IOM emphasizes the need for holistic approaches to reception and reintegration of returnees to the Caribbean at capacity-building sessions

Date Publish: 
08/27/2020

Georgetown - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently completed its training workshop Reception and Reintegration of Forced Returnees in the Caribbean. The trainings were held online and in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS) and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. This workshop was designed to build the capacity of migration officials in the Caribbean to manage the reception and reintegration processes of persons forced to return to the region. The workshop included representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.   

In his opening remarks, IOM Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean and Chief of Mission for Guyana, Robert Natiello, explained that migration is a cross-cutting issue that requires  several levels of cooperation for its management. According to Natiello, migrants who were forced to return to the region can often end up in vulnerable situations due to a lack of support networks upon returning and access to social welfare systems.  

“Referral networks […] need to have the involvement of many actors, both government actors but also civil society actors, NGOs, churches, and of course family members and friends,” said Natiello. He explained that this workshop was designed to address these reintegration systems for forced returnees while developing the capacity of governments to respond.  

Meanwhile, Executive Director of CARICOM IMPACS, Lt. Col. Michael Jones emphasized that the forced return of migrants to the region has had far reaching social implications on the development and national security of the region. ED Jones identified several key areas of implementation that needed to be enhanced to ensure the orderly reintegration of returning migrants such as, enhanced information sharing from key CARICOM Members States, standardization of procedures, public education, and social assistance programmes.  

ED Jones also highlighted the importance for developing strategies to improve data management. He further noted that 4,323 involuntary return of migrants were registered in the region in 2018, and that this data was collected from only seven Caribbean countries. “The implementation of these proper data collection and information sharing can help to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of involuntary return migrants into society,” explained ED Jones.  

Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, Hon. E.P. Chet Green noted that the workshop was an opportunity to form a “collective spirit” among participants to accept and address the realities of the processes involved in the reception and reintegration of forced returnees in the region. Minister Green also challenged participants to critically engage with all the factors surrounding the involuntary return of migrants, so that they could determine clear strategies and workable solutions while bearing in mind the similarities and differences of Caribbean societies. He also highlighted the importance of receiving such training during this time so that countries can be equipped to also receive voluntary returnees to the region, following the impact of the novel coronavirus in their countries of residence.  

This training spanned two weeks, with three live online sessions that included participant and expert presentations. Expert presenters included IOM specialists Rosilyne Borland, and Claudette Walls, who focused on the human rights dimension of migration, and the implementation of good practices in reintegration, respectively. Meanwhile, migration specialist, Fabio Jimenez, also presented on the IOM, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship, which covered the economic benefits of reintegration. Participants were trained to recognize that reintegration strategies must take into consideration the economic, social, and psycho-social realities that forced returnees face when returning to the region. The course also shared material that examined the real-life challenges that reintegration can have on communities and discussed ways through which these can be overcome to minimize rates of recidivism in the region.  

Upon the completion of the course, participants were awarded certificates of participation from IOM. Additionally, a final report on the workshop, including priorities, conclusions and recommendations will be prepared and shared to participating agencies. This workshop is part of IOM Regional Program on Migration - Mesoamerica & the Caribbean, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration. 

 


Last thematic webinars related to the Regional Review of the Global Compact on Migration

Date Publish: 
18 / 01 / 2021

San Jose -  The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), jointly with other agencies, funds and programmes (AFPs) from the United Nations Network on Migration, invite governments, regional processes, civil society organizations and the general audience to participate in the last two sessions of the series of five information webinars organized as part of the regional review of the Global Compact for Safe, Ordely and Regular Migration.

Every webinar addresses one of five thematic areas that group the 23 objectives of the Compact. The purpose of these webinars is to raise awareness and inform all relevant stakeholders, including governments and civil society, about the objectives of the Compact and its corresponding commitments.
 
The regional review of the Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean offers a first opportunity for a debate led by States on the implementation of the Global Compact that will:
 
enable governments, regional processes and platforms and other stakeholders such as civil society organizations, diasporas and migrants to undertake a first assessment of progress made in implementing the Global Compact;
serve as a forum in which challenges and opportunities will be highlighted, gaps identified, regional priorities discussed and resource requirements for implementing the Global Compact identified;
provide a common platform for interaction among all relevant stakeholders, the exchange of lessons learned and best practices, and promoting peer learning within the region, building on other coordination processes in the region that might enrich the review of the Global Compact;
facilitate the formulation of key findings and recommendations to inform the 2022 International Migration Review Forum; 
consider the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the implementation of the Global Compact.

 

To join the upcoming webinars:

Webinar #4 – 21 January, 2021

 

Click here to register.

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the information to join the webinar.

Spanish-English interpretation will be available.

 

Webinar #5 – 28 January, 2021

Click here to register.

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the information to join the webinar.

Spanish-English interpretation will be available.

 

Both webinars will also be broadcast through the IOM Facebook page for the Caribbean: https://www.facebook.com/IOMCaribbean1

 

To learn more about the Review of the Global Compact, visit https://migrationnetwork.un.org

For more information on the events contact Rudi Maxwald, email: rmaxwald@iom.int