IOM, CARICOM Sign Memorandum of Understanding


IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and The Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) Secretary General Edwin Carrington, have signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pledging closer cooperation
between the two organizations in activities related to migration in
an effort to achieve the maximum benefits for their Member States
and their populations.

The agreement between IOM and CARICOM marks a growing
recognition of the need to jointly combat human trafficking, uphold
the human rights of migrants, and address migration and development
needs in a comprehensive manner in countries in the Caribbean
region where both organizations are represented.

The two organizations will focus on cooperation and joint
efforts, including:

  • Technical cooperation and capacity building on migration;
  • Mutual assistance in activities related to migration management
    best practices, migration and development and human rights of
  • Exchange of information publications and reports on areas of
    common interest;
  • Dissemination of information, including providing website
    links; and
  • Joint participation in programmes in pursuit of the common
    interest of IOM and CARICOM.

"The signing of this cooperation agreement confirms the desire
and determination of IOM and CARICOM to deepen and strengthen our
partnership in a region characterized by a very fluid internal
movement of persons, as well as by a significant flow-through of
non-Caribbean migrants in transit," said IOM Director General

The Caribbean region is characterized by a very fluid internal
movement of persons, and by significant transit movement of
non-Caribbean migrants.  Lack of economic opportunities in
many areas, coupled with historical patterns of movement, and in
some cases human rights abuses and disasters, are the main drivers
influencing migration of people from the Caribbean both within and
outside the region.

Irregular migration, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, the
spread of HIV/AIDS, brain-drain, environmental migration and mass
outflows of migrants all come to form parts of the current
migration dynamics in the Caribbean.

According to IOM's World Migration 2008, the Caribbean region
has one of the highest net emigration rates in the world. 
While there is considerable intraregional migration, such as
between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in 2000, Caribbean
migrants in the United States totaled 2,879,000 or 9.6 per cent of
the foreign-born population (US Census, 2000) and these flows to
the US continue to be significant.

Intra-regional movements are the smallest, estimated at 10 per
cent of overall migration.  Haiti, the Dominican Republic,
Guyana and Jamaica are the main sending countries to other
Caribbean destinations, while The Bahamas, the British and US
Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos are the main receiving
countries and territories.

For more information, please contact:

Niurka Piñeiro

IOM Washington DC

Tel: +1 202.862.1826 Ext. 225

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