U.S. policy needs to address root causes of forced displacement
and migration in the Northern Triangle and to guarantee the right
of all individuals to seek asylum in the United States and other
countries in the region
Washington, DC and Miami, FL – Tomorrow, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) will participate in a panel briefing on the Causes of Central American Migration and the United States’ Response, to be held at the Florida International University College of Law in Miami. This briefing comes a day before the Conference on Security and Prosperity in Central America, also to be held in Miami, which is co-hosted by the United States and Mexico regarding security, governance, and economic issues that affect the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. WRC will express its concern that this conference aims to discuss U.S. policy towards the region solely from a security and economic lens, as opposed to one that considers the multiple causes to forced displacement and migration and incorporates human rights and humanitarian needs. WRC is further concerned by the absence of civil society and the voices of communities that are marginalized and/or affected by development policies in the lead up to and at this conference.
Leah Chavla, from the Women’s Refugee Commission, has stated the following in advance of the briefing:
“At our southern border, the U.S. has employed several practices that are undermining access to protection, including systematically turning back asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, such as families, women, and unaccompanied children. The United States has historically been a leader in the protection of asylum seekers and refugees; it goes against the very fiber of this country to turn back those in need, especially without providing them with a fair chance to present their claims for relief available under the law and have them properly adjudicated. Without a focus on the root causes of forced migration and without consultation of civil society and affected communities to understand their concerns and their recommendations, the cycle of violence, impunity, and corruption will continue and people will continue to flee these conditions in search of safety.”
The Women’s Refugee Commission also signed onto a letter with over 100 organizations from the United States, Latin America, and Europe to Secretary of State Tillerson urging him to demonstrate leadership to ensure that human rights do not take a backseat in any agreements reached during the conference.