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Incorporating the Outlying Member States in Sustainable Intra-CARICOM Migration Policies/Incorporation des Etats Membres Externes dans des Politiques de Migration Durables Intra-Caricom/Incorporacion de los Estados Miembros Externos en Politicas de Migracion Sostenible Intra-Caricom.

Building an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean Community is implicitly assumed in the guiding framework of regional integration. CARICOM's objectives include averting threats of globalization by promoting economic integration and cooperation among its members; ensuring that the benefits of integration are equitably shared; enhancing functional cooperation; coordinating foreign policy and strengthening regional identity (CARICOM Secretariat 2001). To this end, regional integration and free intra-CARICOM migration serve as important tools for regional development (CARICOM Secretariat 2005; 2011). The CARICOM Secretariat (2005) postulates: "from the outset, free movement is an important pillar of ... the CSME. Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas requires that member states commit themselves to the goal of free movement of their nationals within the community." Further, under CARICOM's Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), free movement of people entails "the right to seek employment in any member state and the elimination of the need for work permits of stay" (CARICOM Secretariat 2011). People mobility is important to the realization of the "one community one people" component of CARICOM's motto (CARICOM Secretariat 2011). The United Nations also recognizes migration as an important development prerogative in its 2030 agenda. This is expressed in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10.7, which calls for the "promotion of orderly safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well managed migration policies" (United Nations 2016). However, within CARICOM, dissonances between migration policy and practice are often sources of discontent (Cholewinski et al. 2006; Goddard 2012; Kendall 2006), especially for citizens of the outlying member states (the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Suriname).

One of the main sources of discontent for intra-CARICOM migrants is perceived negative treatment at ports of entry and within other CARICOM destinations (Cholewinski et al. 2006; Kendall 2006). There are also concerns about full incorporation of all CARICOM nationals, migrants' experiences in destination countries and use of intra-CARICOM migration by citizens from outlying member states. For example, citizens from the Bahamas, Haiti and Montserrat do not participate in the free movement of intra-CARICOM migration. This is exacerbated by the fact that only limited categories of CARICOM nationals are currently eligible for free movement: university graduates, media persons, artists, musicians and sportspersons, registered nurses, trained teachers and artisans with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), who must obtain a skills' certificate both from their home and receiving countries (CARICOM Secretariat 2011). Stakeholders have lamented 'implementation deficits' and inaction by CARICOM leaders (Boxill 1997; Kendall 2006) as hindrances to effective migration policies and practices. For example, Goddard (2012, 550-551) points out that as of 2012, "no member state [had] enacted the necessary legislation and effected the administrative arrangements" to give effect to the free movement to other categories of workers such as entrepreneurs, technical, managerial and supervisory staff, spouses and immediate family members. These discontents necessitate urgent attention to migration policy, practices and experiences in CARICOM if SDG 10.7 is to be achieved by 2030.

Most CARICOM countries are members of the International Office of Migration (IOM), which adopted a Migration Governance Framework (MiGoF) in 2015 as a tool for measuring SDG 10.7 targets (Busatti 2016). This framework operationalized "well-managed migration" as evidence that policies "address crisis-related forced migration challenges; build institutional capacity at the national level and foster coordination and partnership at the international level" (Solomon 2016, 3). The framework is based on three principles: first, adherence to international standards and the fulfilment of migrants' rights in order to assure the socio-economic wellbeing of migrants and society. The second principle is evidence and comprehensive government approach to migration governance, which aims to assure effective response to the mobility dimensions of crises. The third principle is strong partnerships to support migration governance with the objective of achieving safe, orderly and dignified pathways to migration (Busatti 2016, 7). These principles translate into six policy domains: 1. Institutional capacity and policy; 2. Migrant rights and integration; 3. Safe and orderly migration; 4. Labour migration and recruitment costs; 5. International cooperation and partnerships; and 6. Humanitarian crises and migration policy (Busatti 2016, 12). The framework requires the evaluation of policies to understand if they are nascent, emerging, matured and developed in regard to each domain (Busatti 2016,15). This framework provides a useful tool for evaluating migrants' perceptions and experiences within CARICOM in light of the region's progress toward achieving SDG 10.7 by 2030.

