Webinar: Border Management and Gender: Understanding the Crime-Terror Nexus and the Gendered Impacts of Border Practices to Prevent Terrorist Movement

In collaboration with:

Comprehensive and integrated border management strategies are paramount for the effective and timely identification of suspected or known terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), members of transnational criminal organizations, and other serious criminals attempting to cross international borders. The issue has been reiterated by the General Assembly during the Seventh Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/75/291), with renewed concerns over the continued threat posed by FTFs and the importance of international and regional cooperation to prevent terrorist movement.

Recognizing the nexus between organized crime and terrorism is also key for effectively countering and preventing terrorist activity and movement. In resolution 2482 (2019), the UN Security Council called upon Member States to “better understand the nature and scope of the linkages that may exist between terrorism and organized crime”, including trafficking in persons, acts of sexual and gender-based violence, money laundering, trafficking of dual-use materials and the illicit trade in natural resources.

While enhanced and coordinated border controls are at the core of preventing and countering terrorism, all counter-terrorism measures, including at borders, must be compliant with human rights law, humanitarian law, and refugee law. Indeed, as recently highlighted by the UN General Assembly, “respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing with effective counter-terrorism measures and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort” (A/RES/75/291, para. 9).

Understanding the crime-terror nexus is essential not only for the prevention of travel by terrorists and other serious criminals, but also for the effective identification of potential victims of terrorist groups, sexual and gender-based violence, human trafficking and other related crimes. Effective and comprehensive gender-sensitive screening procedures at borders would thus allow border officials to identity victims and individuals in vulnerable situations, protect them from secondary victimization, and ensure referral mechanisms to the adequate services and protection.

Furthermore, gender assumptions, norms and stereotyping intrinsically permeate screening practices at borders, which in turn can have disproportionately harmful consequences to the full enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms by women and girls attempting to cross or crossing international borders. Through resolution 2242 (2015) on the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UN Security Council recognized the “differential impact on the human rights of women and girls of terrorism and violent extremism, including in the context of their health, education, and participation in public life”. On the other hand, gender stereotyping also overlooks the myriad of roles of women in terrorism, violent extremism and other serious crimes, often reducing them to the role of victims or passive observers.

This webinar will explore the gender dimensions of the crime-terror nexus and the importance of gender-responsive approaches to border security and management. It will explore the multifaceted ways in which border practices impact individuals crossing borders, taking into consideration the complexities of gender roles in the counter-terrorism environment and the underlying assumptions regarding women, girls, men and boys. The discussions will further identify practical ways in which border officials can be better equipped to apply a rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to their daily interaction with individuals crossing borders.


  • Gorancho Stojkovski, Programme Management Officer, United Nations


  • Flavia Saldanha Kroetz, Programme Management Officer, Border Security and Management Unit, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre


  • Beatrice Jebet Ng’etich, Senior Security Officer, Kenya Airports Authority
  • Jacopo Carbonari, Senior Regional Thematic Specialist, Immigration & Border Management, IOM
  • Iman Sayed Taha, Policy Specialist, Peace and Security Section, UN Women
  • Eugenia Reznikowa, Gender Focal Point, Border Security and Management Unit, OSCE