CSMEMigrationMigration4DevelopmentPublic HealthRAMPRegional Approach to Migration Policy (RAMP)Regional Migration Policy

Regional Policy Being Developed to address Migration Priorities, Challenges and Opportunities

Friday, 1 September 2023 (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown): Developing a “Regional Approach” to migration was the focus of a two-day workshop (24-25 August 2023) facilitated by CARICOM in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Regional stakeholders, including representatives from CARICOM Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), CARICOM Standing Committee of Chiefs of Immigration (CICC) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), discussed a number of critical issues related to migration trends in the Caribbean. This was the 2nd workshop in the series of engagements.

Stakeholders conducted a technical review of the results from the “Issue Identification Survey” and identified areas for further research, data collection and analysis to advance the Region’s migration priorities and the main challenges and opportunities.

Participants utilised the forum to define specialised advisory groups that will provide technical guidance on areas for research and policy development.  Stakeholders also reviewed and amended a draft declaration for consideration by CARICOM Member States at a high-level meeting scheduled for 2024.

In addition, the meeting agreed on a roadmap for the next 12 months and beyond for developing a comprehensive migration policy. 

Commenting on the process, Ms Alison Drayton, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, CARICOM Secretariat, stated, “This policy will allow citizens to take advantage of the benefits of the developmental aspects of migration in several sectors including education, trade and decent work and at the same time ensuring that they move safely to wherever their next opportunity for personal advancement may be”. 

CARICOM Heads of Government in 2019 mandated the development of a Regional Migration Policy at the 19th Special Summit on Crime and Security in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The need to accelerate the policy’s development is crucial, particularly as Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, CARICOM Chair and Prime Minster of Dominica, announced the decision to allow free movement of all categories of citizens in the Region by March 2024 at the conclusion of the 45th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in July 2023.

Additional stakeholders participating in the workshop included representatives of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Government of Barbados, the Government of the United States and United Nations agencies.

The overarching goal of the regional approach to migration is to ensure unity among CARICOM Member States in utilising the benefits of migration for critical sectors that contribute to regional development.

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