Research questions and objectives

This article addresses how intra-CARICOM migrants from outlying member states experience integration by asking two questions: first, are intra-CARICOM migrants from outlying member states more or less integrated in CARICOM than other migrants? Second, how do intra-regional migrants from outlying member states perceive and narrate their lived experiences in these countries? The first question is examined through an analysis of the survey data. The second question is examined through analyses of interview data. The aim is to document outlying citizens' intra-CARICOM migration experiences and make recommendations around how inclusive and sustainable development can be pursued in line with SDG 10.7. In line with IOM's and CARICOM countries' adoption of the Migration Governance Framework (MiGoF) as a tool for measuring SDG 10.7, this article also assesses intra-CARICOM migration policy, practices and experiences using MiGoF. In particular, the implications for migrants' rights and integration, safe and orderly migration, and international cooperation and partnerships will be examined. This will aid our understandings of what programme/policy response might be needed to facilitate the incorporation of migrants from outlying member states into CARICOM, and how to build an effective migration policy overall for the region.

Incorporating the Member states

For analytical purposes, the 15 member countries of CARICOM can be divided into three analytical groups: the outlying countries, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the "big four". The outlying countries comprise the Bahamas, Suriname, Belize and Haiti (SALISES 2013). The OECS has seven founding members that enjoy full membership: Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. It also has four associate members (Anguilla, The British Virgin Islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe) with Saint Martin having observer status. The OECS is a unique CARICOM intergovernmental subgroup. Reference to the OECS in this paper relate to the seven founding members, which have all committed to integration within CARICOM (OECS 2014).

The "big four" is composed of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago (Andriamananjara & Schiff 2001; Corkran 1971). These four countries arguably have the greatest influence on the CARICOM and generally have larger economies (Griffith 2002, 103). In terms of economic size, Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana rank 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th, respectively among the 15 member CARICOM countries (CIA Fact Book 2014). Guyana's massive land size and its hosting of the headquarters of CARICOM also gives it a significant position within the region. While these three groups are mutually exclusive, they have both similarities and differences in culture, heritage, and economies, inter alia. Furthermore, the term "outlying member states" does not assume deliberate exclusion or marginalization. The categorizations merely serve as an easy frame of reference for the otherwise exhausting task of analyzing 15 countries. In addition, the categorizations do not imply homogeneity within groups.

The designation "outlying member states" obscures the vast differences amongst the four countries. Suriname and the Bahamas are designated more-developed countries in CARICOM, while Haiti and Belize are designated less-developed countries (CARICOM secretariat 2011). In terms of population sizes, Haiti, with more than nine million citizens, is the most populous CARICOM country. Suriname's 560,000 citizens make it the 5th most populous CARICOM country and Belize's 468,000 citizens ranks it as the 6th most populous CARICOM member (Statistical Institute of Belize 2016). Finally, with under 400,000 citizens, the Bahamas is the 7th most populous CARICOM country. These four countries also have idiosyncratic characteristics that set them apart from each other as well as from the other CARICOM members. The main reason the Bahamas is classified as 'outlying' is that it does not participate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This means that the Bahamas is under no obligation to facilitate free movement of CARICOM nationals. Haiti is the only French-speaking and the most recent member in CARICOM. Like the Bahamas, Haiti does not participate in the CSME.

Suriname and the Belize are classified as outlying because they are part of the South American and Central American mainland respectively. In addition, Belize, has full membership in the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), as well as CARICOM. It is the only country to have membership in all three bodies. Suriname is also one of the newest members of CARICOM (joining in 1995), and with the exception of Haiti, is the only CARICOM member with non-British heritage. It is only Dutch-speaking member of CARICOM.

Economic, Social and Development Disparities among CARICOM Countries and Migration

Globally, migration is recognized as having an important effect on development, especially through knowledge sharing, remittances and the diffusion of cultural, economic and entrepreneurial resources (Hujo and Piper 2010; Ratha and Shaw 2007/2015). In the south-to-south context, intra-regional migration has been associated with rising income, improvements in health care, improvement in gender equality, strengthening of civil society and increased remittances (see Ratha and Shaw 2007). This makes migration an important strategy for overcoming economic and non-economic difficulties in many source countries. It also enriches receiving countries with human capital and cultural diversity while also strengthening labour markets, public purses and fostering economic growth (OECD 2014). However, differences in human, social and economic development within and between CARICOM countries have made some CARICOM governments fearful that increased intra-CARICOM movement could swell migrant populations and negatively affect social integration and local economies (Kendall 2006).

