Port-au-Prince, December 18, 2017- On the celebration of International Migrants Day 2017, the Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Haitians (MHAVE), the Director General of the ONM (National Office of the Migration), and the Representative of IOM (National Office for Migration) reiterated that Migration is a reality to be managed together for the benefit of all.
Today, discussions around the issue of migration are still too often negative. The realities of migration are ignored and the benefits and contributions of migrants are downplayed. Fighting this negative rhetoric about migrants and refugees is a crucial step towards a well-managed migration that is recognized as being mutually beneficial. Migrants enrich the societies that host them by bringing new skills, experiences, cultures and innovations to the host communities.
Two million, this is the estimated number of Haitians living abroad. In 2017, the Haitian diaspora around the world transferred, through regular transfers of funds, an amount corresponding to 31.2 per cent of the country's GDP. Currently, Haitian diasporas reside throughout the Caribbean region, in the United States, Canada, France, and more recently in Ecuador, Brazil and Chile. This diaspora brings its skills, knowledge and capabilities to their host country while remaining eager to support the development of their country of origin.
"*This commitment is regularly manifested by an unconditional contribution to the survival budget of their family members in Haiti, the realization of recovery projects for their communities of origin, humanitarian aid in the event of natural disasters and lobbying in their countries of destination on behalf of Haiti and Haitians. It should be noted that, year after year, remittances from the diaspora to Haiti far exceed the additional amounts of the value of exports and international development aid* ", explained Stéphanie Auguste Minister of Haitians Living Abroad.
Over the last 40 years, Haiti has suffered from several natural disasters, socio-economic difficulties and political instability. Due to lack of employment and access to social services, many Haitians are looking for better opportunities abroad through the path of regular migration but also, unfortunately, through irregular migration networks.
Thousands of irregular Haitian migrants risk their lives each year to reach neighboring countries while facing a wide range of difficulties: trafficking in human beings, exploitation, smuggling, communicable diseases, lack of reintegration assistance for repatriated and deported returnees, dangerous maritime or land crossings, etc.
In addition, in recent years, a growing number of neighboring countries have intensified their deportation programs, and a growing number of Haitian nationals living abroad have been forcibly returned to Haiti, many of whom have little or no capacity to succeed in their socio-economic reintegration in their country of origin. This increases the likelihood that these migrants will attempt anew irregular departures.
"*Whether through supporting the creation of border police with the PNH, by opening Border Resource Centers with the IBESR, the MAST, the ONM and the local actors, by working with the CNLTP in its fight against the human trafficking, by providing assistance to Haitian citizens applying for a Special Permanent Visa and Family Reunification Visa for Brazil with the Embassy of Brazil, or in collaboration with the MHAVE by proposing to pave the way for more effectively engaging the members of the diaspora in Haiti's political, social and economic development, IOM works hand in hand with state and international partners to help ensure humane and orderly migration management for the benefit of all*, "said Fabien Sambussy, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.
Present in Haiti since 1994, IOM reiterates its unconditional support to the Haitian Ministries, authorities and institutions in charge of Migration to address the internal and external migration issues facing the Haitian state. IOM aims to continue to protect the most vulnerable migrants and to support the Government of Haiti in its efforts to ensure and promote regular and informed migration for the benefit of all.
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