Chile got support to prepare new migration policy

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IOM Chile last week (20/1) participated in a seminar “New Migration Policy in Chile,” organized by the Chilean Parliament’s Commission for Social Development, Overcoming Poverty and Planning.

The meeting discussed the new institutional framework for migration in Chile, a piece of legislation now at the final revision stage, which will soon move into the approval process in the Chilean Parliament.

The seminar brought together members of parliament and representatives of organizations involved in migration. Also participating were Deputy Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy and General Director of Consular Affairs and Immigration from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Appelgren.

Deputy Minister Aleuy said that he looked forward to a new migration policy that will facilitate the successful integration of migrants. He noted that in the past 30 years the proportion of foreign-born residents in Chile has quintupled.

The number of migrants in Chile has risen in the past 30 years from around 83,000 in 1982 to over 477,500 in 2016. Currently, migrants represent 2.7 percent of Chile’s total population, according to Chile’s National Statistics Agency.

“The new law will create a Council for Migration Policy comprised of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior Ministry and Ministry of Justice. A National Register of Foreigners also will be created,” he added.

IOM Chile Chief of Mission Norberto Giron highlighted the progress made by the Chilean government in the consolidation of the new migration policy. IOM Chile has advised legislators on aspects of the policy, notably in the area of respect for the human rights of migrants.

A majority of migrants in Chile are from neighbouring countries – Peru (31.7 percent), Argentina (16.3 percent) and Bolivia (8.8 percent). The proportion of Colombian migrants in Chile has nearly tripled over the last ten years, rising from 2.4 percent to 6.1 percent in 2014.

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