Most of the literature on inequalities between countries focus on differences in economic indicators such an income and consumption. On measures of per capita income, there are important differences between CARICOM countries, for example, Trinidad and Tobago's US$28,049 is almost 17 times as high as Haiti's US$1,657 (see Table 1). Among outlying member states, the Bahamas's GNI is 1.3x Suriname's, 3x Belize's and 13x Haiti's (see Table 1). Unequal development, and differences in income and social progress within and between countries are a leading cause of internal and external migration (Dercon 2005; Lewis 1954; Samuel 2005; Simmons & Guengant 1992; Taylor 1999). Perceived differences in opportunities and life changes also serve as pull factors for migration (Dercon 2005; Lee 1966; Martin & Zurcher 2008; Lewis 1954; see Taylor 1999 New Economic Labour Market theory). Historically, intra-Caribbean migration has been driven by differences in economic and non-economic situations (Patterson 1978; Richardson 1989; Samuels 2005; Simmons and Guengant 1992) and this is likely to continue in the future.

CARICOM countries also fare differently on social and development indicators (see Tables 1-3) as well as in resource capacities. On indicators of development, outlying member states vary significantly among each other and with the rest of CARICOM (see HDI, Table 1; SPI, Table 3). The Human Development Index (HDI) shows that Suriname, Belize and Haiti rank 10th, 12th and 14th respectively among CARICOM countries, while the Bahamas ranks 2nd. On a global level, outlying member states rank from a high of 58th (the Bahamas) to as low as 163 (Haiti). Within CARICOM, the big four countries rank better overall--Barbados 1st; Trinidad & Tobago 4th; Jamaica 8th, and Guyana 11th-as does the OECS (where all seven founding member countries ranked between 3rd and 11th). On a global level, the OECS and the big four tend to be ranked more closely to each other than the outlying member states. Overall, measures of development (SPI and HDI) and income differences (GNI) among CARICOM countries show that outlying member states, with the exception of the Bahamas, generally perform below big four and OECS countries.

Differential economic and non-economic conditions within (see GINI coefficient, Table 2) and between countries will likely promote future intra-CARICOM migration, hence migrants' integration in receiving societies is of paramount importance. With intra-CARICOM migration increasing steadily (Lesser et al. 2006; Boxill 2010; UNECLAC 2006), it is pressing that the region incorporates outlying citizens who are at greater risks of exclusion due to non-participation in the CSME (Haiti and the Bahamas), and relative economic and non-economic disadvantages. Doing so will allow the region to pursue SDG 10.7 and promote orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration.


This paper is part of a larger study examining intra-CARICOM migration, identity and experiences. This empirical research is based on two modes of data collection: first, a cross-national online survey across the 15 CARICOM member states; and second, in-depth interviews with survey participants who volunteered. Purposive sampling was employed to ensure that the participants fully met the desired criteria of the study: being citizens of a CARICOM country; over the age of 18 years; and having lived in another CARICOM country for a period of at least two months (a criterion used in intra-European migration studies; see Bruter 2005). The recruitment of participants for this study was done in three main ways: a) personal network b) online social networking and c) contact with migrant associations in CARICOM countries. All the data was collected between January and May 2014. A total of 283 eligible participants attempted the online survey voluntarily.

The online survey asked respondents questions regarding their migration histories, attachments, experiences of CARICOM countries, and motivation for intra-CARICOM countries. The survey data provided answers to the first research question: are intra-CARICOM migrants from outlying member states more or less integrated in CARICOM than other CARICOM migrants? Respondents were allowed to skip questions or select either "refuse to answer" or "do not know". These responses were excluded from analyses. This meant that the valid cases for each question varied. Quantitative data from the survey was analyzed in SPSS.

From the volunteers identified from the survey, 20 were selected on a first-come basis. Six were from the OECS, six from the "big four" and eight were from the outlying member states (four from Belize and four from Suriname). Since this article's primary focus is on the integration of outlying members, the narratives reported are from the eight respondents representing outlying countries. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed for specific themes relating to identity, integration, experiences and belonging. In order to protect respondents' confidentiality, pseudonyms are used to represent interviewees in this article (see author's information for full detail of the methodology).

