Responding to Migration Challenges in the Caribbean

Posted: 
12/03/09

Government officials from 21 Caribbean countries, along with
representatives of regional institutions and international
agencies, including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children's Fund
(UNICEF) are gathering next week in Antigua and Barbuda for the
annual Caribbean Regional Seminar on migration organized by IOM.

During the three-day event beginning Monday 7 December,
participants will discuss cooperation and networking in
counter-trafficking efforts, ways to advance regional efforts to
protect migrant children, and best practices in responding to other
vulnerable groups in a labour migration context.

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. 

IOM's World Migration 2008 reports that 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 totalled 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.

The Regional Seminar seeks to increase dialogue and cooperation
on these issues and to strengthen Caribbean capacity to manage
migration challenges.

The seminar is organized by IOM with support from the US
Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
(PRM), and is a follow-up to the IOM Regional Seminar held in Saint
Lucia in 2008.

For more information please contact:

Frantz Celestin

Antigua and Barbuda

Tel: + (268) 562-6848

or

Niurka Piñeiro

IOM Washington DC

Tel: +1.202.862.1826 x 225

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