GUIDELINE 4: Incorporate migrants in prevention, preparedness, and emergency response systems

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States and other stakeholders have laws, policies, and programs on prevention, preparedness, and emergency response to reduce the impact of crises. Taking into account the presence of migrants, their vulnerabilities, and their potential needs in prevention, preparedness, and emergency response frameworks, including on disaster risk reduction (DRR), can promote resilience in the event of a conflict or natural disaster. Clear laws and policies on migrants’ eligibility for different types of assistance in the event of a crisis promote certainty. If the MICIC Initiative Guidelines Guidelines: Crisis preparedness 27 presence of migrants is not known or is inadequately incorporated in planning, stakeholders may overlook migrants in their responses. If stakeholders fail to appreciate factors that make migrants vulnerable, such as language barriers, isolated working conditions, irregular immigration status, or mistrust of authorities, responses may be ineffective. When laws and policies are unclear, responses towards migrants can be unpredictable and insufficient.

Migrants themselves and civil society may be in the best position to assist States and other stakeholders to appreciate the presence of migrants, their vulnerability, and needs. In this respect, involving migrants and civil society in the development of prevention, preparedness, and emergency response measures can be helpful. Such actions also build trust between migrant populations and State and non-State actors who provide protection.

Migrants and civil society also have capacities and resources that they can contribute to preparedness and emergency response. Their language abilities, first-hand knowledge of migrant populations, understanding of cultural norms within their communities, and ability to foster greater trust toward State authorities and other actors can be leveraged to create more comprehensive and effective systems and programs.

Sample Practices

  • Platforms to facilitate the engagement of migrants in the design and implementation of prevention, preparedness, and emergency response systems.
  • Taking migrants into account in national and local frameworks on prevention, preparedness, and emergency response, including by recognizing migrants as a specific group with needs and capacities.
  • Recruitment of migrants as staff or volunteers in prevention, preparedness, and emergency response mechanisms.
Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Program

The Latino Health Initiative (LHI) of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services was established in July 2000 with the support of the County Executive and County Council.

Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Manuals

This manual shares the lessons Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has learned in its rich history and provides communities, agencies, and congregations with tools to incorporate that learning into a new or existing disaster plan. It includes:

Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Website

This is a web-based library of resources and information on disaster preparedness for culturally diverse communities and other at-risk populations created by the National Resource Center on Advancing Emergency Preparedness for Culturally Diverse Communities (“Diversity Preparedness”).

Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Research and reports

During the 2007 Southern California wildfires, racial and ethnic minorities suffered disproportionately adverse outcomes. This report examines emergency preparedness efforts targeting culturally diverse communities in California.

Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Contingency and preparedness plans

In the United States, authorities in Sonoma County, California, surveyed local civil society organizations to gather information on the numbers, locations and needs of their beneficiary population in order to develop a contingency and emergency communication plan for local groups with specific...

Country:
Thailand
Type of Practice:
Research and reports

This study explores what implications migrants’ presence holds  for future emergencies, especially those arising from natural hazards, taking Thailand as case study.

Country:
Global
Type of Practice:
Government bodies

This chapter on Consular Crisis Management of the US Government online Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) provides additional guidance for consular officers in planning for consular crisis management and actually managing a crisis.

Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Training and capacity building

Listos is a culturally appropriate Spanish language curriculum that uses the strengths and bonds within the Latino community to educate and prepare its members for emergencies or disasters. Listos works because it is conducted in a teaching style that is approachable and non-threatening.

Country:
United States of America
Type of Practice:
Research and reports

To better understand social and structural changes needed to maximize community-based participation in emergency preparedness, 27 organizations, representing 12 states, participated in a study of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

Country:
Global
Type of Practice:
Research and reports

This report summarizes the main themes and findings of an expert consultation on Planned Relocation, Disasters and Climate Change: Consolidating Good Practices and Preparing for the Future organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Brookings-LSE Project on...