IOM and SICA promote the exchange of local experiences on migration
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) held two virtual conferences to generate a space for dialogue and exchange of experiences on the local governance of migration in border municipalities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
These municipalities share a series of common characteristics and challenges, so spaces like this promote the search for joint integrated solutions among counterpart authorities on both sides of the border. In addition, in the face of the new scenario imposed by the pandemic generated by COVID-19, migrants are exposed to different vulnerabilities related to access to health or food security, among others, with local authorities being the first to respond to this situation.
"The economic scenario resulting from the measures taken by governments to reduce the effects of the pandemic, among other factors, demands urgent and coordinated action to address the growing challenges of migration governance," said Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
IOM has encouraged and promoted local and cross-border networks or technical tables in the three countries since 2013, in order to strengthen the processes of coordination, dialogue and communication on migration.
During both virtual sessions, the participants, who represented governments, civil society and international cooperation institutions that make up these cross-border technical tables and local networks, shared the good practices carried out in their municipalities, especially in areas related to municipal ordinances that promote the creation of livelihoods as an alternative to irregular migration.
Among the challenges, they highlighted the need to continue the process of training community leaders and to build alliances in the territories, as well as to promote management with cooperation agencies. "SICA is a key partner with experience in strengthening local governments and working with different government agencies and civil society organizations to provide the assistance and protection required by migrants in vulnerable situations," Peraza added.
Both conferences were held within the framework of IOM's Regional Program on Migration Mesoamerica-The Caribbean, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.