There are 215 million migrants worldwide, and of them, 30 million, or 13%, are from Latin America. Although migration is a common occurrence, and has produced significant advances in the region’s development, the focus on security in receiving nations and the lack of opportunities in countries of origin produce one of the region's biggest humanitarian crises, affecting especially Mexican and Central American migrants. Only through the action of supranational alliances focused on access to justice, social integration, more open labor markets, as well as development in the migrants’ home communities, will it be possible to reduce the negative effects of migrations.

 

 

The existing laws, institutions and policy frameworks in most Latin
American countries do not reflect the complexity of current migration
flows.

Migrating in Pursuit of a Better Future

Economic crises, political instability and security concerns all influence the decision to migrate. The expectation is that a change of country or region will improve the economic outlook, family and social well-being, and overall quality of life.


Migrants create important changes in the economies and cultures of their countries of origin, the nations they travel through, as well as their final destinations. Migration is not a new phenomenon, but in the last 40 years, the existing laws, institutions and policy frameworks in Latin America haven't evolved to reflect the complexity of current migration flows. In fact, there is an increasing need for common solutions to critical problems, such as the violation of fundamental human rights suffered by migrants in transit and the socio-economic factors that drive migrants to leave their countries in search of better opportunities.

 

While many of the destination and transit countries on the migration routes adopt restrictive policies towards admitting foreigners and letting them stay, others respond with foresight, integrating multiple needs. In the absence of a system guaranteeing migrants their human rights, several governments have taken an interest in updating and harmonizing their regulatory frameworks. Meanwhile, businesses, civil society and migrant organizations are looking to implement measures that will facilitate mobility, boost positive outcomes and provide basic protections for all migrants.

 

What Avina does for Migration

Avina and its allies promote collaborative efforts among different segments of society. On a local and global scale, we channel these efforts toward the goal of a regulatory, institutional and ethical framework for human mobility that is respectful, democratic and sustainable.

 
Our joint action strategy centers on a drive to improve public policy, protect migrants’ human rights and to create economic alternatives that strengthen sustainable development in communities susceptible to the effects of migrations. To achieve those goals, we’ve joined forces with the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations in the alliance CAMMINA.


During 2012, we focused our efforts with our allies on consolidating networks and transnational alliances, strengthening our technical and managerial capabilities, and promoting the leadership and participation of migrants in influencing public policy in Mexico and Central America.

 

These are some of the results from 2012 in the Migrations Opportunity for Impact:

 

Avina Contributes to Well-Being of More than 400,000 Migrants in Costa Rica

 

Watch Avina’s video about the National Migrant Integration Plan of Costa Rica.

Fundación Avina helped the Costa Rican government’s General Migrations and Foreign Citizens Bureau in designing and implementing the National Migrant Integration Plan of Costa Rica which coordinates the operations of 11 institutions that provide migrants with basic services such as health care, education, labor rights and technical assistance.  With Avina’s support, the perspectives of civil society, academia and migrant organizations were taken into account in creating the plan.


The main objective of the National Migrant Integration Plan, which will determine priority public actions regarding migration, is to facilitate access to services aimed at the well-being and economic and social integration of at least 400,000 migrants (8% of the general population).


The organizations that provide social services for migrants are: The General Migrations and Foreign Citizens Bureau, the Education Ministry, the National Learning Institute, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the National Insurance Institute, the Health Ministry, the Public Works Ministry, the National Social Adaptation Bureau, the National Community Development Bureau, and the National Institute of Water Supply and Sewerage.

 

Photo: CAMMINA

A workshop focused on increasing effectiveness of Central American
consuls foreign ministries in their protecting the human rights of migrants.

Consular Protection:
A Pillar for Migrants
in Mexico

After a long campaign to raise awareness and participation, the Mexican Center for Economic Sciences Teaching and Research (CIDE) is seeing positive results, having influenced policy implementation with a first round of workshops, targeting mainly consular officers.  The goal is to make consular offices throughout Central America effective protectors of migrants’ human rights.


With economic help from Avina, and through the work of CAMMINA, the workshops took place in the Ministries of Foreign Relations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. At least 100 consular office workers, as well as deputy ministers, high-ranking local authorities and civil society representatives, participated in the meetings.


The main outcome of these workshops was the commitment made by consular personnel to protect migrants in their countries. The issue was made a priority in the foreign policy of these countries, laying the foundation for even more cooperation among the different sectors involved

.

CIDE is currently involved in offering additional workshops for consular personnel. CIDE has created an international forum to increase dialogue, strengthen partnerships and formulate effective communication strategies. These actions will benefit all Central American migrants, especially those who are in transit through Mexico.

Countries where Avina’s Migration Opportunity for Impact operates

 

 

Our main allies and co-
investors for this Opportunity for Impact in 2012 were: