TEGUCIGALPA – Representatives of international organizations on Tuesday urged governments to learn about the basic needs and motivations of migrants to be able to help them, the issue being a key topic at a regional conference being held in Honduras and attended by 11 countries from around the Americas.
The conference entitled “Immigration: a shared responsibility” is being attended by delegates from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, along with the International Labor Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Refugee Agency.
“More than ever it’s necessary for governments to know the basic needs” of migrants, “to understand the reasons for their movements and to provide them with dignified help, based on their rights as migrating persons,” said the adjunct delegate from the Regional Delegation of the ICRC for Mexico, Central America and Cuba, Leticia Courtois.
She told EFE that the ICRC is attending the meeting as an observer and also “to pass along some messages about the humanitarian needs of migrants along the way.”
The International Labor Organization’s Adriana Hidalgo told EFE that “migration is basically of a labor character.”
Andres Ramirez, the UN Refugee Agency’s representative for Central America, Cuba and Mexico, Andres Ramirez, told EFE that the Tegucigalpa meeting is important because participants will discuss migration and the people who find themselves forced to leave their homes by violence or economic necessity.
The conference was inaugurated by the head of the Honduran National Migration Institute, Carolina Menjivar, who emphasized that “the only way to deal with the issue is from a humanitarian, comprehensive and articulated point of view.”