This report from the North and Central American Task Force on Migration highlights the urgency for comprehensive and coordinated regional responses to address the humanitarian protection needs in Central America and Mexico. It outlines recommendations for concrete actions that can be taken immediately, even as efforts continue in the region to address the deeper and systemic causes of migration.
North and Central American Task Force on Migration
Interim Reports and Recommendations
This report from the North and Central American Task Force on Migration outlines concrete recommendations for a comprehensive regional approach and governance architecture to address migration. The issues are simply too complex to be dealt with by any one country acting along.
The short answer to the question of why so many Central Americans are setting off on dangerous irregular migration journeys is stunningly simple: because there is virtually no way that they can move through regular, legal, safe channels.
Most Central American migrants cite economic conditions as a reason for their decision to leave their countries. For some it is the only reason: they migrate because they can no longer survive where they are. For some, their loss of livelihoods is due to environmental pressures such as drought, hurricanes or the long-term effects of climate change. For others, their decisions to migrate are the result of both economic desperation and personal insecurity due to criminal violence. For almost all of them, poverty and loss of hope that conditions will improve are factors in their decisions to move.
When Central American migrants are asked why they decided to leave their countries, they give a variety of responses; they’re seeking better economic opportunities, family reunification, protection from extortion and criminal violence, hope for a better future for their children. Often it is a combination of factors that drive migration, and the drivers of migration are themselves linked.
Based on series of commissioned research papers, the Task Force has produced a series of Interim Reports and Recommendations on the following topics:
- Humanitarian protection in the region, particularly for women and children who are at greatest risk, including addressing needs of internally displaced persons and building asylum/reception capacity in Central America and Mexico.
- Co-responsibility and cooperation for managing migration, focusing on enhancing regional approaches to migration in the region.
- Institutional frameworks and domestic political considerations, including rule of law, governance, corruption and accountability.
- Investment in long-term development to address violence and gangs, poverty and inequality, and the impacts of climate change.
- Strengthening regular pathways for migration as an alternative to irregular migration, including private sponsorship, family reunification and labor migration.