Caribbean Countries Tackle Data Collection Challenges in Regional Workshop

Date Publish: 
09/28/2018

Montego Bay – Representatives of 13 countries participated in a specialised workshop this week (24-25/09), through which the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and its initiative for Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) promoted coordination and collaboration in the collection and analysis of migration data in the region.

“Data analysis has been one of the main weaknesses for an adequate management of migration in the Caribbean. The availability of relevant and high-quality information is still very limited,” noted Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.

“In response to this need, we organized a workshop that enables decision-makers to know best practices for collection and management of migratory data, gathering important representatives of migration agencies and statistical institutions to better comprehend and use data linked to migration, refugee protection and development policies,” Pisani added.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and UNHCR also collaborated to successfully run this in event under the CMC framework.

The initiative aims to assess migration data needs in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Participants identified challenges, gaps, needs, opportunities, resources and best practices utilized by other countries for the management of migration information, with the purpose of developing feasible mechanisms to improve collection, analysis and exchange of information in the region.

Accurate and relevant migration data could allow states to strengthen and better focus their responses to natural disasters and human movements, increasing the positive impact of interventions, projects and programmes. 

“Interventions designed using quality data have the opportunity for far greater effectiveness in migration management, as well as for the protection and assistance of identified and targeted groups,” said Brendan Tarnay, IOM Project Coordinator for CMC. “Quality data and data sharing can significantly reduce the number of duplicated records in public services. The work and collaboration at this CMC meeting will lead to greater inter-agency communication and data sharing, a priority already identified by participating governments.”

The regional workshop was made possible with support from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), and the cooperation of the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5312, Email: btarnay@iom.int


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”.