EUROsociAL+ brought the players of global development in Latin America together in Madrid to find collective responses to migration flows in the region. Participants in the seminar tell us about the factors that contribute to the successful management of migration
“This migration crisis may become a great opportunity for the country.”
Roxana del Águila, National Superintendent of Migrations, Peru
When it comes to responding to a migration crisis like the recent one in Latin America, people’s dedication and creativity have proven to be equal to or more important than the economic resources. In the case of Peru, a country that has never had to receive massive migrations, measures such as the comprehensive digitisation of the support areas of the National Migration Superintendency have been enormously beneficial, for various reasons. First, it allowed us to cut costs while greatly streamlining the process. Secondly, it served to deal with corruption risks, which had traditionally been a problem in the department, at the root. Finally, the software we developed for the issuance of the Temporary Stay Permit included a questionnaire with sixty questions that migrants could fill out on-line, which gave us a complete census of the more than half a million people who have entered Peru in recent times. The information it gathers – work experience, qualifications, marital status, health record… – is very useful and allows this crisis to become a great opportunity for the country.
“It is necessary to adopt a humanistic approach to the issue”
Liliana Alfonso Jaimes, Deputy Directress of Migration, Colombia
Migration is not a phenomenon that should be dealt with exclusively from the realm of security, but rather a humanistic approach to the issue is needed. This may be somewhat easier in Latin America than in Europe because the countries of our region are relatively uniform in terms of culture, while migrants who arrive in Europe are scared and in most cases do not even know the language of the host country. If we are able to generate trust towards the State among migrants, we will also ensure, for instance, that a greater percentage of them will enter via regular channels instead of the irregular border crossings. We need migrants to understand that carrying out the reception process in a legal way is beneficial for all parties. For the State, it is crucial in order to keep the situation under control and to have data with which to organise things, while it gives migrants legal security and affords them access to employment and social services.
“Access to official information reduces the risks of migrants being exploited; Julieta Becerril Ramírez, general directress of Migratory Regulation and Archives (Mexico)”
In both Europe and America, it is necessary to carefully analyse what role certain third parties or organisations play in promoting these exoduses or massive migrations. Partly, because there are often underlying political and confrontational interests between countries; but above all because these people take advantage of the need of people who flee their countries because of violence, poverty or lack of employment. In this sense, it is as important to work on these human trafficking networks as it is to regularise migrants’ situation in some way, even if they are in the country only temporarily. They will thus have access to official information, not manipulated by the interests of the mafias, and they will be able to work legally in the country, thus reducing the risks of being exploited for their labour along the way.