Central and North American Countries Promote Information Exchange to Aid Searches for Missing Migrants

Capacity Building, Migration Research, Missing Migrants

San José — The Regional Conference on Migration (CRM), with the support of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), held a workshop in Costa Rica this week (25-26/09) to promote guidelines for the coordination and exchange of information for searches of missing migrants. 

According to data from IOM´s Missing Migrants Project, so far in 2018, around 374 migrants have died during their passage through the Americas and the Caribbean, while many others remain missing.

“Migrants escape contexts of violence and insecurity and undertake long and dangerous journeys in search of better opportunities,” said Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. “The loss of many of these lives is a truly a tragedy. IOM is ready to support the efforts carried out by countries of the CRM and our partners at the Red Cross to enhance their visibility and bring comfort to their families.”

Through a participative methodology, the workshop addressed challenges and existing good practices for finding missing migrants, with the aim of increasing collaboration between CRM member states and other regional and national organizations through agreed guidelines.

Raquel Vargas, General Director of Migration of Costa Rica, highlighted the relevance of the event to complement ongoing national and international initiatives. “Participating in this first effort of coordination and experience exchange strengthens the actions that the institutions are conducting to generate a safe, regular and orderly migration, not only in Costa Rica but in all the region,” Vargas said.

The workshop Guidelines about Regional Mechanisms for Coordination and Exchange of Information for the Search of Missing Migrants in Contexts of Migration included the participation of governmental institutions from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

Representatives of the Red Cross, the Regional Network of Civil Society Organizations for Migration, UN agencies and the CRM Technical Secretariat also participated in the event.

For further information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int.

  • Officials from 9 Central American and North American countries met to find ways to facilitate the searches for missing migrants trough information sharing. Photo: CRM / Renan Rodas