Mexico held a Forum on Protection of Migrants Before Emergencies
The event allowed a dialogue between representatives of different organizations about their experiences in protecting migrants from situations of disasters caused by natural events.
Mexico City – On April 9, 2018 the forum "Migration and Disasters in Mexico: Challenges and Perspectives" was held, convened by the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED), the Immigration Policy Unit of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with the aim of generating proposals on the inclusion of migrants in Comprehensive Risk Management.
The event allowed a dialogue between representatives of embassies, consulates, agencies of the United Nations System, state civil protection units and civil society organizations about their experiences in protecting migrants from situations of disasters caused by natural events. In addition, it allowed to delineate some priorities for the design of public policies aimed at the inclusion of migrants in response to this type of situations.
"The authorities of the country of destination (migrants' host countries) have the primary responsibility to protect all people in their territory in the face of emergencies," said Lorenzo Guadagno, IOM's Department of Operations and Emergencies, considering that disasters and Climate change is also a cause that motivates thousands of people to leave their places of origin.
In Mexico, the earthquakes that occurred on September 7 and 19, 2017 underscored the importance of addressing the specific needs faced by migrants in situations of disasters caused by natural events. Therefore, the IOM field office in Tapachula, in collaboration with the Committee of Assistance to Migrant and Refugee People of Arriaga and migrant shelter “Albergue de Migrantes Hermanos en el Camino”, provided humanitarian support in some affected communities in Oaxaca and Chiapas, assisting 270 people.
"The IOM, through the MICIC Initiative, fosters spaces for articulation between civil society, government and migrants, aimed at creating mechanisms that, on the one hand, support the migrant population, and on the other encourage their participation in the processes of reconstruction of the communities of transit or destination, "said Christopher Gascón, IOM’s representative for Mexico, during the opening ceremony of the event.
The forum was carried out in the framework of the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative (MICIC), under which guidelines were generated to identify the roles and responsibilities of States, as well as good practices in the inclusion of migrants in the stages of preparation, response and recovery in emergency situations. Thanks to the Mesoamerica Program, local authorities from the South of Mexico were able to participate and they shared their experience and lessons learnt from the recent emergencies, at the national level.