Municipalities in Chiapas Analyze the Local Migration Context to Improve Disaster Preparation

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Mexico. The UN Agency for Migration (IOM) along with the Mexican Red Cross delivered a workshop “Preparing for crisis situations and identification of migrants in conditions of vulnerability" for the staff of the Mexican Red Cross and other organizations that can play a key role in assisting migrants during emergencies.

The event brought together municipal, state and federal government authorities who respond to disaster emergencies, such as the Mexican Army; the Armed Navy of Mexico with headquarters in Puerto Chiapas; Chiapas and Tapachula Civil Protection. The event also included the participation of migrant shelters and municipalities (through their migration units known as Directorates for the Assistance of Migrants and Refugees).

In recent years, Mexico has been affected by natural disasters, including hurricanes and earthquakes, which have primarily affected the southern region of the country. For example, the earthquake on September 19, 2017 resulted in estimated losses of $2 billion and more than 350 casualties in the affected areas.

The management of updated information on the presences and profiles of the migrant population in the territory is essential for the protection of migrants as it allows for adequate preparation and response during emergency situations. During the event, participants from different municipalities revealed the migratory dynamics in their respective areas, which provided a more complete picture of the presence of migrants in Chiapas, corroborating information on new transit routes and destinations that differ from typical train routes.

IOM completed the event by presenting data from the World Migration Report 2018 and IOM Migration Flow Reports in the Mesoamerica Region.

In order to analyze assistance actions for migrants, the event used the Regional Guidelines for the Preliminary Identification of Migrant Profiles in Vulnerability Conditions, developed within the framework of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), as a reference guide. The Guidelines seeks to guarantee the respect of migrant human rights and the promotion of a more integral, coordinated and systemic response. The Guidelines were analyzed by participants with the use of recommendations from the MICIC Initiative (Migrants in Countries in Crisis), which offered measures on how to take migrants into account before, during and after emergencies.

The Chiapas Red Cross explained the “Agenda Twelve,” in reference to the 12 goals established by the 2030 Agenda. The attention to migrants and promotion of resilience in migrant populations, are some of the agenda’s goals. Hence, the activity was in accordance with the strategic goals of both organizations as it focused on aspects of migrant protection and the promotion of proactive and inclusive actions for the migrant population that could be affected by natural disasters.

The workshop was implemented with the support of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly, and safe migration, which will allow adequate protection of migrants.