New e-course Helps Border Guards Work Through COVID Challenges

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina - The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed many aspects of migration, including human mobility, trade patterns and border management. Despite restrictions, border officials continue their work, processing travelers and detecting and assisting migrants who cross borders irregularly.

As more countries contemplate removing restrictions and reopening borders new measures are crucial to protect officials and migrants and enable safe and regular cross-border movement.

This is particularly true in the Western Balkans where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has just launched an e-learning course on COVID-19 at Points of Entry. The five-module course is designed for officials who are in direct contact with people on the move.

Based on the latest guidance by the World Health Organization it will familiarize officials with the history, main symptoms, transmission, and prevention methods of COVID-19. It will further their understanding of the international legal framework guiding COVID-19 response at points of entry and key steps to detect and manage ill travellers. Finally, it will present the basics of psychological first aid and highlight the importance of protecting the rights of migrants in the context of COVID-19.

The course is available in English on IOM’s e-learning platform E-Campus ( It will soon be translated into the main local languages of the Western Balkans.

“This ground-breaking new course is both timely and globally relevant”, said Renate Held, Director of IOM's Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “It will contribute to reviving cross-border mobility while preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the rights of migrants. It draws on IOM’s longstanding experience in addressing migration and health security challenges at borders and provides invaluable help to our Member States”.

“This course will go a long way to help protect the health of migrants, travellers and border guards”, said Hilde Hardeman, Director and Head of Service of the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments. “This is about protecting the health and indeed the dignity of all concerned. Observing international health regulations in border and migration management is and will remain key to this, today, and any day, also when the current pandemic will be behind us.”

The online course has been developed with the support of the EU through the project entitled “Addressing COVID-19 Challenges within the Migrant and Refugee Response in the Western Balkans”.

The project, a partnership of IOM and UNHCR, responds to the challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic in border and migration management.

Link to the e-course


For further information please contact:
Edita Selimbegovic, Press Officer
IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel. +387 61 215 839


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