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Aug 30, 2022

A Joint U.N. Work Plan for Migrants, Refugees & Belize Amnesty 2022

A second joint U.N. work plan was officially signed today between partner agencies as part of a strategic program to support migrants, refugees and the Belize Amnesty 2022. It is a plan that focuses on areas such as advocacy, legal reform, system strengthening and capacity development as well as community engagement among those vulnerable migrant communities. In that same vein, it assists with G.O.B.’s ongoing Amnesty Program. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Collectively, as the U.N. system in Belize, representatives from the International Organization for Migration, UNICEF and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) signed off on a 2022 work plan to assist approximately sixty thousand unregulated migrants believed to be in the country. These agencies provide support at all levels to migrants who are primarily from other Central American countries.


Alison Parker

Alison Parker, Country Representative, UNICEF

“The second joint UN work plan to address the issues of some of the most vulnerable populations in Belize – migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and very importantly the host communities. At present, there are approximately sixty thousand foreign nationals in Belize; this is accounting for fifteen point four percent of the country’s total population with migrants and refugees primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, the United States of America and Mexico being transit points. We are also seeing new areas coming into Belize. We are seeing Haiti, Costa Rica and a few other countries also transiting through Belize.”


This action plan supports the Belize Amnesty Agenda 2022, for which scheduled appointments for applicants commenced early this month, on August second.


Gilroy Middleton

Dr. Gilroy Middleton, C.E.O., Ministry of Immigration

“It is clear from the objective of these organizations, the Government of Belize, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration that we have shared values that we have core values in terms of working together and we are working in terms of similar objectives. We are currently completing the first month of amnesty 2022 and we are also looking at how we can smoothly go through that process making sure all the checks and balances are in play. Even in the amnesty process, we are getting assistance from several ministries, from several organizations as noted here. And as noted by Miss Alison Parker, it has to be comprehensive and it has to be coordinated.”


The work plan is not limited to the amnesty program. Over the years, there have been immense results that have been achieved and the objective of achieving the proper management of movement is to ensure that those affected are not denied fundamental rights and liberties.


Alison Parker

“It focuses on creating policy change to manage the current migration-related challenges and opportunities faced by this country resulting in a coordinated response to migrants and all relevant institutions and sectors. We want to also address xenophobia and discrimination because we do recognise that the arrival of migrants and refugees do not necessarily negate an economy; they actually sometimes enhance an economy and compliments the skill sets within a country. We want to protect children from exploitation and violence.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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