After the 2023 North American Leaders’ Summit took place in Mexico City during January 9 and 10, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) continues calling for sustained regional collaboration to address the displacement and humanitarian crises in Latin America. 

Julio Rank Wright, Regional Vice President for Latin America at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said:
“The North American Leaders’ Summit was an important forum for fostering the collaboration needed to tackle chronic violence, climate change and economic turmoil—three drivers of humanitarian needs in the Americas. We encourage the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States to continue building on the commitments made in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection and advancing policies to ensure people’s protection, whether in their home countries or in the places they consider safe.

“The IRC outlined a set of recommendations to tackle the humanitarian risks affecting millions of people in Latin America, which often leave many with no alternative but to flee their homes in the search for safety. Among these recommendations, we included the need for donors and host states (a role that Mexico has historically played) to reach concrete commitments on humanitarian financing, as well as responsibility sharing, and a framework for the harmonization of migration and humanitarian policies across the Western Hemisphere. 

“Meeting the resource needs requires that institutions and governments such as the UNHCR, the United States and the World Bank utilize their convening powers to engage additional donors—including the European Commission and G20 governments—to rethink the approach to a humanitarian response in Latin America. At the same time, this response should incorporate lessons learned from multilaterally-supported and funded compact initiatives in humanitarian and protection emergencies in other regions. Displacement within, through, and out of Latin America is highly global in nature and, as such, requires a global coordination to meet the needs of people on the move in this region.

“While addressing root causes of migration and strengthening protection and asylum systems throughout Latin America is essential, it is also important to recognize that many still cannot find safety within the region. The IRC recently welcomed the announcement of migration pathways for people from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua–in addition to measures previously announced for Venezuelans–but we remain concerned about the expansion of Title 42, which will continue to send people back to danger in Mexico. Temporary humanitarian parole measures cannot be a substitute for asylum systems. Facilitating people’s right to receive international protection in places suitable to their needs must be a priority. As such, we continue calling for a properly resourced and functioning asylum and reception system at the U.S. Southern border and the end of border externalization policies that continue to put asylum-seekers at risk.”

The IRC’s recommendations for a robust humanitarian response in Latin America are available on the following link:

A Fractured Response: Policy Recommendations to Strengthen Regional Collaboration on Migration in the Americas