International Legal Instruments and Mechanisms
The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol are the principal binding international legal instruments for international protection. Unlike the Republic of Guyana, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago are state parties to both instruments. While Aruba is bound by the 1967 Protocol, Curaçao does not consider itself bound by either.
There is no comprehensive, binding international legal instrument regarding migration, but certain specific aspects such as migration for labor and trafficking in persons are governed by regional and international agreements. In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which aims to comprehensively address the sources and vectors of migration, and to strengthen the contributions of migrants to sustainable development. This non-binding resolution does not constrain states to its provisions but declares the intent of its endorsers to implement them.
In terms of relevant regional mechanisms, the Dominican Republic and Guyana participated in the Quito Process (initiated 2018) for Venezuelans displaced abroad, and the Netherlands (relevant for Aruba and Curaçao) is an observer. In the Caribbean, governments and international organizations participated in the Caribbean Migration Consultations over the years, which is a regional consultative forum to develop action plans, exchange information and best practices on migrations. The Dominican Republic is also a member of the Regional Conference of Migration (RCM) or Puebla Process, which is a mechanism to coordinate policies and actions related to migration issues.