Summit of the Americas Must Include Perspectives of Displaced People

Please see below statement from Refugees International Advocate Rachel Schmidtke:  

“Next week, regional leaders will come together at the Ninth Summit of the Americas to forge solutions to some of the hemisphere’s most pressing challenges—and will sign a joint declaration on migration and protection. Yet Summit organizers are excluding key voices that are essential to creating solutions that are equitable, effective, and human-centered.  

The Summit of the Americas must include the perspectives of affected populations in the region, especially of displaced people. Their exclusion perpetuates neocolonial attitudes that harm the very communities that many of these policies would seek to support. 

Summit organizers must take swift action to include displaced people—including by extending invitations to displaced-led groups and processing visa applications for attendees in a timely manner—and to continue that engagement beyond the Summit.”


Rachel Schmidtke will attend next week’s Summit of the Americas and will be available for media interviews.  


At the Summit, countries from across the Americas will sign a regional declaration on migration and protection. Ahead of the Summit, Refugees International and partners offered nine guiding principles for the regional framework, available here:


To arrange an interview with Rachel or to receive more information, contact Refugees International’s Vice President for Strategic Outreach Sarah Sheffer at

BANNER PHOTO CAPTION: A daily occurrence, Venezuelan migrants seen walking on adverse roads to reach Chile, across the Bolivian border, near Colchane. Photo by Lucas Aguayo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.