I had the honor of representing Ecuador at the International Migration Review Forum Dialogue Series organized by the United Nations Migration Network. Ecuador participated in the roundtable alongside other Member State representatives from countries such as Portugal, Morocco, Kenya and Thailand.
This event provided an open and inclusive space where Member States discussed approaches to achieve effective and principled migration governance for the benefit of all. These deliberations have been designed to help Member States and other relevant stakeholders prepare for the Forum’s roundtables and policy debate.
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant strong challenges and lessons for the whole world, and Ecuador has been no exception. In Ecuador, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Ecuador on February 29, 2020, and given the imminent presence of SARS-CoV-2 and its possible effects on the Ecuadorian population, the state of emergency in the entire national health system was declared in March. 11, 2020
Ecuador is both a destination and a transit country for migrants. The situation generated by the pandemic has contributed to the deterioration of the quality of life, especially with regard to migrants. The lack of means of subsistence, impoverishment, precariousness and the lack of opportunities for integration into the labor market; as well as restrictions on access to basic services, have been some of the main effects that the pandemic has left on migrants.
Ecuador has been hit hard by Covid-19; however, we managed to cope with the pandemic thanks to our successful vaccination plan. It is a historical process based on order, dignified attention and transparency. For this result, co-responsibility between the State and the population was necessary. Migrants were included in the vaccination process. In Ecuador, all people have the right to access the vaccine to prevent COVID-19, regardless of nationality or immigration status. Our vaccination plan has taken migrants into account, mainly in the border areas through which they enter or leave the country. In this sense, the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health have been communicated in a timely manner to the national and international entities and organizations that look after the interests of this group of people.
to the equator, the inclusion of migrants is very important. Therefore, on numerous occasions, we have expressly declared our the country’s commitment to improving migration governance and our desire to protect the rights of migrants.
Due to the social conditions, barriers, limitations and restrictions faced by migrants, the Ecuadorian authorities have generated different initiatives to expand the coverage of protection services and access to universal, public and free health for them. Our Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, in its articles 11 and 32, establishes health as a fundamental right which must be guaranteed by economic, social, cultural, educational and environmental policies; and governed by the principles of equity, universality, solidarity, interculturality, quality, efficiency, effectiveness, precaution and bioethics.
Likewise, in the specific case of health, the Human Mobility Law of Ecuador, establishes in its article 52 that fForeigners residing in Ecuador have the right to access health systems and that there can be no cases of denial of emergency care provision on the basis of a person’s nationality or immigration status.
To guarantee this right, there is an express rule which states that for users of Ecuadorian or foreign national who has not obtained their identity or citizenship card in Ecuador, a temporary code consisting of 17 digits will be generated as an identifier or as a number of a Unique clinical history. This provision is applied in the country’s health establishments for the care of migrants without identity papers.
With regard to access to health services, at official and unofficial border crossings, attention is given to the migrant population arriving in the country and in need of health services.
Also, to facilitate the care of people in human mobility, we coordinate with other state bodies and with international cooperation to articulate initiatives and actions that benefit migrants and their inclusion.
Moreover, the The Ministry of Health integrates the approach of human rights, gender and inclusion through the Inclusive Health Services Strategywhose compliance is measured annually through a series of indicators that address issues such as quality of services, environment and health, interculturality, social participation and health promotion, by emphasizing the support for vulnerable groups, as is the case with immigrants.
In addition, additional actions are carried out, such as:
-Generation d regulatory frameworks and development of public policies which include the migration variable.
-Development of Classes and training on human rights and health care in migration contexts to be applied at the national level, with a focus on border areas.
-Generation d spaces to channel the specific needs of the migrant population and its articulation with the health services of the organized community. To achieve this objective, joint work is encouraged in border areas with Local Health Committees and representatives of migrant groups.
–Outreach activities aimed at decision-makers are promoted and organized to integrate the human mobility approach into their health strategies and actions in the territory.
-Given the difficulty of accessing data that show the real conditions in which migrants find themselves, situational diagnostic activities are carried out in order to allow the appropriate design of public policies.
The invaluable panel of the IMRF which allowed me to express and ratify commitment of the republic of Ecuador at ensure the well-being and health of migrants.
In strict respect for human rights, we seek to become an increasingly inclusive country. To this end, one of our strategies is undoubtedly to ensure the inclusion of migrants in our Covid-19 response and recovery.