Countries in the region exchange good practices in response to COVID-19 in migration contexts

*During the LVI regular meeting of the Commission of Migration Authorities of the Member Countries of SICA, OCAM

Panama - 14/06/2022.  The member countries of the Commission of Migration Authorities of the SICA Region, OCAM, during their LVI regular meeting held an exchange of good practices and lessons learned in the response to COVID-19 in migratory contexts, includingthe issues associated with the regional coordinations that they implemented at the level of prevention and attention to the response to COVID. 

This initiative takes place within the framework of the regional project "Promoting peaceful coexistence in the response to COVID-19 for migrants, refugees and other vulnerable populations in Central America and the Caribbean" funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Panama. 

"We are convinced that the results of this meeting will allow us to continue strengthening policies aimed at promoting intervention mechanisms for the care of migrants, who require humane treatment proportional to the needs and vulnerabilities they face," said the Deputy Minister of Security of Panama, Mr. Ivor Pitti. 

Likewise, the deputy minister said that teamwork, the exchange of best practices, dialogue and permanent consensus will be maintained, which will allow us to break with the paradigms of the dynamics of migration unprecedented in recent history, in order to strengthen integration, humanitarian aid, promote peaceful coexistence, ensure respect for human rights and be in solidarity in the displacement of migrants seeking better life opportunities amid the political, economic and social difficulties they face in their countries of origin. 

For his part, Mr. Santiago Paz, IOM Chief of Mission in Panama, referred to the International Migration Review Forum, for which IOM Panama provided accompaniment to the National Government in the preparatory phase, where it was discussed together with different key actors, the impact of the Global Compact for Migration on national cooperation efforts on migration and thus on the lives of migrants, their families and community members. 

During the meeting, the member countries of the OCAM-SICA, shared on the main measures, good practices implemented by their governments as a response to COVID-19, within the framework of the Regional Contingency Plan against the Coronavirus, aimed at complementing national efforts for the prevention, containment and treatment of the pandemic, in order to  generate synergies of joint work between the different countries to meet the increase in migration flows and recommendations of good practices to replicate in a similar epidemiological situation. 

IOM presented the Strategy for the Governance of Immigration and Borders in the Americas 2022-2027, as well as the "Update Study on Risk Factors and Care Needs for Migrant Women in Central America and the Dominican Republic". 

The LVI regular meeting was accompanied by the General Secretariat of SICA and ended with the transfer of the Pro-Tempore Presidency of the National Migration Service of Panama to the General Directorate of Migration of the Dominican Republic. 

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being