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OAS Report Highlights Need for Hemispheric Approach to Increased Migration Flows

  March 9, 2017

- Costa Rica announced it will host a regional forum on the issue in the second half of 2017
- Major obstacles to managing migration are lack of documentation and language barriers
- Fact Sheet

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, today presented to the Permanent Council of the institution the Regional Report " Irregular Migration Flows to the Americas from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean," a study whose main conclusion is that recent increases in migratory flows and their very nature require a hemispheric approach.

The Report notes that irregular migration transcends issues of a bilateral or regional nature, and its management must necessarily involve countries of origin, transit and destination.

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro said that "in recent times, the region has received irregular migrant flows from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. This situation cannot be solved unilaterally; the response must have a hemispheric perspective."

The Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, Manuel González, whose country asked the OAS to prepare the report, said it confirms "the marked increase in mixed migratory flows in the Americas" and announced that his country will host a regional forum in the second half of the year to discuss the "complex" issue.

The report points out those irregular flows into the Americas of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean need to be analyzed according to their specific origins and characteristics.

Furthermore, the report concludes that lack of documentation, language barriers, and lack of consular and diplomatic representation make it difficult for national authorities, international organizations and civil society to manage migration. It also notes that the majority of migrants to arrive in region from outside the Americas come from Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

The report also notes that there has been a significant flow of Cuban nationals who moved to Ecuador, a country that had withdrawn entry visa requirements for Cubans; and also indicates that there was a growth in the flow of Haitians going to Latin America -whose main destination is Brazil-, especially since the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

In addition to the OAS, the International Organization for Migration and the International Red Cross participated in the drafting of the report.

Reference: E-012/17