Type: Regional consultative process on migration (region: Americas)
Formal association with regional or multi-stakeholder organization: Central American Integration System (SICA)
The Central American Commission of Migration Directors (originally called the Central American Organization of Migration - OCAM) was instituted in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1990 following the request of the Central American presidents in the framework of the Central American Economic Action Plan (PAECA) of SICA. It is a regional mechanism that addresses migration issues in Central America and for the coordination of policies in three fundamental axes: migration, human rights, migration and development. The focus areas of OCAM are legislation, information systems, human rights, security, infrastructure, documentation, cooperation, labor, procedures and policies.
The axes of OCAM projects are:
- Legislation: legal framework, agreements, manuals, glossaries of terms, national and international legislation, political mechanisms to achieve method stability, regularization of programs.
- Information Systems: technology platforms, software and hardware, exchange of information, information collecting procedures, collection and analyzing of migration data, pre-screening, coordination of “invisible” migration structures and Advanced Passenger Information Systems (APIS).
- Human Rights: the fight against and prevention of migrant smuggling and human trafficking, safe repatriation and return, return, of regional and extra regional migrants, protection of victims.
- Safety: protection, surveillance, prevention, modernization of migration management, strengthening of borders, and integrated controls.
- Infrastructure: unification, technological improvements, modernization, sanitization of border zones.
- Travel Documents: Central American passports, entrance and return cards, vehicle documentation, card of residency, boarding cards, special passes for coast arrivals.
- Cooperation: projects, trainings, investigations, technical and financial assistance.
- Work: Labour migration
- Procedures: schedules, stays, revenue, integrated border controls, coordination of document requirements for migrants, collections of migration fees, procedures, documentation, instrument implementation and common procedures.
- Political: Commitment, declarations, agreements, regulations, approval of regional migratory acts.
Current Thematic Focus
- Policies and management of migration (legislation, procedures and policies)
- Human Rights
- Migration and development
- Information systems, security, infrastructure, documentation
- Labour migration
Presidency pro tempore represents OCAMs Board of Directors, this post is assumed by each member country of OCAM for the duration of 1 year, on a rotating basis and by geographic order.
Current Chair: Guatemala (since July 2021)
Past Chairs: Costa Rica (2021), Nicaragua (2020), Honduras (2020), El Salvador (2019), Guatemala (2019), Honduras (2018).
The Technical Permanent Commission: During its XVI ordinary meeting, OCAM created its Technical Permanent Commission (CTP) that has been shaped by the technical personnel of the Migration Directorates and Services of the region. Its objective is the development of actions linked with the analysis, activities and other technical aspects in the field of migration that require specific permanent actions between member countries.
The Technical Commission on Information Technology: During the XI special OCAM meeting the need for a Technical Commission on Information Technology (CTI) was addressed. It was decided that this Commission will be made up of the heads of information of Directorates of Migration of the region, or their representatives, CTI responsibilities include consultation on information technology, the completion of studies and above all the contribution to the Project on regional migratory management.
OCAM emerged from the Central American Integration System (SICA) and at its inception, the institution head of the Technical Secretariat was the Economic Integration Secretariat of Central America (SIECA).
Since January of 1999, IOM assumed the role as the Technical Secretariat of OCAM, in accordance with the General Secretariat of SICA, to support the regional migratory activities implemented by the Commission.
General Secretary for the Central American Integration System is in charge of ensuring that OCAM maintains a significant role in migratory issues in the Central American Integration
System and guarantees its sustainability and political strength and that legal agreements are upheld.
Member States (8 states)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
Member organizations (1 organization)
Central American Integration System (SICA)
Observer organizations (1 organization)
- National Institute of Migration, Mexico (INAMI)
- Board of Directors
Composed by the Directors of Immigration Services of Central America as representatives of member countries:
- Department of Immigration and Nationality Services, Belize
- Commissioner of Migration, Guatemala
- General Directorate of Migration, El Salvador
- General Directorate of Migration, Honduras
- General Directorate of Migration, Nicaragua
- General Directorate of Migration, Costa Rica
- National Service of Migration, Panam
- June 30, 2020, Virtual Event, (L) OCAM Regular Meeting
- March 18, 2020, Virtual Event, XXV Special Meeting of OCAM
- June 5-6, 2019, Guatemala, 48th (XLVIII) OCAM Regular Meeting
- November 6, 2018, San Ignacio, Belize, 47th (XLVII) OCAM meeting
- June 27, 2018, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, XLVI (46th) Regular Meeting of OCAM
- 2017, Guatemala, 45ª Reunión Ordinaria de la Comisión Centroamericana de Directores y Directoras de Migración (OCAM)
- 2016, Panama, XLII Special Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2013, Costa Rica, XX Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2013, Honduras, XXXVII Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2013, Nicaragua, XXI Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2012, Costa Rica, XXXVI Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2011, Nicaragua, XXXIV Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2011, El Salvador, XXXIII Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2011, El Salvador, XXXV Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2010, El Salvador, XXXI Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2010, Honduras, XXXII Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2010, El Salvador, XVIII Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2010, Guatemala, XIX Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2009, Guatemala, XXX Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2009, Costa Rica, XVII Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2008, Costa Rica, XXIX Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2007, Honduras, XV Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2007, United States of America, XVI Special Meeting of OCAM
- 2007, Belize, XXVII Routine OCAM Meeting
- 2007, Panama, XXVIII Routine OCAM Meeting
- Deed of Agreement of the XV Special Meeting of OCAM, Honduras, 2007.
- Deed of Agreement of the XVI Special Meeting of OCAM, United States, 2007.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXVII Routine OCAM Meeting, Belize, 2007.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXVIII Routine OCAM Meeting, Panama, 2007.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXIX Routine OCAM Meeting, Costa Rica, 2008
- Deed of Agreement of the XXX Routine OCAM Meeting, Guatemala, 2009.
- Deed of Agreement of the XVII Special Meeting of OCAM, Costa Rica, 2009
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXI Routine OCAM Meeting, El Salvador, 2010.
- Deed of Agreement of the XVIII Special Meeting of OCAM, El Salvador, 2010.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXII Routine OCAM Meeting, Honduras, 2010.
- Deed of Agreement of the XIX Special Meeting of OCAM, Guatemala, 2010.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXIII Routine OCAM Meeting, El Salvador, 2011.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXIV Routine OCAM Meeting, Nicaragua, 2011.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXV Routine OCAM Meeting, El Salvador, 2011.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXVI Routine OCAM Meeting, Costa Rica, 2012.
- Deed of Agreement of the XX Special Meeting of OCAM, Costa Rica, 2013.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXXVII Routine OCAM Meeting, Honduras, 2013.
- Deed of Agreement of the XXI Special Meeting of OCAM, Nicaragua, 2013.
- Deed of Agreement of the XLII Special Routine OCAM Meeting, Panama, 2016.
- Reglamento Interno de la OCAM-2000
- Reglamento de la Comisión Centroamericana de Directores de Migración (OCAM)
- Acta de Acuerdo de la Comisión Centroamericana de Directores de Migración 1998
- Comisión Centroaméricana de Directores de Migración
- Contact Information
IOM Regional Office for Central and North America and the Caribbean
Avenida Central entre calles 27 y 29, Casa 2775
San José, Costa Rica
Tel.: +506 22 12 53 00
Fax: +506 22 22 05 90
E-mail: ROSanJose@iom.int; firstname.lastname@example.org