Immigration Service launches integrity campaign
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has launched a campaign to promote integrity, accountability and transparency within the service.
It also seeks to use the campaign to raise awareness, among the general public, of the expected ethical behaviours and modalities of reporting incongruent behaviours.
Dubbed the “Triple S,” the campaign is in three phases - to secure borders, ensure a stable country and safe people.
The campaign, which was launched at its headquarters in Accra yesterday, is based on the GIS Code of Conduct and Reporting Mechanism, which was launched in August, this year.
It will enable travellers and the broader population to detect and report behaviours that are not in line with the code of conduct and use the reporting mechanism to seek redress.
While it ensures that officers are trained and sensitised to uphold optimum professionalism, the public will also be educated to report unprofessional conducts of officers.
At the launch, Head of Public Affairs of the GIS, Superintendent Michael Amoako-Attah, said the campaign would publicise an email address and call lines for complaints.
Also, he said the public would also be educated on what was required of officers through the official social media platforms of the service and signage at the headquarters.
In addition, he said the Public Affairs Department and the Immigration Professional Standards and Ethics Section of the service would be at the forefront of the campaign to ensure
that the requirements of the code were fully complied with by the officers.
Supt. Amoako-Attah stated that the Gender Mainstreaming Unit of the GIS would play a critical role in educating officers on issues of gender-based violence and sexual abuses at the various commands.
“Fellow officers, we must always remember that the laws that make us powerful also enjoin us to be responsible.
Abusing our powers put us at the risk of a counteractive boomerang, and we must avoid this as much as possible.
“We must eschew the “We vs. Them” mentality in carrying out our duties, in addition to being intelligence-led in our operations and prioritising continuous dialogue with the public who are indeed our masters.
Border and security management can no longer be done in a silo away from interagency collaboration and community engagement,” he advised.
Advice to the general public
Supt. Amoako-Attah said the modern challenges with migration such as terrorism threats, violent extremism and organised cross border crimes demanded that the officers worked together more than ever.
He also urged the general public to appreciate the mandate of the officers.
He said a culture of trust was urgently required between officers and the public to help protect the territorial integrity of the state.
“Holding to our suspicions and aggressions towards each other will not help.
By this campaign, the service holds out an olive branch to the public.
Let us work together for secure borders, a stable country and safe people.
“Let us find a fine weave between the legal powers officers must exercise in the interest of our collective security and the rights of citizens,” he said.
The GIS Head of Public Affairs also entreated the media to consider itself as a key partner with the GIS and throw its lenses on the service as a way of peer review.
He said the media had the right to put the service on its toes and more importantly, help it to sensitise the public to the contents of the code and its reporting mechanism.
In line with that, he said the management of the service would be visiting some of the media houses to throw more light on the code.
He further expressed his gratitude to the European Union and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) which sponsored the production of the Code of Conduct and Reporting Mechanism.