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Intergovernmental Processes

Intergovernmental Processes

The following intergovernmental processes play crucial roles in fostering cooperation, dialogue, and collaboration among countries to address migration challenges and promote the rights and well-being of migrants and refugees within their respective regions.


The Regional Conference on Migration (RCM)

The RCM, established in 1996, is a multilateral mechanism that brings together 11 member countries from North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean, to discuss and address migration issues in the region. This includes, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and the United States of America.  

It aims to facilitate dialogue, cooperation, and the exchange of information, experiences, and best practices among member states to strengthen migration governance, protect human rights of migrants, especially those in vulnerable situations, promote appropriate linkages between migration and sustainable development, and define strategic priorities. Through its meetings and working groups, the RCM enables member countries to collaborate on policy development, capacity building, and implementation of regional initiatives. 

The South American Conference on Migration (SACM)

SACM, established in the year 2000, is a regional forum that brings together 12 member states, including, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and focuses on dialogue on migration issues within South America.  

This intra-state regional process is distinguished by the perspective of positioning of the human rights of migrants as the center of policy proposals and the interpretation of the migration issue. Likewise, development with emphasis on the causes that determine migratory processes, considerations related to the contribution that migrants make to receiving countries and the need to incorporate civil society in the processes of formulation and implementing policies in this area.

The effects of these processes are clearly seen in the national policies and subregional agreements on migration that have been implemented in the region. The SACM has undoubtedly been building a particular perspective on migration governance in the South American sphere, contributing to the inclusion of innovative topics and approaches in multilateral instances specialized in migration.

Since 2020, it has proposed a new way of working through the consolidation of six thematic networks: Gender and Migration; Border Management; Migrant Childhood and Adolescence; Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants; Social and Labour Integration: Work and Education; and Environment, Climate Change, Disasters and Migration. In 2023 and in the framework of the XXI SACM meeting, an addendum for the formal participation of civil society organizations was approved by all State Members.

The Ibero-American Network of Migration Authorities (RIAM)

RIAM, established in 2012, brings together 21 member states, and serves as an inter-regional forum on migration covering the Americas and Europe. The member states include Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.  

RIAM provides a platform for participating immigration authorities from Ibero-American countries to exchange good practices and enhance cooperation. RIAM aims to strengthen technical cooperation, consolidate mechanisms for information exchange, train officials in immigration control, institutionalize migration processes, and establish strategic alliances to combat transnational crimes associated with migration. RIAM also focuses on enhancing migration management within the legal and regulatory frameworks of each member country. 

The Quito Process

The Quito Process, a regional initiative established in 2018 consisting of 13 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, including, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay.  

The Quito Process has served as a vital platform for coordinating humanitarian efforts in response to the Venezuelan crisis among host governments across the region. It has also facilitated the alignment of national policies. Within this context, governments have acknowledged the crucial need to enhance humanitarian aid and promote the integration of refugees and migrants into host communities. The Quito Process emphasizes a human rights-based approach to migration governance and seeks to foster solidarity and responsibility-sharing among participating states.

The MIRPS (Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework)

The MIRPS, established in 2017, and consisting of seven countries, including, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama, aims to coordinate regional responses to forced displacement and promoting durable solutions for refugees and migrants across Central America and Mexico. Aligned with the Global Compact on Refugees, it promotes cooperation among countries of origin, transit, and destination to address displacement challenges. The MIRPS Support Platform, launched in 2019, aids these efforts by fostering responsibility sharing and garnering support from states, financial institutions, and other stakeholders. The Pro-tempore Presidency rotates annually among member countries to lead regional objectives, including facilitating national action plans, sharing best practices, raising international awareness, highlighting refugees' contributions, and mobilizing international cooperation.

The Specialized Migration Forum and National Refugee Commissions of MERCOSUR

The Specialized Migration Forum operates within the framework of MERCOSUR, a regional trade bloc in South America. It focuses on migration issues specific to MERCOSUR member states, including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and associated members.

The forum aims to promote dialogue, cooperation, and coordination among member states to address migration challenges, protect migrants' rights, and enhance regional integration. It addresses a wide range of issues, including labor migration, refugee protection, irregular migration, and the social integration of migrants within MERCOSUR countries.

The National Refugee Commissions (CONAREs) are interministerial collegiate bodies responsible for determining refugee status in several South American countries. These commissions conduct administrative procedures for refugee status determination, with avenues for review or appeal, often with advisory input from UNHCR. Additionally, CONAREs play a pivotal role in integrating refugees locally through specific programs which empower them to coordinate public policies for sustainable solutions.