By EDDIE OSIFELO
THE Immigration Department has 10 years Strategic Plan to counter and combat eminent threats facing the country now and into the future.
Some of the eminent threats include irregular migration, people trafficking and smuggling, environmental crimes, economic crimes, drugs smuggling, geopolitics and transnational crimes.
The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to provide direction and guideline of Immigration division to enhance its development in the immediate, medium and long term.
Deputy Director of Immigration, Chris Akosawa stated this during his presentation on the plan at the Immigration Strategic Planning Workshop in Honiara yesterday.
Akosawa said Solomon Islands has experienced irregular migration like the arrival of Bangladesh and Asian.
He said more people want to come to Solomon Islands after the reopening of the border after the World Expo in Dubai recently.
Further to that, he said Solomon Islands has experienced people trafficking and smuggling in the logging, mining and fishing industries, which is the main figure of labour exploitation and exposing communities to threat like sexual violence.
Akosawa said on environmental crimes, there are illegal harvesting of resources.
He said in economic crimes, there are cases of companies operating illegally in the country.
Akosawa said in drugs and smuggling, Solomon Islands is a transiting spot from the route of South America down to here and heading to Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
He said on geopolitics, Solomon Islands has experienced the impacts of Ukraine war and need to prepare for Bougainville Independence which the Papua New Guinea Parliament will ratify in 2025.
Akosawa said it is important for Immigration to have a plan to protect the citizens and economy.
The Immigration Division will coordinate with National Border Security and National Security Strategy which Ministry of Police and National Security is the custodian.
The Immigration Division used to come under Royal Solomon Islands Police Force from 1978 to 1983 before it moves to Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration.