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UNHCR welcomes Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection in the Americas

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UNHCR welcomes Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection in the Americas

10 June 2022
Mexico. Asylum seekers walk to the United States
A father from Haiti carries his son across the border between Mexico and the United States to seek asylum.

LOS ANGELES – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomed today an important declaration adopted at the IX Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, United States.

The 20 countries endorsing the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection pledged to strengthen national, regional, and hemispheric efforts to create the conditions for safe, orderly, humane, and regular migration and to strengthen frameworks for international protection and cooperation.

“The Americas region is facing a human mobility crisis that is unprecedented both in its complexity and scale. No country can address this situation on its own,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “The Los Angeles Declaration builds upon existing frameworks and brings us closer to a continent-wide coordinated response based on the principles of international cooperation, solidarity and respect for human rights, as set out in the Global Compacts on refugees and on safe and orderly migration.”

In particular, UNHCR welcomes the commitment of states in the Americas to strengthen protection systems and guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face persecution or human rights violations; the provision of access to fair and efficient asylum procedures, and the development of alternative legal stay or temporary protection arrangements. The Declaration, furthermore, acknowledges the positive contributions of refugees and migrants to the socio-economic development of their host communities and the need to promote their inclusion and integration.

At the same time, UNHCR recognizes the importance of regional initiatives that address the root causes of migration and forced displacement, and encourages states and other relevant stakeholders, including multilateral development banks, international financial institutions and other donors, to expand efforts to improve conditions and opportunities to prevent forced displacement.

“Mixed population movements in and through the region are likely to continue, as the root causes of displacement intensify, exacerbated by the heavy toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the region’s most vulnerable people, the impact of climate change and the current global economic difficulties,” said Grandi. “These population movements are placing additional strain on already overstretched asylum systems, social networks and host communities. Urgent action is needed to help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that, together, host millions of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people.”

UNHCR stands ready to support the implementation of the Los Angeles Declaration and to continue working with states, international organizations and civil society to strengthen access to asylum, protection and solutions for those in need, deal with the challenges posed by human mobility in the Americas and to the promote regular pathways for international protection and migration.

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