Panama officially agreed to join the process leading to the MIRPS in July 2017. In recent years, Panama has been faced with an increasing number of asylum-seekers and refugees, mainly coming from North of Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. According to the National Office for the Attention of Refugees (ONPAR), during the first half of 2018 over 2,500 asylum-seekers reached Panama and are currently undergoing the asylum process. The Panama MIRPS chapter was developed through a national consultation process that took stock of previously assumed commitments made in within the framework of the Brazil Plan of Action and the San Jose Action Statement. The national consultations benefitted from a wide range of participants including national and governmental institutions, UN agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector and donors. Particular importance was given to the perspectives of persons of concern, most of which were consulted in Panama City and Colón. Based on these consultations, a National Operational Plan (NOP) is being developed to define strategies, programmes and actions to strengthen protection and solutions for asylum-seekers and refugees in Panama. In order to coordinate the process leading to a NOP, an Executive Board has been established, consisting of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR.
Progress in delivering on the commitments has been made under each MIRPS pillar through:
As a result of the National Consultation process conducted by the Government of Panama in the framework of the MIRPS, a number of actions were prioritized, such as:
Alongside ONPAR, UNHCR is also working to address other prioritized commitments assumed by the Government of Panama, such as reducing the time of issuance and renewal of work permits; including populations of concern in mental health programmes to address high levels of post-traumatic stress as needed; raising awareness of private enterprises on the obstacles refugees face while searching for employment and livelihoods; providing alternatives to costly micro-credits so as to enable refugees to obtain small loans; and exploring effective and agile alternatives to access higher and vocational education, among others.
The stakeholders involved in the MIRPS in Panama include the National Office for the Attention of Refugees (ONPAR), the National Migration Service (SNM), UNHCR, UNDP, FAO, various line ministries (such as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Social Development, Education, Agriculture and Livestock Development, Health, Security, and Labour and Social Development), and NGOs, including the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), HIAS, Pastoral de Movilidad Humana (PMH), Refugee Education Trust (RET) and the Panamanian Red Cross (CRP).
In the spirit of citizen participation, Panama will soon undergo an election period, whereby a new President will be sworn in by mid-2019. While remaining committed to the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country, this transition is likely to have an impact in the pace of implementation of MIRPS projects.
Renee Cuijpers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Diaz Rodriguez, email@example.com
Hugues Van Brabandt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elisabet Diaz Sanmartin, DIAZSANM@unhcr.org
UNHCR works in close coordination with the Government, civil society, UN agencies and refugees and asylum-seekers in Panama. UNHCR has established partnership agreements with different national and international organizations , including the Norwegian Refugee Council, RET, HIAS, the Human Mobility Pastoral (PMH) the Panamanian Red Cross, the refugee Education Trust (RET) and Programa Enlaces (Fundación Espacio Creativo). Also, a Partnership Agreement with the National Office for the Attention of Refugees (ONPAR) was established to channel support and continue strengthening the asylum system in the country. This Fact Sheet provides an overview of UNHCR's main activities in Panama
This report was prepared by the Evaluation Service, UNHCR.
This document contains the results of a case study conducted by UNHCR with the support of the European Union, on the MIRPS as an integrated regional response to forced displacement.
This poster provides an overview of the regional commitments, developments and next steps in applying the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (CRPSF, "MIRPS" in Spanish) in Central America and Mexico.
Acorde con la larga tradición de cooperación regional para responder a los desafíos de protección, seis Estados de la región - Belice, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, México y Panamá- adoptaron la Declaración de San Pedro Sula el 26 de octubre de 2017, y acordaron trabajar de forma conjunta en el continuo desarrollo e implementación del Marco Integral Regional para la Protección y Soluciones (MIRPS). El MIRPS es una iniciativa pionera en la aplicación del Marco de Respuesta Integral para los Refugiados (CRRF, por sus siglas en inglés) y una contribución concreta de la región en el desarrollo del Pacto Mundial sobre los Refugiados.