South America, 17 & 18 August 2021 – over 70 participants from 9 countries in South America convened for a 2-day workshop on cross-border displacement and protection of migrants in the context of disasters, co-organized by the Argentine Pro Tempore Chairmanship of the South American Conference on Migration (SACM), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Platform for Disaster Displacement (PDD).
This workshop constituted the first regional event of the new ‘Network on migration, environment, disasters and climate change’, promoted under the Argentine Chairmanship of the SACM, and its discussions and outcomes will inform the next SACM which takes place on 25-26 August 2021.
This regional training effort aimed at improving understanding of the phenomenon of cross-border displacement in the context of disasters in South America, while providing an opportunity for member countries to share best practices for addressing displacement in the context of disasters and the adverse effects of climate change. The workshop will contribute to improving attention to the needs of people moving across international borders in the context of disasters and the adverse effects of climate change, as well as migrants in countries affected by disasters
The concrete objectives of the workshop were as follows:
- Contribute to the strengthening of capacities of the member countries of the SACM in terms of protection of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters.
- Discuss regional and national regulatory frameworks, as well as recent practices, for facilitating the admission and stay of people from countries affected by disasters and the adverse effects of climate change.
- Support the training efforts of the SACM by reviewing the design, implementation and evaluation of relevant policies, using an interdisciplinary approach.
The workshop comprised two sessions. During the first session, participants had the opportunity to learn in greater depth the provisions of the SACM Regional Guidelines which cover protection and assistance to persons displaced across borders and migrants in countries affected by natural disasters, as well as some of the main conceptual challenges and experiences in South America. During the second session, a series of experts were on hand to guide and facilitate further discussions through the presentation of tools, case studies and short exercises.
Reflecting on the workshop, Mariana Pais, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Argentina, said
I would like to express my congratulations on the development of the workshop, as well as highlight the quality of the speakers, the materials and the workshop format. It was very enriching.