IACHR: States must strengthen cooperation mechanisms to guarantee migrants' rights 

December 18, 2023

Washington, D.C. - On International Migrants Day, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) calls on States to strengthen cooperation mechanisms to protect the rights of migrants and ensure safe migratory movements. 

The IACHR has pointed out that human mobility is a multi-causal phenomenon because people move as a result of a combination of push factors in the countries of origin and pull factors in the countries of destination. These movements are framed in a context characterized or aggravated by economic, political, social reasons and/or by the effects of climate change and natural disasters, which has an impact on the conditions of displacement and vulnerability during human mobility itineraries. 

In view of the multiplicity of causes that generate the cross-border movement of people, it should be emphasized that the responses adopted by the States must be comprehensive. For this reason, the States involved in the migration cycle must work to expand regular channels for international mobility. This requires the implementation of mechanisms that lead not only to reducing the irregular displacement of persons, but also to addressing the causes that generate forced displacement. 

Although it has been recognized that the responsibility for responding to forced displacement of persons lies primarily with the receiving States, the Commission recalls that the States of origin have the responsibility to address the causes of forced displacement from a preventive approach that guarantees the security and exercise of the rights of persons within their territory and under their jurisdiction. This, so that they are not forced to leave their countries and ensure adequate conditions for reintegration to prevent successive movements of people. 

At the same time, transit States must work to reduce the vulnerability of people moving through their territories, especially those who do so irregularly. This implies guaranteeing security conditions, providing humanitarian assistance, and providing access to shelter, food, water, sanitation, and other essential services. For their part, destination States should apply a complementarity approach to ensure regular channels for the international mobility of persons. 

However, such measures may have limited effects without international cooperation actions that mitigate the asymmetries between the different States involved in the dynamics of mobility. It is therefore necessary to adopt a comprehensive approach to the protection of migrants. This must incorporate diagnostic and response capabilities that recognize the regional dimension of mobility, the complexity and interdependence of its causes, as well as the protection needs of migrants. This should be done through States of origin, transit, destination and, when appropriate, return, as indicated in the report Human Mobility and Protection Obligations: Towards a Subregional Perspective.  

In order to advance towards the comprehensive protection of migrants, the IACHR reaffirms its willingness to provide technical cooperation for the development and implementation of responses aimed at addressing mixed movements in the region, from a regional and sub-regional perspective, based on the principles of shared responsibility and international cooperation. 

The IACHR is a principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate derives from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity and do not represent their countries of origin or residence. 

No. 294/23

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