This study has several limitations. First, it is based on perceptions and subjective assessment of respondents. Nonetheless, the study also uses more objective sources such as official statistics to provide baseline information for interpreting the results. The second limitation arises from the fact that the sample is fairly small and is not based on probability techniques. Nonetheless, purposive sampling ensured

that it effectively reached the target population. Third, the sample comprised only regular migrants, which means that it is mostly made up of the five categories of migrants who were eligible for free movements within CARICOM at the time of data collection. Irregular migrants, tourists and CARICOM nationals who never travelled to other countries were excluded from the study. However, understanding the perceptions and experiences of regular migrants can provide directions about how expansion of existing categories of people who can access free movement within CARICOM might be pursued from practical, policy and regulatory perspectives.

The primary independent variable was citizenship and the primary dependent variables were perceptions of integration and attachments (other independent and dependent variables are discussed below). The independent variable 'citizenship' was measured in two ways. First, each of the three sub-groups in CARICOM (big four, outlying, OECS citizen) was coded as attributes for the variable 'citizenship regions'. Second, because the interviews focused on Belizean and Surinamese citizens, citizenship was also recoded into a dichotomous variable 'BelSur Citizenship status', which had the attributes: (a) Belizean or Surinamese citizen; and (b) other CARICOM national. The results between these two independent variables were compared for all dependent variables (see below). This allowed the author to unearth differences among the three analytical sub-regions generally, and more specifically, to assess differences among Belizeans and Surinamese citizens, and those from other CARICOM citizens.

To assess if there are differences in perceptions of integration, comparisons were made of the two main independent variables ('citizenship' and 'BelSur Citizenship status') in respect of the following other dependent variables: (a) respondents' attachment to CARICOM; (b) attachments to receiving countries; (c) perceptions of belonging in receiving countries; (d) perceptions of lived experiences in receiving countries; and (e) perceptions of integration in receiving countries. The attachment variables [(a) and (b)] were measured on scales of 1-4 indicating intensity levels from strongly attached (1) to not at all attached (4). The perception variables [(c), (d) and (e)] were measured on scales of 1-5, indicating intensity levels from strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (5).

Five variables were summed to arrive at 'perceptions of integration': 1. involvement in social activities; 2. involvement in political activities; 3. the extent of financial investments in receiving countries; 4. willingness to become permanent residents of receiving countries and; 5. perception of equal opportunity in the workplace. These variables were measured on scales of 1-5, indicating intensity levels from strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (5). Summed scores were likewise recoded on a five-points scale ranging from well integrated (1) to not at all integrated (5). The lower the mean scores on all the variables, the more positive respondents' perceptions were.


The study finds that there are many commonalities among intra-CARICOM migrants in their experiences, perceptions and attitudes towards CARICOM and regional migration policies. However, Belizean and Surinamese respondents differ from other CARICOM nationals on two dimensions: (a) they were more attached to CARICOM than other CARICOM nationals; (b) they had more positive perceptions of their lived experiences in receiving countries. However, on close examination of their narratives, integration within, and attachments to CARICOM countries are found to be nebulous because of non-acceptance and knowledge deficits of destination countries' citizens.

Attachment is often used as a proxy for identity and an indicator for the level of integration of migrants in host societies (Bruter 2005). By studying differences in attachments to CARICOM and destination countries, it is possible to assess the effectiveness of migration policies for facilitating inclusivity and integration. Table 4 shows that Belizean and Surinamese intra-regional migrants' attachments to CARICOM were significantly different from those from other CARICOM countries at the p<.05 level [F (1,181) = 5.693, p=.018). Belizean & Surinamese respondents' attachment to CARICOM was stronger (M= 2.13, SD = .757) than other CARICOM nationals (M =2.612, SD = .925), where the lower mean indicates stronger attachments (1 = very attached to 4 = not at all attached). Although Haiti and Bahamas are not participants in the free movement of labour, taken together with Belizean and Surinamese, intra-CARICOM migrants from outlying member states were also significantly more attached to CARICOM than either the OECS or big four at the p < 0.5 level [F (2, 180) = 3.830, p = .024]. Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test indicates that the mean score for the big four citizens (M = 2.681, SD = .929) was significantly higher than those from outlying member states (M = 2.143, SD = 0.803), where lower mean scores indicates stronger attachments. However, OECS citizens (M = 2.541, SD = 0.905) did not significantly differ for either citizens from the big four or outlying member states. Attachment scores suggest that intra-CARICOM migrants from outlying countries--and Belize and Suriname in particular--identified more strongly with CARICOM than the rest of CARICOM citizens. At face value, this indicates a general sense of belonging and subjective inclusion in CARICOM from outlying member states' respondents (see narratives for qualitative analysis).

