ASUNCION – The 16th South American Conference on Migration, or CSM, opened Thursday with countries focusing on the free transit of people across the region as a benefit for mobility and integration.
The theme of the two-day conference, sponsored by the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, is “Toward Free Transit,” and attendees will discuss ways to strengthen migration management and South America’s role internationally.
Participants will also conduct a review of the South American Plan for the Human Development of Migration, and will formulate recommendations to member countries about migration policy.
The CSM has 12 members and representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Suriname and Guyana, as well as migration and consular officials from Paraguay, are attending the conference.
Some 15 percent of Paraguayans live outside their landlocked country, where the population is highly concentrated in the southern third of the territory and border regions are densely populated, highlighting the need for streamlined processes to improve mobility with neighboring nations, the Paraguayan Foreign Ministry said.
The CSM is part of the regional consultation process started in 1999 and covers a range of issues, such as access to justice for migrants, integration and ways to ease transit within the region.