Central American Authorities Agree to Share Information About Migration

Migration Policy

San Ignacio — The heads of migration agencies from eight Central American nations gathered this week (06/11) at the annual meeting of the Central American Commission of Migration Authorities (OCAM). Those present facilitated a consultation on migratory information and modernizing a common statistical platform, among other agreements.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM), currently serving as the Commission’s technical secretariat, and the government of Belize organized the event.

The OCAM members agreed to allow the consultation of migratory information among member countries; implement migratory alerts; and modernize the platform that feeds the OCAM with statistics concerning entries, departures, and returns. To this end, IOM will provide financing and technical assistance in the development of the Virtual Information Platform for Migration Governance and train relevant actors to use it.

During the OCAM regional migratory summit, members also discussed subjects such as cross-border population flows, intra-regional migratory flows and good IT practices for strengthening integral and regional migration governance.

Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean, reiterated IOM’s support and commitment to countries in the region, stressing the need to open channels for regular migration and to focus energy on both the factors that drive irregular migration as well as the needs of returnees. "It is clear that the migration authorities of this region are preparing to face this challenge,” said Pisani.

The meeting, held in Belize, also gave migration authorities the tools to share advances in the management of migratory flows during massive events in the SICA (Central American Integration System) member countries.

Additionally, it was agreed that a search for funds would be launched to strengthen the protection of migrant women and that a plan for the comprehensive management of migration would be launched, as requested by the presidents of the region during a summit held in the Dominican Republic in June 2018.

OCAM was instituted in 1990 at the request of the presidents of the SICA countries to facilitate Central American integration and the transit of people between the region’s countries.

IOM has been the technical secretariat of OCAM since 1999 and over the years has provided advice and cooperation in the field of migration management.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 22125300, Email: jgallo@iom.int

  • The Central American Commission of Migration Authorities (OCAM) was instituted in 1990. Photo: IOM / Claudia Lara