An Assessment of South-South Migration in the Caribbean

Report
An Assessment of SouthSouth Migration in the
Caribbean
Christian Mark Theodore
Kairi Consultants Ltd.
Acknowledgements
 This study was commissioned by the IOM/ ACP
Observatory on Migration
 Scientific Coordination was provided by Dr. Indianna
Minto-Coy and Mr. Phil Rourke, both based at the UWI
Cave Hill Campus
 Gratitude is extended to all of the participants of the
study, whose invaluable contributions made this report
possible.
Rationale
Three study countries were chosen:
 Barbados: because it is a major final destination for
migrants from around the Caribbean;
 Trinidad and Tobago: because of its ethnic diversity and
its significance as both a major sending and receiving
country, and:
 St. Kitts and Nevis: because of its significance as a
destination for Dominican people of Kittitian and
Nevisian heritage.
2
Context
Study Objectives:
1. Assess the impact of South-South
migration flows in the Caribbean
2. Identify important gaps in the existing
body of data and literature on SouthSouth Migration in the region
Context
Four principal categories
migration were examined:
1. Labour
Mobility/
Migration
2. Student Migration
3. Parental Migration
4. Irregular Migration
of
Economic
Context
Some of the more specific aims of the study were to analyze
:
1. The impacts of S-S migration on the
receiving country
2. The impacts on the sending country
3. The main causes of S-S migration in the
region
Methodology
 Primarily based on the triangulation of
three data-collection exercises:
1. Survey of Policy-makers in three
Caribbean Countries
2. Focus Group Sessions in the Same
Countries
3. Analysis of Stock Data on the Countries/
The Region.
Methodology
Survey of Policy-Makers:
 Key ministries and government agencies were targeted:
Ministries of Labour, Social Care, National Security,
Foreign Affairs and Central Statistical Offices in TT,
B’dos and SKN
 Presented with extreme challenges:
 Bureaucracy
 Inaccessibility
 Although, no outright refusal to participate
Methodology
Secondary Data
 Main sources: UN,
Independent Research
World
Bank,
Civil
Society,
 Paucity of current data from official sources a major gap
noted in all three countries
 Central Statistical Offices have no consistent datacollection regime.
 Data exists at some Ministries of National Security, but
seemingly hermetically sealed.
Findings: From Stock
Data
 Higher income countries in the Caribbean attract
the largest stock of intra-regional migrants, but;
 Income in the destination countries alone is not
the
main
factor
driving
intra-regional
movements.
High emigration rates of the
tertiary educated from the region indicate that
other non-income factors may be significant
push-factors.
Stock Data
 Although intra-regional migration is significant,
the Caribbean is an important transit corridor for
extra-regional migrants en route to the US and
EU.
 One in every two immigrants residing in
Caribbean countries immigrated from another
Caribbean country (WB)
Stock Data
 Migration into the region is expected to play an
increasingly significant role in the region’s demographic
profile in the next 20 years because:
 Net Migration is generally negative in the Caribbean
(more people are moving out of the region);
 Crude birth rates have generally been falling across the
region, and;
 Migration from extra-regional diasporic communities
(e.g. from Syria, India, African countries and China) is
expected to continue at moderate to rapid rates.
Stock of Migrants as a Percentage of
Popula on (2010 and 2005)
An gua and Barbuda
Belize
Grenada
Bahamas, The
Barbados
St. Ki s and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Suriname
Dominica
St. Lucia
Dominican Republic
Venezuela, RB
Trinidad and Tobago
Guyana
Jamaica
Hai
Cuba
0.00
5.00
10.00
15.00
20.00
25.00
(%)
Stock of Migrants as % of Popula on 2010
Stock of Migrants as % of Popula on 2005
-5
-15
-20
Cuba
Congo, Dem. Rep.
Colombia
China
Brazil
Bolivia
Belize
Barbados
Venezuela, RB
Trinidad and Tobago
Syria
Suriname
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Lucia
Nigeria
Lebanon
Jamaica
India
Honduras
Haiti
Guyana
Grenada
Gambia, The
Dominican Republic
-10
Bahamas, The
Net Migration Rate (per 1000 population)
10
5
0
2005
2010
2011
Notable Challenges
 The CSME has facilitated increased skills migration
across the region, but significant challenges were
recognized:
 At the policy level, there were discrepancies between
CARICOM stipulations and policy practiced at the
national level
 Xenophobia, discrimination and prejudice are still facts
of life for some migrants in some countries.
Stock Data
 Despite very incomplete data, irregular migrant
stocks have been increasing in the Caribbean
 The main countries of origin are: West African
countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal), South East
Asia (India, Sri Lanka) and Latin America
(Venezuela, Colombia, DR)
Notable Concerns
 Concerns about the involvement of migrants in illicit/
underground economies abound, but the database/
research to support concrete action is weak
 More research is needed into the gender dimensions of
irregular migration- particularly since irregular migrants
from Latin America are overwhelmingly female.
Remittances
 Both inflows and outflows of remittances in the region
have generally increased between 2003 and 2011.
 Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba and Haiti saw the highest
remittance inflows between 2003-2011, whereas the most
outflows came from St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines and the Bahamas.
Focus Group Meetings:
 Guyanese and Haitian immigrants faced the highest
levels of discrimination from nationals in the three
studied destination countries
 The perception of migrants’ origin, education level and
income level determined how they were treated in
general
 Self-representation was acknowledged to be a major
determinant of how the receiving societies responded to
them- the more self-representation, the better group
outcomes were likely to be
Focus Group Findings
Trinidad and Tobago
Barbados
St. Kitts and Nevis
Impact on the Receiving Economies
Migration has been a
major positive factor in
Trinidad and Tobago’s
construction sector
during its peak years
(2005-2008). Immigrants
from China, West Africa
and other Caribbean
islands had a major
presence in this sector.
Non-nationals in
Barbados contributed at
all levels of society (civil
service, international
agencies, enterprise).
There was some
resentment for the
perceived dominance of
Trinidadians in
Barbados’
entrepreneurship
St. Kitts and Nevis relies
heavily on skilled intraregional migrationparticularly on lawyers
and civil service workers
from Jamaica and other
islands.
Focus Group Findings
Trinidad and Tobago
Barbados
St. Kitts and Nevis
Impact on Migrants
Migrants enjoyed free
access to health and
education, but other
forms of discrimination
were perceived.
Discrimination was
highly dependent on the
migrant’s origin and
African migrants
perceived the worst levels
of discrimination.
Non-nationals pay user
fees for education and
healthcare despite
nationals accessing the
same services for free.
Legal stipulations have
led to separation of some
families, as non-national
children are required to
leave Barbados upon
turning 18.
The costs incurred by
migrants are high. Nonnationals pay fees for
primary and secondary
school, for access to
healthcare and annual
residency fees between
$EC 600-1500. Work
permits can cost up to
$EC 2550, but
bureaucracy and
corruption are regularly
faced.
Focus Group Findings
Trinidad and Tobago
Barbados
St. Kitts and Nevis
Impact on Migrants
Discrimination is rare but
subtle and is more targeted
along the lines of migrant’s
origin.
Social alienation of nonnationals and distinctly
differential treatment of
nationals and nonnationals was widely
reported
Cases of school bullying
targeting non-national
children were reported
Poor information/
inconsistencies at the
immigration offices
frustrate the process of
securing legal documents
for migrants.
CARICOM visa lengths in
Barbados (3 months) differ
from CARICOM-level
stipulations (6 months).
Bureaucracy can frustrate
the movement of
CARICOM nationals into
Barbados
Migrants perceived unfair
treatment as related to the
implementation of CSME.
Many felt that they were
not enjoying its full benefits
under Federal Laws.
Focus Group Findings
Trinidad and Tobago
Barbados
St. Kitts and Nevis
Impact on Sending Country
Sending countries have
benefitted mainly from
worker remittances.
Remittances have been a
major positive impact to
sending countries, but
there are significant
difficulties in sending
remittances from
Barbados- cost is a major
factor.
Remittances have been a
major source of
development, but sending
them to the home
country is fraught with
challenges/ high relative
costs. Since the post-2008
period, Guyanese have
returned home to find
better relative economic
circumstances, and other
non-nationals have
moved further north (the
the USA)
Policy-Makers’ Survey
Findings
 Policy-makers identified these as the most pressing issues
relating to S-S migration in the region:
 The Cost of Transportation
 Onerous Immigration Procedures
 Lack of Proper Immigration Legislation
 Persistent Barriers to Legal Immigration
 Tracking Immigration Flows
Policy-Makers’ Survey
Findings
Key Data Problems hindering policy:

