The General Directorate of Migration and Immigration of Costa Rica (DGME) and the MIEUX+ team jointly organised an event in San José on April 13 2023.
The event was and occasion to present the National Integration Plan 2023-2027 and the Protocol for the Protection and Assistance of Migrants and to celebrate the upcoming closure of the fifth successful project between the DGME and MIEUX+.
The long-standing collaboration with the DGME has seen MIEUX+ supporting the Costa Rican Government on migration issues with the development of now three National Integration Plans, the Protocol of Assistance to Migrants in Emergency Situations, and also a training course on the topics of Trafficking in Human Beings for more than 580 public officials and NGOs staff.
Mr. Alfred Woeger, MIEUX+ Senior Project Manager, underlines that: “MIEUX+ partnership with Costa Rica represents one of the most important for our work in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. We were honoured to collaborate with the DGME and look forward to seeing the positive impact of the project in the future.”
The National Integration Plan 2023 - 2027
Costa Rica is a key passage area along the Central American route, with South-North flows towards the USA, and North-South flows from Nicaragua. Moreover, its favourable economic development and political stability have made the country an attractive destination for migrants looking to settle permanently, but also for seasonal and circular migrants, including women, children, and indigenous and Afro-descendant populations.
This variety of profiles requires holistic, data-driven and rights-based efforts to mobilise the migratory movements as a force for development.
Costa Rica’s migratory profile and exceptional challenges intensified by Covid-19 prompted the national authorities to draft a new plan to ensure orderly, safe and regular migration and a protocol for emergency situations, drawing from European and regional good practices, through its collaboration with the MIEUX+ initiative.
Over the course of the last 12 months, the development of the III National Integration Plan brought together stakeholders from multiple sectors to address integration challenges faced by Costa Rica in light of an increasingly complex migratory situation in recent years. Their priority was to strengthen the Plan’s holistic approach, based on diversity as a value and driver for socio-economic development, whilst incorporating new actors such as municipalities and the private sector.
As such, the National Integration Plan 2023-2027 will enact positive change by streamlining integration of migrants and Costa Rican nationals across 6 strategic pillars: Education, Health, Maximising diversity, Combatting vulnerability and Strengthening inter-institutional coordination.
Similarly, the Protocol for the Protection and Assistance of Migrants in Crisis Situations will strengthen Costa Rica’s comprehensive response to protect and assist migrant populations, especially during crises, such as the COVID-19 emergency.
Not a usual event
During the event, after an introduction of the migration landscape in Costa Rica, the DGME presented the two documents: the National Integration Plan 2023-2027 and the Protocol for the Protection and Assistance of Migrants in Crisis Situations.
A special session addressed the contribution of migrants to the development and well-being of host communities, as well as the enhancement of host cities in the country.
It also counted with the participation of a migrant-run company for the catering as a concrete act of support to this population.
Well-known migrant artists and musicians such as Ania Toledo Hernández, Rafael Omar Pérez Valdés, Conjunto Chocolate performed throughout the day and the theatre play El Inmigrante La Nica concluded the event.
Integration is a two-way process that requires the active participation of both the host society and migrants and returnees, and Costa Rica's efforts to promote diversity have set an example in the region.
The Organisation of American States has highlighted the previous NIP 2018-2022 as a good practice on the subject, to be replicated. Further, the NIP 2018-2022 has been included as a good practice for the implementation of the SDGs.