A Pillar of Protection Solidarity: Resettlement for Refugees in Latin America
In 2004 government representatives of twenty Latin American countries gathered in Mexico to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees. One of the outcomes of the meeting was a renewed commitment to the principles of refugee protection and an agreement on specific steps and programmes to implement that commitment. The Mexico Plan of Action to Strengthen International Protection of Refugees in Latin America (MPA) emphasizes solidarity as a fundamental principle guiding state policies on refugee matters. More specifically, the MPA established as one of their action plans a regional resettlement programme as a response mechanism to the displacement of Colombian refugees, the largest refugee population in the Latin America.
This report looks to identify lessons learned in Argentina, Brazil and Chile as part of the experience of regional solidarity resettlement. I visited Argentina, Brazil and Chile in November 2011 and met with UNHCR, government officials, NGOs and refugees. The research seeks to provide a better understanding of the programme’s implementation, its strengths and challenges; and explore the regional solidarity resettlement approach as not only a model for Latin American countries but other regions in the world.