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Belize to develop new migration policy

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018. 2:41 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Government of Belize and the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) jointly held a launching event today to commence the process of developing a National Migration and Development Policy for Belize.

The development of the national policy will be led by the government of Belize through a Steering Committee chaired by the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services.

In developing the policy, the Government requested technical assistance from the IOM in 2016, and a steering committee was formulated in 2017 to work alongside IOM in drafting the policy framework and to ensure that the policy is aligned with the Government’s development strategy and national vision.

The National Migration and Development Policy will guide Belize’s management of its multidimensional migration dynamics.

The latest data indicates that emigrants as a percentage of the Belizean population stand at 15 percent, with the United States as the primary destination, while immigrants represent 15.3 percent of the total population in the country, mainly coming from Central America.

IOM will be responsible for the overall coordination and facilitation of the project implementation.

In its first year, IOM will support the development of critical documents that will serve as a basis for the development of the policy.

The UN Migration Agency is building the capacity of key stakeholders, including members of the steering committee, to develop and enact policies and programs on migration and development.

This last goal is achieved in partnership with Galen University utilizing both on-site and virtual courses.

At today’s event, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Godwin Hulse, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration and Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.

This project is part of the IOM’s mission to promote safe, regular and orderly migration in the region.

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