Lack of adequate tracking of migrants after they have entered the islands
makes it difficult to estimate their numbers;

Scarce human resources to conduct regular migrant surveys and engage in
other data-collection activities;

The lack of a standardized system of data collection that yields reliable
results which can be used for analysis;

The absence of centralized data-collection units that can gather
intelligence from other agencies;

Migration is currently not a high-priority area targeted for dedication of
further resources.
Recommendations
 Sensitize officials to the importance of regular, reliable and
timely enumeration of migration data
 Harmonization of migration data and its mainstreaming in
socio-economic research.
 Caribbean countries need to gather, track and analyze data on
their foreign-born residents in order to craft and manage
sound policies.
 Migration needs to be given more emphasis as a major
component in gathering data and formulating national and
regional population policies.
Recommendations
 The NGO Community might be particularly helpful in
advocacy among the Governments, in ensuring that the
commitments made on mobility under the CSME, are
adhered to, across the board
 Collective action on the part of Governments may offer
the possibility of reducing costs of transfers by way of
remittances from relatives abroad. An approach by the
Governments to an organization like Western Union,
may secure benefits in the forms of cost reduction.
Recommendations
 Ensure that CSME implementation units are fully
active and equipped in all participating countries,
including proper data entry and collection methods
 Address the absence of legally binding supranational
agreements between CARICOM and other nonCARICOM members of the region, for example through
CARIFORUM in the case of the Dominican Republic
Recommendations

Sensitize the leadership of key agencies, such as the Ministries of
National Security, to the importance of migration issues, the nexus
between migration and development and a reorientation of the
leadership towards the importance of research for better policy-making

Ensure comprehensive reform to immigration policy based on priority
economic sectors and labor needs, provide complement of support
services in housing, health and social services needed by entering labour

Develop well-articulated Immigration policy that identifies which skillsets
the individual country is seeking to attract and stricter implementation of
stipulations under the Immigration Act

Strengthen national border patrols to curtail the infiltration of irregular
migrants and ensure greater collaboration with the regional international
security apparatus to interdict human trafficking

Develop a specific refugee policy that honors the commitment to
international conventions to protect their human rights
Thank
You!

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