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OECS States Design More Effective Approaches to Disaster Displacement

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Representatives from the Government of Saint Lucia will be attending a hybrid workshop at the Bay Gardens Hotel from 21-22 March 2023, with the ultimate objective of mainstreaming the human security approach in disaster displacement and environmental migration policies in Saint Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean.

Participants at the workshop will be working to validate preliminary assessments of the extent to which the human security approach is included in national policies on disaster displacement and environmental migration, and recommendations of ways to achieve greater integration of this people-centred approach.

Representatives of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force including the Immigration Department, along with officers in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, and the Department of Sustainable Development will join other technical officers from across the region at this important gathering being held virtually and in person in Saint Lucia.

Recognizing that climate change is causing increasingly severe weather events, and that we live in a volcanic and seismically active region, participants will also discuss best practices related to the cross-border movement of people affected by disasters in the OECS.

These practices consider how complex hazards threaten the survival, livelihood and dignity of community members, particularly those who are most vulnerable, when they are forced to move.

Cross-border evacuation protocols will also be discussed to better plan for the possibility of an increase in international movements derived from disasters and the role that the different actors play in accompanying these processes to ensure more effective outcomes for the people affected.

The human security approach goes beyond quick responses and is prevention oriented. By drilling down to determine the real causes of complex challenges (economic, health, personal, community, and political threats) that might confront people who are displaced internally, or forced to migrate because of disasters, and by building solutions that protect and empower the most vulnerable community, the project aims to systematize solutions through which affected individuals can feel more secure to move on with their lives.

The 21-22 March 2023 workshop will be hosted by the IOM in partnership with the donor – UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS).

Other contributing stakeholders include the OECS Commission, the UN Resident Coordinator Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Platform for Disaster Displacement (PDD).

SOURCE: International Organization of Migration

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