Costa Rica and Panama “migrate toward respect and tolerance” with Binational Fair in Paso Canoas
- Over 100 people participated in the Binational Fair, which was held to provide information about safety measures, health and wellbeing, and migration.
As part of International Migrants Day on December 18, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) participated in the Sixth Binational Migrants Fair (Costa Rica-Panama) in the border area of Paso Canoas. The fair was held December 18 and 19.
With the slogan “Let's migrate toward respect and tolerance,” the fair’s purpose was to provide information about safety measures, migration, and wellbeing, to promote good health and disease prevention, and to raise awareness in the transborder community in both countries about human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
The fair was organized by the Permanent Commission for the Protection and Assistance of Vulnerable Migrants (UTEB-COPPAMI), and was attended by various institutions from both countries, such as ministries of health, ministries of education, women’s institutes, firefighters, border police, and the public force, among others, in addition to IOM.
“The General Directorate of Migration and Foreign Nationals is participating through various activities such as the Migramobile, which is an activity that provides information to irregular migrants to connect them with Migration and Foreign Nationals,” explained Daguer Hernández, Deputy Director General of Migration and Foreign Nationals in Costa Rica. The Migramobile is a kind of mobile office which serves various communities in the country with a high concentration of migrant workers and families.
“These kinds of activities are extremely important in border communities such as Paso Canoas, where there is a serious need to provide information about the risks of irregular migration and to raise awareness about ways to include migrants,” said Gonzalo Medina, Coordinator of IOM’s Regional Migration Program (Mesoamerica-Caribbean) in Panama.
Finally, Isis Orozco, Program Coordinator in Costa Rica, commented that, “The fair closed its first day with a performance from the Costa Rican band Talawa Reggae Army, whom we at IOM have declared goodwill ambassadors for their contribution to raising awareness about the risks of irregular migration through music.” This group is the protagonist of the documentary “The Fable of the Lion and the Coyote: The Band Who Couldn’t Wait for a Visa,” created by IOM to raise awareness among young people in the region about these risks.
International Migrants Day was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in Resolution 55/93 on December 4, 2000 in order to promote the protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants.