Our Speaker
Florian G. Forster
Head of Division, Immigration and Border Management (IBM)
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
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Meet our Speaker: Florian G. Forster

Since August 2014, Mr. Florian G. Forster (52) serves as the Head of the Immigration and Border Management Division (IBM) at IOM Headquarters in Geneva/Switzerland.

He oversees a team of IBM specialists and support staff in HQ, provides technical oversight to the senior IBM specialists posted in IOM’s 8 Regional Offices and the African Capacity Building Center (ACBC) on Migration and Border Management in Moshi/Tanzania; Mr. Forster is responsible for developing and overseeing IOM's global approach to policies and activities in the field of Immigration and Border Management.

IOM implements more than 200 Immigration and Border Management (IBM) projects across the globe at any given time; of the current 11’000 IOM staff members worldwide, several hundred colleagues are directly involved in implementing IBM activities in areas such as Border Management (incl. Integrated Border Management and Humanitarian Border Management (HBM)), Border Management Information Systems, Regularization, Immigration Detention and Alternatives to Detention, Readmission, Counter Migrant Smuggling (CMS), Border Security including Counter-Terrorism, Identity Management and Travel Documents incl. the responsible use of Biometrics, Facilitated Migration Services (Visa Application Centers, Immigration Verification Programs, Family Reunification Programs, etc.), Visa Policy, etc..        

Before his current posting, Mr. Forster worked as IOM’s Chief of Mission in Hanoi/Vietnam (2009/2014), Head of IOM’s Special Liaison Mission in Paris/France (2005/2009), Head of Office of IOM Berne/Switzerland (2000/2005), and Program Officer and Acting Chief of Mission of IOM in Phnom Penh/Cambodia (1995/1998).

Prior to his work with IOM, Mr. Forster served as Legal Officer and Head of Legal Unit for the City of Munich/Germany on refugee, migration and youth matters, and Civil Servant for the Bavarian Ministry of Justice (1991/1995 & 1999).

Mr. Forster has studied law at universities in Paris/France and Munich/Germany. 


Moderated by John Mercer, DSA, USA

Biometric technologies have become a vital part of identity and migration management.

The responsible use of biometrics, in full respect of applicable privacy and personal data protection laws and regulations, facilitates regular and safe cross-border mobility and migration, helps to protect vulnerable migrants and contributes to increasing security for all. Furthermore, biometrics has become a valuable tool in the field of humanitarian action. 

In this eDebate, Mr Forster will share information about IOM’s work in the field of identity management, including the responsible use of biometrics, and he will explore how to better address the very real challenges at “the gate and borders” by making use of new technologies.  

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