Canada continues to strengthen asylum processing capacity in the Americas
September 1, 2022—Ottawa—The Government of Canada is committed to prioritizing the protection of the world’s most vulnerable. As access to international protection remains a challenge, Canada will continue its commitment to ensure that those in need have clear pathways to safety.
Through its leadership in the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (known as MIRPS), Canada will continue to contribute to asylum system capacity building, among other protection efforts for Central America and Mexico.
In support of MIRPS, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, reiterated today Canada’s support for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to strengthen asylum processing capacity in the Americas, through 3 capacity-building projects over the next 2 years.
The first project will help the Mexican Commission for Refugees Assistance increase its ability to process more asylum seekers in safer and more private spaces. This project will also deploy mobile asylum claim offices to regions experiencing an influx of claims or add capacity to other offices.
The second initiative seeks to increase the Mexican Commission’s capacity to handle asylum claims. This investment will support its ongoing case file digitization efforts, which will accelerate asylum claim processing in Mexico, minimize the risk of data loss, and help asylum seekers receive accurate and timely information about the status of their cases.
Finally, the third initiative will strengthen asylum capacity in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras. This project will provide essential technical and operational support to national authorities in these countries. This includes reducing asylum claim backlogs, providing training for immigration officials on country of origin information, and sharing information and best practices among asylum and immigration officials.
Support for these projects reflects Canada’s ongoing commitment as a member of the MIRPS Support Platform to offer protection and seek solutions for those in need. Through collaboration with partner countries, international financial institutions, the private sector, regional bodies and other stakeholders, Canada will continue taking action to ensure more predictable and sustainable support for refugees and the communities that host them.
“Canada has a long-standing and proud tradition of providing support for those in need of protection. We are experiencing a period of extraordinary need across the globe, with unprecedented levels of persecution and forced displacement. As Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and as a champion of the Global Compact for Migration and a firm supporter of the Global Compact on Refugees, I look forward to continuing Canada’s commitment to assist in strengthening asylum systems in Mexico and Central America so they can continue to deliver critical protection, infrastructure and efficient responses to the most vulnerable.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“Mexico and the rest of Latin America are facing a forced displacement crisis that is unprecedented both in its complexity and scale. This crisis requires coordinated regional responses that offer access to asylum to those who need international protection and alternative migration pathways for those who may not require it. I applaud Canada’s efforts to strengthen asylum systems in Mexico and Central America and its commitment to seek solutions for the thousands of innocent men, women and children forced to flee their homes in search of safety.”
– José Samaniego, Regional Director for the Americas Bureau of the UNHCR
Launched by High Commissioner Filippo Grandi in 2019 during the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, the MIRPS Support Platform is a mechanism to support responsibility sharing on forced displacement in Central America and Mexico. It was set up to support the efforts of the 7 MIRPS countries to offer protection, seek solutions and mobilize resources for these efforts.
The MIRPS Support Platform members are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the European Union, France, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, the United States, the Inter‑American Development Bank, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Platform is supported by the UNHCR, as the MIRPS technical secretariat, while Italy and the Holy See are observers.
Over one million people have been forcibly displaced in and from countries in Central America and Mexico due to violence, inequality, poverty and food insecurity.
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