Migration and Development: Towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Washington, D.C., May 6, 2016 - The Forum on Migration and Development: Towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda took place at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters, where the contributions of the young people that were part of the Young Americas Forum process were presented.

The opening panel was composed of the Secretary General of the OAS, H.E. Luis Almagro; the Vice President of Panama, H.E. Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado; the President of the Committee on Migration Issues (CAM), Mr. Daniel Cámara; and Valerie Lorena, Executive Director of the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), who was in charge of conveying the youth voice in the forum organized by the Committee on Migration Issues of the OAS.

“While it is true that the road has been long, it is also true that today we are making history as this is the first time, and hopefully not the last, that one of the three permanent missions of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development, is taking into consideration the voice of young people on an topic that is of deep interest and concern for youth, migration” said the Executive Director of YABT.

“Ms. Vice President, it was Panama that gave us a broad debate space within the framework of the Summit of the Americas, by incorporating a working group about migration in the processes of youth participation at the VII Summit. It was Secretary General Almagro who received the results from those processes, and who encouraged us to continue dialoguing and rallying for this cause; similarly a key component was supported by the CAM, whose president from the beginning urged the participation of young people in this important forum. On behalf of these youth concerned and enthusiastic about the issue, we thank you for allowing them to express how they perceive migration” stated Lorena.

She then continued by reading the young people’s contribution:

The young people of the Americas do not view migration as a problem but as a right. Affirming that borders should not be limits for development.

We consider that migration must be addressed based on its characteristics as well as the socioeconomic, cultural and legal contexts of the origin, transit and destination countries; Ensuring the full respect and guarantee of the human rights of migrants.

Migration is multi-causal, international or domestic. Therefore, young people of the Americas have identified as the main cause of migration: civil insecurity, violence, political instability, economic welfare, access to basic services and the lack of employment and educational opportunities.

Consequently, we express our concern over the human rights violations of migrants, the illicit smuggling and trafficking of people, particularly of women, boys, girls and adolescents. In addition, the increased migration flows of unaccompanied minors and youth, seeking to reunite with their families.

More so, human rights are not exclusive prerogatives of the nationals of a State, but of all persons in transit, resident or under their jurisdiction, without distinction.

Migration requires comprehensive solutions. We propose, as foll-Creation of cooperation agreements that dignifies migration

        - Creation of legislation that combats illegal wor

        - Prevention campaigns about the risks of illegal migration

- Policies that do not criminalize cultural diversity

- Access to quality education in rural and urban areas

- Actions to end domestic conflicts

- Public policies for sustainable development

Similarly, we consider the promotion of comprehensive education regarding the human rights of migrants a priority. Understanding that the development of individuals, fully entitled to their right of movement, strengthen the progress of peoples and nations.

In this regard, we welcome the proposal of the Committee on Migration Issues to develop an Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants.

At the same time, we recognize our participation, although important, is no sufficient to create change. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the next 14 years is a matter for all of us.

We are convinced that “liberty, justice and peace are based on the recognition of the intrinsic dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights” of every person, as stipulated in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We thank for the support that the OAS, YABT and CAM have given us today, let us work together in the construction of an America more inclusive and with “more rights for more people”.  

The YABT wants to give a special thanks to the participation of Niza Castañeda and Camila Patiño, representatives from the Youth Network of the Americas for being present in the forum and for their leadership on the issue of migration. It should also be noted that hundreds of young people followed the event online and made contributions through social networks using #Migration2030 and #YouthintheSummit.

Within the panels we recognize the participation of H.E. Hugo Martínez, Foreign Minister of El Salvador, H.E. Carlos Raúl Morales, Foreign Minister of Guatemala, H.E. María Andrea Matamoros, Vice Chancellor of Honduras, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration, among other senior government officials and international organizations.

To see the photo gallery of the event click on the following link: http://bit.ly/23vnVVW