosgrove will talk about how the current pandemic has changed the daily work routine of his unit, the necessary transition from in-person-training to online training, and its challenges, as well as a look forward into the future of border security in these difficult times.

In this third episode, Angelisa Corbo interviewed Mr. Franz Zeiner from the Austrian Police, Unit for migration control. Mr. Zeiner has been a border police officer since 1988 and now works as an expert for travel document security. In this capacity, Mr. Zeiner has collaborated with the OSCE Transnational Threats Department’s Border Security and Management Unit on numerous occasions conducting training on this very topic. In this interview, Mr. Zeiner is not only giving us a closer look at the current situation at the Austrian border but also tells us how he became a border officer and what makes this job so special for him.

In this episode, Mr. Astrahan elaborates on the challenges the Moldovan Border Police is facing during the COVID-19 crisis in relation to implementation of contingency plans, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and in regional co-ordination. Mr. Astrahan also gives an in-depth overview of logistical adjustments and arrangements put in place to provide psychological support for border guards in these times of crisis.

In this first-ever episode, Angelisa Corbo talks to Ms. Zaineb Gharbi, a Lieutenant Colonel at the border police of Tunisia and Assistant Security Manager at Tunis Carthage Airport. Ms. Ghabri has been working in the first line for eleven years. In parallel to her everyday duties at the border she is currently a doctoral researcher in sociology. She also holds a master’s degree in border management and another in human resources management (Professional stress management). Ms. Gharbi, who is a mother of two, will give us an in-depth look into her daily work routine and how it has been altered by the ongoing pandemic and furthermore will give us a closer look at the gender aspect of the current situation.