Background – Summits of the Americas
During the Third Summit, the Heads of State and Government
established the need of an Inter-American Program within the
OAS, recognizing the economic and cultural contributions
that migrants add to their societies of origin and
destination. The purpose of such a program was to guarantee
the dignified and humane treatment (with legal protection,
defense of human rights, and stable and safe working
conditions) for migrants.
In progressive manner, the Summits Process dealt with
migration in several documents. Already in the
Action of the First Summit of Americas, held in Miami,
Florida, in December 1994, the Heads of State and
Government of the Americas countries indicated their
commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights
by pledging , inter alia, to “guarantee the protection of
the human rights of all migrant workers and their families”.
This commitment was reiterated in the subsequent summits
Santiago, Chile, in April 1998, in
Canada, in 2001 and in
Mar Del Plata, Argentina, in 2005.
Even the Special Summit of the Americas held in Monterrey,
Mexico, in 2004, restated this commitment through the
Declaration of Nuevo León. It is worth underlying that the
third Summit of Americas held in Quebec appears as a turning
point by having recognized the cultural and economic
enrichment made by migrants to both receiving and origin
countries and by having undertaken to set up the necessary
legal frameworks to ensure: “dignified, humane treatment
with appropriate legal protections, defense of human rights,
and safe and healthy labor conditions for migrants”.