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The Role of Regional Consultative Process in Managing International Migration

image of The Role of Regional Consultative Process in Managing International Migration

The past ten years have seen an increase in the number of regional consultative processes focusing on migration. These non-binding fora bring representatives of states, civil society, and international organizations together at the regional level to discuss migration-related issues in a cooperative manner. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of regional consultative processes. It examines eleven regional processes and investigates the development and achievements of four of them in depth.

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Regional consultative processes: What have they achieved, what can they achieve?

Based, as noted above, on a sense of regional cooperation, regional consultative processes serve to increase that sense of‘‘being in the same boat”, and help to create a willingness to act cooperatively in the realm of migration which can best be seen in the case of crises. For instance, the Asian economic crisis affected all states in the region, forcing them to work together to deal with the migratory aftermath, namely, the increased flow of irregular migrants and the rise in trafficking in women. In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch hit Central America hard, affecting, in particular, I londuras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. The region pulled together, working both within the stricken region and outside: in addition to technical cooperation within the four affected countries, Costa Rica and the United States both offered amnesties to irregular migrants from the hardest hit countries.

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