The Declaration Committee seeks not only to mitigate but also use migration for regional development
Discussions continued Wednesday in the Declaration working group with delegates focusing on diaspora engagement in conjunction with promoting development through migration; increasing human development while actively combating human trafficking in the region, and strengthening sub-regional work in the area of migration. While the delegates deliberated, the MOAS Authorities continued to diligently assist committee members with editing and compiling throughout the day.
Delegates from Suriname, Jamaica and Argentina are looking at existing programs geared towards migration in the region. According to Gladys Augustus (from the delegation of Jamaica), much of this includes looking at the resolutions put forward at the OAS and other international fora to determine what must be considered in the proposals made today in terms of human rights’ policies. Augustus and her colleagues from Suriname and Argentina believe this is an important measure in addressing loopholes in the existing framework.
In the area of diaspora engagement, representatives from Bolivia and Brazil are hoping to present resolutions that will work towards increasing national pride among the region’s diaspora. It is important to “maintain the national pride of those who migrate, mainly for job opportunities, because they help with the development of their countries from afar with remittances”, said Roleece Brookes from Brazil. Brookes indicated that one avenue being explored to maintain and increase national pride is to offer foreign nationals representation at the OAS and other sub-regional bodies like CARICOM.
Colombia, the United States, Trinidad & Tobago and Peru, as a diverse group spanning the region in geography and experience, have taken up the issue of human trafficking as well as human development. It was decided at large that they would address the youth aspect of the Declaration as human development naturally presents as means to do so. The immediate goal is not only to increase access to youth development and capacity building programs but to increase awareness of existing programs as well. On the matter of human trafficking, the delegates seek to present ways for the region to strengthen policies to eradicate human trafficking with special focus on creating legislation to criminalize this practice in countries which have no legal repercussions for perpetrators.
Maria Moreno, the expert supporting the committee, expressed how impressed she was with the knowledge and understanding of the delegates on the issue and how efficiently the group was proceeding.