Fundación Avina sees South America setting the example in migration policy

 

Along with its allies, in 2016 Fundación Avina expanded its work on migration to South America, due to the potential of new legal frameworks under construction as well as the positive work being carried out by public institutions and social organizations in response to migratory flows on the continent.

In a visit to the northern border of Chile in January, Fundación Avina and representatives from regional and local parter organizations learned more about the migration dynamics in the area. The corresponding actions on the part of social organizations, governments, and political leaders demonstrate their recognition of the economic, cultural, and democratic contributions of human mobility.

IMG-20160126-WA0018For more than a decade, thousands of Bolivian, Peruvian, and Colombian migrants have contributed to the economic sustainability of the area, which includes the Atacama desert. A new migration law in Chile could facilitate the legal recognition of these migrants’ status in the country.

The potential legalization of the status of thousands of migrants presents new opportunities for philanthropic sector to contribute to resolving migration-related issues in the Americas.

More than 61 million people in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean are migrants, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Nearly 46 million of these migrants live in the United States. Two million are located in Mexico and Central America, with the majority residing in Mexico and Costa Rica. Five million live in South America and are concentrated in Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador.

In South America, a new migration law is being debated in Chile for the first time in 30 years. Similarly, in Brazil, the Chamber of Deputies formed a special commission charged with drafting a migration bill to replace the one that was created 30 years ago when the country was under a dictatorship.

IMG_6011Fundación Avina and its allies in Chile and Brazil plan to carry out field visits during the first half of 2016, traveling to areas where the presence of migrants is the most significant for the local economy. They also plan to exchange experiences, best practices, and challenges in dialogue with government representatives, legislators, policy directors, staff from social organizations dedicated to assisting migrants, and people who have recently arrived to these countries.

New scenarios for inclusion, sustainability, and social justice are coming to Latin America, and they will provide an important framework to inspire similar practices in other regions of the world where migration has become a key issue for all of us.

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