Caribbean Countries, IOM Address Climate Change and Human Mobility Challenges

Date Publish: 
06/11/2019

Port of Spain – The growing frequency and intensity of tropical storms and other natural disasters have pushed Caribbean countries to prioritise their response planning. Tackling the challenges of human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change in the region has become a top concern.  

This was the focus of a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, where 18 Caribbean countries and territories and 12 international and regional organizations, as well as observers, gathered last week (6-7 June). 

Organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the framework of the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC), the recent event also was supported by the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the UN Refugee Agency, marking the second regional meeting aimed at supporting technical specialists and government officials to identify gaps related to disasters and displacement and developing policies to enhance the region’s overall preparedness and response capacity.  

“The participation of so many Caribbean countries and territories demonstrates the importance that the region places on addressing together the impacts of climate change on human mobility,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. “Regional cooperation represents a key opportunity for the future. The Caribbean Migration Consultations foster these exchanges on migration issues. Our hope for the CMC is that it enables discussions on migration and climate change and will build on the momentum created from this conference.” 

The discussions focused on four thematic issues: managing disaster displacement risks and the inclusion of human mobility into national and regional disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and adapting planning processes; migration as adaptation to environmental and climate change; protection challenges in the context of human mobility in countries affected by disasters; and addressing cross-border disaster-displacement (migration law and policies).  

“Caribbean countries and regional institutions have made great advances in preventing and addressing environmental migration,” says Pablo Escribano, IOM regional specialist on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change. “Consolidating these initiatives and sharing best practices represent great opportunities to design a way forward and address the challenges together.” 

Among the participants were representatives from countries and territories such as Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.  

Other institutions were also represented at the event, such as the embassies of the United States, Switzerland, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as international and regional organizations such as CARICOM IMPACS, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, CDEMA, OECS, UNHCR, ECLAC, PDD, the German Development Cooperation, academic institutions and other key actors.  

To learn more about the event, go to https://caribbeanmigration.org/events/regional-consultation-towards-framework-regional-cooperation-human-mobility-context-disasters.   

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5304, Email: btarnay@iom.int 

Tags: 
Caribbean, cmc

IOM launches illustrated book "The Tale of the Lion and the Coyote" to educate on risks of irregular migration

Date Publish: 
21 / 06 / 2019

San José, Costa Rica. "Talawa" is the name of a Costa Rican reggae band made up of six musicians, who in 2016 were deceived by a "coyote" who promised them money, fame, and success in the United States. Excited by the opportunity, the group decided to make the journey irregularly, as thousands of people around the world do every day, but later they were detained by the US immigration authorities. When they finally managed to return to Costa Rica, the band's goal was to tell their story in order to make others aware of the risks and crimes associated with irregular migration.

"The story of the Talawa band teaches us that all people, regardless of their nationality, sex, age, economic status, and profession, can be victims of smuggling and trafficking networks, even without realizing it," said the National Coordinator of the Regional Migration Program, Isis Orozco.

IOM in Costa Rica works in different areas related to the prevention and combating of these crimes. In 2017, IOM launched the documentary "The Fable of the Lion and the Coyote". In 2018, IOM appointed the band as goodwill ambassador for regular migration and recently adapted its story into an illustrated story for children. Recently, the book was launched, as part of the anniversary of the Migrant Information Hub of the Municipality of Desamparados, with the participation of 250 children and their families.

Educating about migration and raising awareness about the risks associated with irregular migration is becoming increasingly vital. "Pedagogical and creative tools, such as this illustrated book, are valuable to ensure inclusion of this topic in different spaces of formal and informal education," said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of the Program.

The book is a joint effort between the IOM Regional Migration Program (Mesoamerica Program) funded by the U.S. Department of State, the National Coalition Against the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, and the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens of Costa Rica.

The illustrated book is available for download in English and Spanish in IOM's regional repository of communication materials, the “Educational Toolkit”.