One of IOM’s core activity, Immigration and Border Management (IBM) fosters an integrated approach to migration and border management through improved efficiency, border control and enhanced inter-agency coordination. Through technical assistance to member states aiming to improve management of migration flows, IOM interventions contribute to tackle illicit activities, such as trafficking and smuggling of people and goods, and to improve security within the country and at the regional level.
IOM’s interventions in this field have sought to re-establish and reinforce the operational capacities of Haitian justice and public security stake- holders in the aftermath of the earthquake through the provision of adequate equipment and infrastructure. IOM’s community stabilization efforts have aimed to address critical policing needs engendered by the earthquake, in particular in volatile neighborhoods of the Port-au-Prince, Delmas and Croix-des-Bouquets areas, and to support efforts initiated by the Government of Haiti and the international community in achieving long term stabilization and development of the country.
Most recently through the generous support of the Government of Canada through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOP), IOM is implementing a pilot project aimed at supporting the Haitian Border Police (HBP) establish a permanent presence in Ouanaminthe, one of the most active official border crossing points. Specifically, the project seeks to enhance the protection of vulnerable individuals by establishing standardized protection mechanism in order for the HBP to identify, assist and refer women, girls and vulnerable individuals.
Furthermore, the project aims to support efficient border management which will facilitate and foster enhanced movement management, prevent irregular migration and enable the detection of smuggled migrants and trafficked per-sons. As a result, security will be strengthened for women and girls in border communities thus generating confidence in the Border Security System as well as the general perception of security and law enforcement in Haiti.
Technical assistance to Government on Migration Management
Over the past 40 years, Haiti has suffered several natural disasters, socio-economic difficulties and political instability. Due to the lack of employment opportunities and limited social services and institutions many Haitians seek better opportunities abroad through regular or irregular migration.
As a result, the community of Haitian nationals living abroad is estimated at 1.2 million people. Presently, the Haitian Diasporas reside throughout the region, in particular the Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, France and in more recent years Ecuador, Brazil and Chile.
Haitian migrants living abroad maintain generally strong emotional, financial, and familial ties with their homeland and contribute in a significant way to its economic development. The Haitian diaspora throughout the world transferred through regular remittance flows an estimated USD 2.4 billion in 2017 which corresponds to 31.2 percent of the country’s GDP.
Despite the recognized potential between migration and development, the Government of Haiti has exploited this potential in a limited way, partly because of the lack of comprehensive and reliable migration data and associated indicators. Many members of the diaspora have the potential and willingness to contribute to development of their homeland. However, the interaction with the diaspora is sporadic and unstructured. Hence, the valuable intellectual capital and other potential contribution of diaspora, which can help addressing country challenges remains largely untapped.
Therefore in order to address this, IOM Haiti proposes to lay the ground work for larger scale programmatic engagement of the Haitian diaspora in development by mapping Haitian diaspora associations and skilled expatriates, profiling of the diaspora and strengthening diaspora federations/councils; and strengthening the interaction between the government and the diaspora for political, social and economic development.