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


Honduran Migrants Return from Mexico with IOM support

Date Publish: 
11 / 10 / 2019

 

Matamoros  The International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a charter flight for 126 migrants who expressed their decision to return voluntarily to their country of origin. Fifty-three family groups comprising 33 men, 29 women and 64 children flew on Wednesday (09/10) from the city of Matamoros (Tamaulipas, Mexico) to San Pedro Sula (Honduras).

IOM deployed all efforts and collaborated closely with the Honduran Embassy in Mexico and with the National Migration Institute of Mexico to arrange for this first charter flight in its Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) programme.

In the days preceding departure, with the support of its Shelter Support programme and local partners, IOM provided migrants with accommodation and food. According to its internal protocols, IOM ensured that all migrants were made aware of all processes so that all decisions could be taken based on complete information. Further, IOM verifies that persons who express a desire to return do not face any immediate risks upon arrival.

“I made the decision to return to my country because of the situation I faced with my son; because promises made to us by the ‘coyotes’ are not fulfilled, and we risk our lives along the way,” said a young mother on board the flight. “When we finally crossed the border into the USA, they took us back to Matamoros in Mexico, where I spent eight days in a shelter. There, we saw IOM and we learned about different options. But I want to see my other daughter now, so I decided to return home.”

“Something I want to say is that if I ever migrate again, I will look for information before leaving, because many people simply give money which we do not really have to ‘coyotes’ or guides, who takes advantage of us,” said another Honduran migrant who decided to return due to the difficult conditions in the Mexican border city. “After considering our options, we found the shelter supported by IOM who helped us out by giving us food and a place to stay, and the possibility of return.”

“IOM has been providing support to shelters to increase their capacity along with the option of assisted voluntary returns by bus and commercial flights over the last months,” explained Christopher Gascon, IOM Chief of Mission in Mexico. “This is the first return by charter flight, which offers a better service to migrants who want to return home. We hope to provide many more charter flights in the weeks to come.”

The IOM Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) programme offers an alternative for an orderly, safe and dignified voluntary return for migrants. IOM offers humanitarian assistance to those who cannot or do not wish to remain in Mexico. Voluntariness is a key principle of IOM AVR programmes worldwide.

For more information please contact Cesia Chavarria at IOM Mexico, Tel: +52 1 55 1470 6379, Email: cchavarria@iom.int