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REPUBLIC OF PANAMA MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY Regional Conference on Migration Security within the Framework of Human Rights of Migrants and Mixed Migration.

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Presentation on theme: "REPUBLIC OF PANAMA MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY Regional Conference on Migration Security within the Framework of Human Rights of Migrants and Mixed Migration."— Presentation transcript:

1 REPUBLIC OF PANAMA MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY Regional Conference on Migration Security within the Framework of Human Rights of Migrants and Mixed Migration Flows 2012

2 The Ministry of Public Security, a New Ministry with Innovative Management The Ministry of Public Security was established through Act 15, April 14, 2010. The mission of the Ministry of Public Security is to establish security policies for the country and plan, coordinate, control, and support the efforts of the security and intelligence teams of this Ministry.

3 The National Immigration Service as a Security Team Addressing the topic of migration is essential in order to ensure the security and stability of our peoples. The role of the Ministry of Public Security is: “To establish protection and security policies and actions for those persons in national territory.”

4 Current Challenges  To guarantee the rights of nationals of other countries living in Panama.  To establish the obligations of foreign nationals in regard to Panamanian legislation.  To establish relevant actions to safeguard the human rights of foreign nationals in transit through Panamanian territory.  To honour international agreements signed by the Republic of Panama.  To cooperate with other security teams and judicial authorities in investigating criminal actions involving foreign nationals.

5 The Commitment As a responsible government, we should protect our citizens and residents and fulfil our commitment of respecting the rights of migrants – of those men, women, boys, and girls who, for some reason, have been forced to leave behind their countries, communities, and families, often under difficult circumstances, and to establish their new home in this region.

6 Investments 2009 - 2012 INSTITUTIONEXECUTED ($) Building improvements, vehicles, communication, office, various types of equipment 3,802,502 Biometrics system, construction of buildings 11,626,807 Biometric devices, security cameras, computer equipment, a system for issuance of biometric electronic visas 9,553,250 Optimizing the computer network, an integrated security system, purchasing 100 work stations, SBSN platform maintenance 3,990,721 TOTAL 28,973,280

7 Migration Flows Since time immemorial, Panama has been a country of transit and destination of many migrants. Our special geographic location has led to benefits and significant challenges in terms of security. In recent years, the arrival of migrants in our territory, coming from various regions of the continent and even from other continents, has posed a huge challenge for us which needs to addressed in a highly responsible manner.

8 IRREGULAR MIGRATION The circumstances of migrants are very diverse – some move due to security problems and others in search of better work and economic opportunities. Many of them seek to escape from poverty and hunger affecting entire communities, others to reunite with their families. Many of them are victims of criminal groups and trafficking networks abandoning them before their reach their final destination or fulfil the originally intended purpose of their journey.

9 Mixed Migration Flows These are groups of migrants including asylum seekers, migrants for economic reasons, etc. They are linked to irregular movements, often migrants in transit, persons travelling without documents, crossing borders and reaching their final destination in an irregular manner.

10 Migration Routes – By Land Migrants enter Panamanian territory by land at the Panama- Colombia border (a jungle area with continuous presence of the Colombian FARC). They travel by land until they reach the Costa Rica border (entering in an irregular manner through hundreds of blind spots along that border).

11 Migrants enter Panamanian territory through Tocumen International Airport, coming from South America, with Mexico and the United States as their final destination. Migrant Routes – By Air


13 Conditions of Insecurity Frequently, these migrants are victims of organized crime groups that take advantage of their vulnerable situations for criminal purposes. Organized crime groups, guerilla groups and various criminal groups take advantage of the vulnerability of migrants, selling them as slaves or subjecting them to trafficking in persons, sale of organs, and other crimes.

14 Movement of Cubans Movement of Cubans The National Border Service reports that in 2012 thus far, 1,093 Cuban nationals have entered the country without any appropriate documents. They travel in groups of 10-20 persons through the Darien jungle, coming from Colombia. The detained persons are transferred to the National Immigration Service and finally, are released with a subpoena and continue their journey through the isthmus, with North America as their final destination.

15 Migration of Cuban Nationals  According to our records, 2,265 Cuban nationals have entered the Republic of Panama in a regular manner through the country’s immigration control posts.


17 Legislative Actions  Act 79, November 9, 2011 on Trafficking in Persons and Related Crimes. The most relevant aspects include the following:  Establishing the National Committee Against Trafficking in Persons as a technical administrative institution, with legal status, ascribed to the Ministry of Public Security, with the aim of designing, executing, and following up on the National Policy Against Trafficking in Persons and the National Plan Against Trafficking in Persons.  Financing actions of the National Committee; criminal and procedural changes required to ensure appropriate and effective investigation and prosecution of the crimes typified in legislation and the Specialized Office Against Organized Crime, office of the Attorney General’s Office, that previously was governed by Resolution 29, November 12, 2008.

18 National Committee Against Trafficking in Persons The following 15 institutions participate: Ministry of Public Security Ministry of the Interior Ministry of Foreign Affairs OMPAR Judiciary National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents, and Family National Assembly Ministry of Health CONAPREDES Attorney General’s Office Chamber of Commerce National Council of Private Enterprises Ministry of Social Development Ministry of Labour and Labour Development Tourism Authority

19 Operative Centre for Regional Security  Considering the significant investment in technology by Panama, an ideal goal would be to integrate this technology with all the other countries in the region, enabling information exchange and management for intelligence purposes.  To this end, the recently established Operative Centre for Regional Security, ascribed to the Ministry of Public Security of Panama, is a relevant point of convergence. The Centre intends to become an intelligence and data base for countries requiring the data managed through the Centre. This will enable countries in the region to take on the role of leaders in implementing State security actions.

20 A Bill Against Organized Crime  A possibility is currently being explored of harmonizing criminal legislation in Central American countries, with the aim of combating drug trafficking and the diverse and multiple actions of organized crime groups in a more efficient manner.  This is an initiative of the Committee of Ministers of Justice of Ibero-America, supported by the SICA General Secretariat and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.


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