WHAT IS THE DESC INITIATIVE?


Established in 2012, the Document Examination Support Center (DESC) is coordinated by IOM’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, with the financial support from the Government of Canada and in close coordination with document examination experts of immigration authorities in Asia and the Pacific. To learn more, download the DESC Factsheet


OUR VISION

"Assist requesting Governments in curbing transnational organized crime and preventing irregular migration through capacity building to support law enforcement agencies in travel document examination and verification."


Technical Expertise and Capacity Building for Travel Document Verification
In-House Development of Verifier TD&B and Relevant Capacity building Programmes
Data Management, Regional Trends Analysis and Relevant Capacity Building Programmes
Facilitate Information Exchange and Establish a Regional Structure to Address Irregular Migration

Technical Expertise and Capacity Building for Travel Document Verification


The Document Examination Support Center (DESC) provides guidance, advice and support to immigration and other law enforcement officials in the Asia-Pacific region when they conduct secondary inspection on questioned travel documents, but do not have enough information to make a decision on their status. The DESC room is equipped with specialized equipment, such as microscope, passport reader, UV light, as well as equipment with sophisticated image capturing capacity and various kinds of light sources to reveal covert security features and detect forgeries.

Technical Expertise on Travel Document Verification

Advice in cases of questioned travel document, based on reliable information sources - document examination equipment, specimens of genuine documents and reference sources.

Capacity Building on Passport Examination Procedures

IOM provides tailored basic, advanced and specialized training and on-site job mentoring for requesting Member States.

In-House Development of Verifier TD&B and Relevant Capacity building Programmes


The Verifier TD&B secondary inspection system assists immigration and border control officers in the detection of fraudulent travel documents and identities at border control points. The system also has the capacity to generate a detail technical report of the checks conducted, which can be used according to each immigration agency’s procedures and regulations. In order to streamline travel documents checks the Verifier TD&B is now interoperable with INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database. At locations implementing interoperability, when a travel document is checked with Verifier TD&B, the system will automatically check the document against the SLTD database. Expedite and harmonized procedures for travel documents checks further enhances cooperation nationally and internationally to better address transnational and cross jurisdictional crimes involving fraudulent travel documents and false identities. To Learn more about the Verifier TD&B, download the Factsheet here.

System Maintenance and Enhancement

The in-house software developer maintains and upgrades the software according to the needs of the Participating Members. Verifier TD&B is now interoperable with INTERPOL's SLTD database. To learn more about how IOM and INTERPOL are cooperating in Border and Identity Solutions, view the video here.

Installation and Capacity Building

IOM stands ready to assist with the installation of Verifier TD&B at border crossing points, deliver trainings, and develop tailored Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as requested by Participating Members.


DESC initiative: Verifier TD&B Countries

  • Afghanistan*

  • Bangladesh

  • Bhutan*

  • Cambodia

  • People's Republic of China

  • Indonesia

  • Lao People's Democratic Republic

  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Mongolia*

  • Marshall Islands

  • Myanmar

  • Netherlands*

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Philippines

  • Sri Lanka

  • Thailand

  • Timor-Leste*

  • Viet Nam

*indirect beneficiary country of the DESC Initiative.

Data Management, Regional Trends Analysis and Relevant Capacity Building Programmes


The Verifier TD&B is developed to collect non-sensitive data on gender, age group and travel document used in fraud or imposter cases. The immigration focal point can not only send IOM quarterly data summary but also share specific cases intercepted. By enriching the quality of the data collected, DESC undertakes more solid trends analysis of frauds in Asia and the Pacific as a regional data and information collection mechanism.

ANDEX Fraudulent Document Reporting System (AFDRS)

AFDRS is a web-based information-sharing platform on the use of fraudulent travel documents, designed to collect non-sensitive data at the border control post. The information collected can be used for trends analysis, intelligence development, and serve as a basis for contextualised capacity building initiatives.

Verifier TD&B Newsletter & Online Dashboard

IOM compiles and distributes the Verifier TD&B Newsletter on a quarterly basis to provide more detailed information of cases intercepted and concrete patterns of travel documents and identity frauds in the region. An interactive dashboard, based on Power BI, is also developed to present these patterns visually on a secure, userfriendly platform to convey key indicators at a glance.

Training on Data Protection and Management

IOM has developed a tailored training module on Data Collection, Management, and Privacy at the request of Member States. IOM will identify and train focal points in each country that utilizes Verifier TD&B both at Government and IOM country office level on data management, which will further enhance good practices related to information management and privacy.

Training Curriculum: Facilitator's Guide on Rights and Gender Based Approaches to Border Management

DESC has developed a training curriculum to help mainstream human rights-based approaches and gender sensitive practices into border management operations. To learn more about the Training Curriculum, download the Factsheet here.

Collective Insights into Irregular Migration in Southeast Asia and South Asia- Emerging Trends of Travel Document & Identity Frauds


The report falls within the framework of the IOM ROAP regional Document Examination Support Centre (DESC) Phase III project.The analysis provides valuable insights to support evidence-based decision-making by law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the results also aim at fostering an improved and shared understanding among DESC countries, with respect to trends in passports and identity frauds in Asia, as well as to capacity needs in travel document examination and verification procedures. The information in the report is based on data collected principally from the Verifier TD&B and the AFDRS.

Fraud Cases

By the end of 2017 more detailed trends of fraud cases emerged, indicating a fall in number of fraudulent documents (from 91% in 2016 to 60% in 2017) and a rise in number of imposters (From 9% in 2016 to 30% in 2017).

Gender and Age

Out of the total fraud cases intercepted between July and December 2017:
  • The majority were male (70%)
  • The predominant age groups of both male and female were 18 to 30 and 31 to 45
  • 19 were minors (0-17 years), with 15 of them carrying fraudulent travel documents

Most Frequently-Used Travel Document

TOP 5 Travel Documents Used in Fraud Cases:
  1. Bangladesh
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Malaysia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. India

Asian Network for Document Examination (ANDEX)

Facilitate Information Exchange and Consolidate Regional Structure to Address Irregular Migration


Under DESC, the Asian Network for Document Examination (ANDEX) was formally established in 2013 as the regional platform grouping highly experienced senior law enforcement officials to share information and best practices in travel document examination and verification procedures and patterns of frauds, with the aim of promoting regional coordination to combat irregular migration and transnational organized crime. To learn more about the ANDEX network, download the Factsheet here.

Objectives Overview

  • Raising the collective awareness of member countries on recent trends observed on the use of fraudulent travel documents and immigration fraud;
  • Enhancing regional cooperation on combating irregular migration, including migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and other forms of transnational organized crime.

Annual ANDEX Meeting

IOM and the Chair of the Network organized annual meetings to facilitate information exchange among Member States and establish operational framework to better consolidate regional structure to address irregular migration.


ANDEX MEMBER STATES

  • Bangladesh

  • Brunei

  • Cambodia

  • Indonesia

  • Lao People's Democratic Republic

  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Myanmar

  • Philippines

  • Republic of Korea

  • Singapore

  • Sri Lanka

  • Thailand

  • Viet Nam

Interested Member States and relevant organizations/agencies may request to join the DESC Initiative.
For more information please contact the IOM DESC Team via desc@iom.int


Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

18th Floor, Rajanakarn Building,
3 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 343 9414