Preliminary Findings of Mechanisms Used by Antigua and Barbuda to Address Mixed Migration Flows

Posted: 
05/12/11

The findings of a preliminary assessment of mechanisms addressing
mixed migration flows and the needs of the most vulnerable migrants
in Antigua and Barbuda are today being presented by IOM.

Migration flows to, within and out of the Caribbean region have
become increasingly more mixed, with some international migrants
especially vulnerable as asylum-seekers, unaccompanied minors,
victims of human trafficking, or because they are stranded in dire
circumstances.

At a debriefing session being held in the capital St.
John’s, IOM will report that there are migrants who may be in
particularly vulnerable situations such as those trafficked for
sexual exploitation or forced labour; those not being paid the
minimum wage; migrants whose irregular immigration status is used
to control and exploit them, or children not attending school
because their parents are irregular migrants.

At least one-third of the 74,324 population in Antigua and
Barbuda are migrants who arrive mostly by air from the Dominican
Republic, Jamaica, and Guyana.

IOM has recommended carrying out comprehensive training on
mixed-migration flows and response strategies, increasing public
awareness on migrant protection issues and implementing the new
human trafficking and migrant smuggling laws.

Today’s session wraps up two weeks of activities that
began last week in Trinidad and Tobago with a similar assessment
consisting of a literature review, data analysis, individual
interviews, and group briefing sessions.

At last week’s debriefing session in the Trinidadian
capital of Port of Spain, the IOM assessment confirmed that despite
a lack of data on size and characteristics of migration, there are
a large number of undocumented migrants who arrive by air and sea
through illegal channels, or who arrive legally and then overstay
their visas.  These migrants, from countries in the Caribbean,
Latin America, West Africa, and East Asia, are quickly absorbed by
the established migrant communities in Trinidad.  The
assessment highlighted a great need for Trinidad and Tobago to
develop screening forms and procedures based on mixed-migration
categories.

The two in-country assessments are part of a new IOM project,
Protecting Vulnerable Migrants in the Caribbean, funded by
the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and
Migration (PRM).

Through the new project, IOM will also provide technical
assistance to the two governments by developing procedures and
integrating best practices for identifying and providing assistance
to the most vulnerable migrants.

IOM will also provide, on a case-by-case basis, technical
support and material resources to English and Dutch speaking
Caribbean countries that are assisting the most vulnerable migrants
(such as minors and victims of trafficking) with immediate shelter,
food, medical care, and voluntary return and reintegration. More
than 50 victims of trafficking in these Caribbean countries have
been identified by IOM and partners.

Since 2004, IOM has worked closely with governments and civil
society, as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), UNICEF and
UNHCR to address the region’s migration realities.

For more information about this IOM project, visit "paragraph-link-no-underline" href=
"http://www.iom.int/unitedstates" target="_blank" title=
"">http://www.iom.int/unitedstates

For more information, please contact:

Chissey Mueller

IOM Washington

Tel: + 1 202 862-1826, Ext. 236

E-mail: "mailto:cmueller@iom.int">cmueller@iom.int