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Scholars of Excellence Workshop – Complex migration pathways: South and Central America as a transit space

November 28, 2023
10:00 AM EST - 4:15 PM EST
Hybrid (In person at CERC Migration office / online via Zoom)
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The Scholars of Excellence Workshop series are day-long sessions where international scholars are invited to contribute to complex topics of interest to the academic community. The Workshops are convened by CERC Migration's visiting Scholars of Excellence.

Our November workshop is co-convened by Gioconda Herrera, FLACSO Ecuador, Berti Olinto, CERC Migration, and is hosted by Anna Triandafyllidou.

South and Central American migrations used to develop within the broader region of Latin America as well as in a north-south direction towards the United States. The twenty-first century, though, has brought about an important diversification of routes, and added complexity to the migration drivers. While intra-regional and north- to-south migration pressures have continued, there have been new global pathways involving people from Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia transiting from the region, mostly aiming to reach the United States and Canada. In addition, the region has been characterized by significant population flows out of Venezuela, a country that was formerly an important destination within the region. These more long-term structural patterns have been further compounded by the long-term effects of the financial crisis in 2010 and by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. State responses have varied and, although overall relatively welcoming for Venezuelans, they have also been characterized by rising xenophobia and racism, as well as the side effects of the U.S.’s externalization of its border controls towards Mexico and further south.

This workshop looked at the complex (and at time circular) migration dynamics in the broader South and Central America region involving people with mixed (humanitarian and economic) motivations from a variety of countries, notably Haiti, Dominica, various countries of Sub Saharan Africa, as well as Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia. Participants analyzed the motivations and drivers of such migrations as well as in the responses of states and civil society actors. The discussion linked the regional realities to also global analytical perspectives as to how migration governance is shaping up in the post-pandemic world.

Workshop Agenda
10 AM  EDT Welcome: Gioconda Herrera, FLACSO Ecuador, Berti Olinto and Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Toronto Metropolitan University
10 AM-12:30 PM EDT

Panel 1: Complex Transit Migrations 

Chair: Gioconda Herrera, FLASCO

12:30-1:30 PM EDT Lunch break
1:30-4 PM EDT

Panel 2: The Venezuelan Crisis Ten Years On: Conceptual and Policy Transformations

Chair: Anna Triandafyllidou, CERC Migration, Toronto Metropolitan University

4:00-4:15 PM EDT

Reflections and concluding remarks