The Organization of American States (OAS), the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) presented the report “Reception and Integration of Migrants and Refugees in the Cities of the Americas” at the Cities Summit of the Americas.
Denver was the setting for the launch of this innovative and unprecedented report that covers 109 localities and 25 countries in the Americas, seeking to identify best practices and challenges in the reception of migrants and refugees at the local level in the region. This initiative was carried out together with the Metropolitan University of Toronto, the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) and MG Group, with support from the governments of the United States, Canada and Sweden.
During the launch, Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, Director of the OAS Department of Social Inclusion, said:
The report reveals that in 71% of the localities, one of the main challenges is the need to change national policies or administrative practices. Additionally, in 65% of the localities, there is a lack of financial resources to guarantee the institutional response to migrants and refugees.
On the other hand, and according to the results of the study, only 28% of the cases have enabled local spaces for the participation of migrants and refugees in the design of policies and programs that affect them, which should be identified as an opportunity to promote their creation.
Based on the successful practices and policies implemented by the 109 localities analyzed, the report proposes six key components for the reception and integration of migrants and refugees at the local level: adapt, train, include, communicate, link and regularize.
The report was the framework for the dialogue that took place with mayors and other local actors at the thematic session of the Cities Summit of the Americas entitled “The role of local governments in the reception and integration of migrants, refugees and other displaced persons in the cities of the Americas” organized by the four organizations.
Diego Beltrand, IOM Special Envoy for Regional Response to mixed flows of Venezuelan and other nationalities in transit, said:
During the event, best practices and challenges faced by local actors in the reception and integration of migrants and refugees in cities of the Americas were discussed. In addition, the importance of involving local actors in the development and implementation of regional programs and policies on migration and international protection was highlighted.
Daniel Arango, PADF’s Director of Programs in Panama, emphasized:
Isabel Márquez, Deputy Director of UNHCR’s Bureau for the Americas, closed the event by emphasizing that:
The perspectives offered by local actors who work closely with the reality of migrants and refugees will serve as a starting point for opening new lines of action in support of tens of millions of people in a situation of human mobility, guaranteeing access to their rights so that all refugees and migrants in the Americas can rebuild their lives in a dignified manner.
Published on April 27, 2023.
“Reception and Integration of Migrants and Refugees in the Cities of the Americas”
Nicole Levoyer (OAS): firstname.lastname@example.org | +593 998525870
Nelson Bocaranda (PADF): email@example.com | +1 202-916-0784
Gema Cortés (IOM): firstname.lastname@example.org | +50762694574
Mandi Linder (UNHCR): email@example.com | +1 202-914-8168
Program Director, Panama