A pilot project will help integrate Haitian migrants in Mexico

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The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with the government of Mexico, presented a pilot project that seeks stabilize, and eventually integrate, to the Haitian citizens who are in the North American country and thus alleviate the humanitarian needs of that population.

In the first phase of this initiative, some Haitian families who have not applied for asylum may be part of UNHCR’s Local Integration Program, in force since 2016, according to which refugees who are in southern Mexico are relocated to cities in the center and north of the country, where they have better access opportunities to the labor market, housing, health and education.

Within the framework of the plan presented, Haitians will be able to access the Local Integration Program even if they are not applicants for refugee status.

Incorporation to work and school

The IOM will be in charge of identifying the profiles of the people who meet the requirements to join the initiative, in accordance with the criteria determined by the immigration authority. In Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, and in Tapachula, Chiapas, this agency will provide Spanish courses and will facilitate the issuance of documentation, which is the responsibility of the National Institute of Migration. The project will be implemented in coordination with the Haitian embassy in Mexico.

UNHCR will have the tasks of transferring and receiving people, and will facilitate both the employment relationship such as their insertion in the school system, and will support them in their integration process during the first year.

This pilot project contributes to stabilizing the situation of Haitians in Mexico, and could be expanded.

Is not sufficient

However, it alone will not solve the challenge. IOM and UNHCR insist on the importance of keep looking for regularization alternatives broader scope of immigration.

Both organizations have emphasized that to deal with migratory flows, options for migratory regularization are needed for people with different needs and profiles, while work continues to strengthen the asylum system and offer new avenues to regularize their situation

New and expanded regular pathways for admission and stay are an effective tool for guarantee the protection of migrants and their rights, including those of those in vulnerable situations, since they help reduce the risks of situations of sexual and gender-based violence, abuse, exploitation and exclusion, and ensure the protection of their human rights, labor rights, decent work and social protection, in addition to access to services.

Two pacts

The agencies recalled that the Global Compact for Migration establishes a specific commitment to increase the availability and flexibility of regular migration pathways. The Global Compact on Refugees contemplates an action program that supports the implementation of comprehensive responses, recognizing the complex challenges posed by mixed movements. This project is an example of how both pacts should work hand in hand, they pointed out in a statement.

They added that the lack of access to a regular immigration status implies for migrants the lack of access to rights, separation of families, gender violence and inequalities. It also exposes them to the impacts of disasters, climate change, and environmental degradation.

To conclude, they stated that regular migration routes also benefit all countries, since they foster the creation of solid communities, promote sustainable development, respond to the needs of the labor market, and strengthen national capacities to determine who enters, transits and remains in their territory.

In addition, strengthen the rule of law by reducing human trafficking and other types of exploitation, and curbing the smuggling of migrants across their borders.

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