The first “Guide to Effective Practices for RCM Member Countries: Protection for Persons Moving Across Borders in the Context of Disasters” was adopted by RCM Member Countries (Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States of America, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic) at the XXI Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) which took place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 15-18 November 2016. 

The "Guide to Effective Practices" is the result of a three-year-long work which started following the 2013 Nansen Initiative Regional Consultation in Costa Rica, and which builds on the Background Paper that was prepared for the Regional Consultation to map the effective practices of protecting disaster displaced persons in the region. The Background Paper entitled ‘Law, Policy and Practice Concerning the Humanitarian Protection of Aliens on a Temporary Basis in the context of Disasters’, by Dr. David Cantor, is available online.

The Guide provides a comprehensive overview of existing effective practices on admission and stay for persons moving across borders in the context of disasters implemented by some countries in the region, which can serve as examples of possible humanitarian protection measures that RCM Member Countries may apply to assist foreigners affected by disasters. The Guide is an example of practical tools that can be developed at the regional level to support governments in strengthening their response and support to most vulnerable populations affected by disasters, and the type of exercice that the Platform on Disaster Displacement and its partners will be seeking to develop in other regions.

With the adoption of the guide by the RCM Member States, the work can now move into the next stage, which will consist in promoting the implementation of the Guide at the regional level, including through supporting national and regional capacity building through training workshops and simulations.

IOM's Regional Office in San Jose, which provides technical and administrative support to the Technical Secretariat of the Conference on Migration (RCM), will continue to provide support to the Platform on Disaster Displacement and to the RCM Member Countries in the wider dissemination and implementation of the Guide of Effective Practices. 

For more information about the launch of the Guide and associated events, please consult the PDD website.