Human trafficking and migrant smuggling, insufficient data and challenges experienced by migrants when crossing borders are often caused by inadequate border systems in place. As such, effective and efficient immigration and border management remains essential to enhanced border security, the fight against transnational organized crime, support to free movement of persons, and the protection of vulnerable migrants crossing borders in the region.

The high level of irregular and mixed migration points to the need for increased immigration and border management programs to support and assist governments with the policies, legislation, administrative, operational and migration information structures to manage migration. Governments are increasingly receptive to such support given the amount of irregular migration movement, as well as the diverse and fast-changing nature of migration in the region. At the same time, effective and efficient border management is an essential tool for facilitating cross-border movement of persons, supporting trade and strengthening regional and international collaboration on border management issues.

IOM will work with national governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to strengthen the border and migration management structures and to increase cooperation regionally on immigration and border management. This work includes border management assessments, conceptualization of border management policies and strategies, training of border personnel, technical assistance in identity management, installation of and training in IOM's border information system (the Migration Information and Data Analysis System or MIDAS, currently in use in four countries in Southern Africa region), drafting of immigration standard operational procedures, capacity building in humanitarian border management, as well as upgrades of border infrastructure.