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At the end of the Regional Coordination Meeting on the Migration of Haitian Citizens to South America, held in Brasilia on Wednesday, May 15, it was agreed that the Brazilian government would report, on behalf of the participating countries, the following Communiqué, approved by all delegations:

Press Communiqué

In order to examine initiatives and regional cooperation projects to address the trafficking of migrants that has been seen as resulting from the recent intensification of migratory flows of Haitian citizens and other nationals to South America, especially to Brazil, officials from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Peru and Dominican Republic met in Brasília, on May 15. The work was chaired by the Undersecretary-General for Brazilian Communities Abroad, Ambassador Sergio Danese.

The Delegations noted that, given the testimonies from a significant number of migrants as well as the information held by the police and intelligence officials of the participating countries, it is possible to verify in those migrating flows the performance of criminal migrant trafficking networks. By giving Haitians their "services" or funding their dangerous journey to its intended destination, criminals end up exploiting them and subjecting them to all kinds of risks along the way, and sometimes even threaten the preservation of their own physical integrity.

The participants recognized the need to treat Haitian migrants who intend to come to South America, under any circumstances, in a humanitarian spirit, with full respect for their human rights and their legitimate intention to start a new life in another country. They noted, incidentally, the importance of initiatives to expand formal opportunities for acceptance, under proper conditions, of Haitian migrants. They stressed that this is the most appropriate way to ensure that all Haitians interested in migrating to South America do so with dignity.

They stressed, in that sense, the Brazilian government's decision to further expand the possibility of granting special permanent visas to Haitian nationals by editing the Normative Resolution 102 of the National Immigration Council, on April 26, as a way of enhancing legal and safe migration, and of combating the trafficking of migrants, which presents high costs and risks.

The delegations agreed to support or reinforce, in their respective countries, an awareness campaign for potential Haitian migrants, to be promoted by Brazilian and Haitian governments, by distributing leaflets in Haiti and transit countries, as well as by placing messages in the media in Haiti, about the high costs and big risks of irregular migration and the use of networks of smugglers, as well as on the benefits of regular migration supported by visa. They agreed to establish or strengthen information exchange mechanisms in the areas of migration, police and intelligence, in order to monitor the routes used by smugglers, identify active leaderships in the region and the crossing points used by them and to strengthen control of the flow of people across borders. They agreed, finally, to establish or resume bilateral or regional cooperation initiatives in the areas of education, training and staff development in the above areas.

The delegations agreed to strengthen cooperation so as to allow the exercise of information exchange, intersection and monitoring between the participating countries to be maintained on a permanent basis.

Brasilia, 15 May 2013

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