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EXCLUSIVE – Q&A with Immigration, Border Management Expert on Security, Tech Market

According to the World Economic Forum 2012, the global proceeds from cross-border criminal activities, corruption and tax evasion was estimated at over $1 trillion. Trade of illegal drugs and counterfeit goods each account for 8 percent of the overall world trade.

But while border security remains a fragmented market that has relied on human-intensive techniques such as lookout posts, guards or paramilitaries, Frost & Sullivan has said this will change over the forecast period with technology adoption and better ISR solutions being procured in the market.

New analysis and assessment from Frost & Sullivan said the global border control and biometrics market earned revenues of $16.3 billion in 2012, but has estimated that the market will grow to $32.5 billion by 2021. The research covers security, military, government and law enforcement applications.

The international policing body, INTERPOL, plans and coordinates partnerships between member countries, international organizations and the private sector, sometimes allocating operational resources to border security initiatives. A coordinated approach through the use of technology and partnerships with the private sector directed by INTERPOL is essential to eliminate duplication of mechanisms and efforts, and to improve border security management around the world.

INTERPOL will be taking this one step further in 2015 with the launch of INTERPOL World, a new global security event aimed at finding innovative solutions to real world security challenges. It will serve as a unique platform to connect governments, national security agencies and law enforcement agencies with the private sector to identify security challenges, co-create innovative solutions, and improve the detection and prevention of crimes around the world.

INTERPOL World 2015 will focus on four key domains, one of which — not surprisingly — is border management. With the increasing mobility of people and goods as the security backdrop, organized crime groups are making use of easy and convenient trans-border access to commit crimes. Border security management, therefore, is one of INTERPOL World’s priorities.

EXCLUSIVE - Q&A with Immigration, Border Management Expert on Security, Tech Market Homeland Security TodayAhead of this April’s inaugural INTERPOL World, David Knight, former head of the Immigration and Border Management Division at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and current Chief of Mission Vietnam and Regional Coordinator for Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR, spoke to Homeland Security Today about the current challenges and opportunities in border security.

While chief of IOM, his responsibilities included strategy creation and program formulation as well as guidance for technical cooperation programs encompassing various areas of governance improvement in the migration sector. He also represented IOM at key inter-agency meetings where issues of immigration and border management were discussed, and regularly presented at professional conferences and forums.

He also forged a closer working relationship in immigration and norder management with INTERPOL, Frontex, the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee. He has consulted worldwide on technical assistance matters and lead assessment teams examining national migration and management border control structures and processes.

Q: What can the private sector do to help improve border security?

A: The private sector is having an increasingly important role in border security, particularly in the area of technology where we see that the private sector is playing a leading role in developing and applying innovative technologies at the border toimprove security. Examples include the increasing application of biometrics in passenger processing, data management and data analysis.

Stakeholders in the security landscape, particularly key players in the public and private sectors, must come together to identify current and future security challenges, and then design innovative technologically driven solutions to tackle them. These must be done through constructive dialogue and partnership with government, and may also be supported at networking at events such as INTERPOL World, a new international security event taking place April 14-16, 2015 in Singapore.

IOM is on the expert panel for INTERPOL World’s Strategic Partners Program, where the event’s strategic partners and key security companies around the world will meet with the members of the expert panel like myself to discuss challenges in cybersecurity, safe cities, border management and supply chain security, and then look to create technologically-driven solutions to be presented at INTERPOL World.

Q: What challenges does the private sector face in working with government and how can these be overcome?

A: Given the nature of the security landscape right now, many of our most pressing challenges are too complex for any one party to face alone. Partnerships between the private sector and government agencies and international organizations need to be sustainable over the long run, and the key to that is ensuring all parties are equally committed in the course of improving global law-enforcement efforts.

One specific challenge that we see in our work in developing countries is the need for industry to better understand the national border management environment – regulatory, procedural and administrative – to ensure that proposed technological solutions can be applied to their best effect.

This is why platforms such as INTERPOL World will provide the opportunity for constructive interaction and dialogue between private security solution providers and global police organizations and governments. The event also offers the opportunity for solutions providers and innovators to demonstrate the result of their research and expertise at the Expo. Through that, law-enforcement agencies or international corporations in need of security solutions can witness the potential of specific products or services in addressing their needs.

Q: In an ideal world, how do you see industry working with government in the areas of border security and immigration?

A: Border security and immigration control is a high volume, critical, government service taking decisions on who may or may not enter or remain in a country, operating under legal powers and subject to legal challenge. This legal framework is important to understand.

The best technological solutions that we see are invariably solutions that have been developed in a close and genuine partnership between industry and government with a shared commitment to understanding the environment and the objectives; good overall strategy and vision are crucial, and each party really needs to understand what is required in the national context and moves through a careful, tailored, design process.

Q: Do any formal border security programs exist between industry and government? If so, can you tell us a little about them?

A: Industry plays a key role in many border security programs around the world. Examples include “carrier sanctions” whereby governments work closely with airlines to reduce the incidence of improperly document passengers boarding flights and the participation by carriers in the transfer of Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) data. In the area of travel documents, industry also works closely with government in the development and application of standards.

At present, the INTERPOL World Strategic Partners Program is working on the development of passenger data systems, simple and effective border screening systems, as well as the establishmentof next generation global information or data protection standards.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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