UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update - North America and The Caribbean Subregional Overview
| Overview |
Working environment The intensification of several humanitarian crises in Africa and in the Middle East is keeping global resettlement needs high. Thanks to the generosity of countries such as the United States and Canada, which have large resettlement programmes, many vulnerable refugees are able to find a solution to their plight.
Canada is a key partner in refugee protection. It has established an independent refugee status determination tribunal and provides considerable support for UNHCR’s work globally.
In the United States, legislation on immigration reform (the Border Security,
Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act) currently pending passage through Congress would bring enhanced protection for refugees in the country.
As a result of the 2011 earthquake in Haiti, almost 280,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) remain in camps and another 200,000 are living with host families or in informal settlements. Many of the IDPs in these informal settlements have been forcibly evicted from camps. This situation is likely to continue in 2014, while the precarious conditions in the existing IDP camps are bound to pose significant protection risks, particularly sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Several thousand IDPs in Haiti have lost their documents and face difficulties in obtaining access to services. According to the Haitian National Archives, there are approximately 2 million Haitians who are in need of documentation. Since many undocumented Haitians have left the country, there is a high risk that some of them may become stateless.
The year 2014 will mark the 30th anniversary of Haiti’s accession to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, and Haiti is seeking UNHCR’s support in drafting asylum legislation. Due to the country’s position at the crossroads of the Caribbean, the number of asylum-seekers arriving on its shores has been rising. In the Dominican Republic, UNHCR will continue to work with the authorities on strengthening protection for people of concern.
The risk of statelessness across the Caribbean is high, especially among populations of Haitian origin or descent. New evidence indicates that there are significant numbers of people whose nationality might be undetermined due to gaps in nationality laws or unclear application of national policies.
Following the May 2013 UNHCR-IOM Caribbean Regional Conference on the Protection of Vulnerable Persons in Mixed Migration Flows, the potential for strengthening regional dialogue, inter-agency cooperation, and national capacities on mixed migration and protection in the Caribbean, has grown.
However, strong donor support is needed to enable implementation of new initiatives.