Working Group on Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees of the OAS General Secretariat Adds New Members

The Working Group to Address the Regional Crisis Caused by Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Flows of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) added three women and two men from Brazil, Cuba, the United States, Mexico and Venezuela.

The five immigration and refugee specialists join the Group Coordinator, David Smolansky, and the Co-coordinator and Director of the OAS Department of Social Inclusion, Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, both of Venezuelan nationality.

The new members – who will work ad honorem – are:

  • Dany Bahar (Venezuela), member of the Brookings Institute and academic specialist in immigration with several publications in Harvard, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development
  • Francisca Vigaud -Walsh, of Cuban-American origin, is a specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in refugee crises in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Balkans.
  • Jim Hollefield (United States) is an economist and political scientist specializing in migration, with several publications on the subject. His latest book is titled “The Migration State,” published by Harvard University.
  • Miryam Hazan (Mexico) is an academic specialist in immigration who works at the OAS and has participated in several research projects on migrants in Central America, Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • Cyntia Sampaio (Brazil) is an expert in migrants and refugees with vast experience in international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

This Working Group will also rely on contributions from experts in various areas. The Working Group plans to visit the countries of the region that receive Venezuelan migrants and refugees to produce a report that determines how many they are and where they are, and that contains a series of recommendations to improve their situation.

Another objective of the Working Group is the creation of a multilateral cooperation fund that addresses the following issues: food, medical care, education, training, shelter, legal assistance, and child care.



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