Belizeans and Surinamese migrants also differed significantly from other intra-CARICOM migrants in their assessments of lived experiences in destination countries, p < .05 level [F (1, 149) = 4.268, p = .041). Belizean & Surinamese respondents' perceptions of their lived experiences in receiving countries were more positive (M= 1.667, SD = .686) than other CARICOM nationals (M = 2.135, SD = .928). When examined by citizenship regions, perceptions of lived experiences in destination countries were also significantly different at the p < .05 level [F (2, 148) = 3.105, p = .048]. However, post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test did not reveal any significant differences between any of the citizenship groups: big four (M = 2.232, SD .959); OECS (M = 1.978, SD = .882) and Outlying (M = 1.739, SD = .689). This suggests that Belizeans and Surinamese intra-CARICOM migrants do not exclusively have positive perceptions of their lived experiences in destination countries. Intra-CARICOM migrants' experiences were generally positive regardless of origin or destination countries.

With regards to attachments to destination countries, ANOVA reveals no significant differences among the three citizenship groups [F (2, 182) = 1.543, p = .216]. Similarly, migrants' attachments to Belize and Suriname were not significantly different from their attachments to other citizenship regions [F (1, 183) = .569, p = .452]. This was explained by the fact that overall, intra-CARICOM migrants tend to be attached to receiving countries, regardless of their origin. In fact, only 8.5 percent of respondents were not at all attached to receiving countries. This could imply that intra-CARICOM migration is having a positive impact on the building of a regional identity. In the same light, most intra-CARICOM migrants felt a sense of belonging in receiving countries; only 23 percent of respondents (n = 44) did not feel a sense of belonging in receiving countries. However, when analyzed by citizenship regions, significant differences were noted at the p <.05 level [F (2, 150) = 4.469, p = .013]. Tukey HSD post hoc test revealed that the mean score for outlying member states (M = 2.2609, SD 1.096) was significantly different from those from big four citizens (M = 2.976, SD 1.119) but not significantly different from those from the OECS (M = 2.522, SD= 1.278). With lower scores indicating a stronger sense of belonging (scale 1 = no sense of belonging to 5 = extremely strong sense of belonging), those from outlying member states had the strongest sense of belonging in receiving countries. Given that respondents from the big four countries scored less on belonging, it is not surprising that comparing Belize and Surinamese respondents with the rest of the CARICOM (both the OECS and the big four) did not yield statistically significant differences [F (1, 151) = 4.209, p =.085). In other words, respondents from outlying member states (including Belize and Suriname) and those from the OECS tend to feel a greater sense of belonging in destination countries than those from the big four. Thus, they are also more likely to feel included.

Despite generally positive perceptions about belonging and attachments to destination countries, respondents generally did not perceive themselves to be well integrated in these societies. On measures of social, political and financial participation as well as perceptions of equality in workplaces and consideration of becoming permanent residents in host societies, respondents were generally negative (see Tables 4 and 5). For the integration variable, descriptive statistics show that only 2.9 percent of the sample felt well-integrated in receiving countries and another 15.5 percent was a little integrated; the remaining 81.6 percent were either neutral or felt unintegrated in receiving countries. ANOVA reveals that there are no significant differences among the three citizenship regions in their integration in other CARICOM countries [F (2, 150) = 1.491, p = .228]. Likewise, comparing Belizeans and Surinamese with other CARICOM nationals yielded no significant differences [F (1, 151) = 2.335, p = .129]. When disaggregated, only 27.4 percent of respondents invested financially in destination countries; only 11.8 percent participated in politics in those countries; 42 percent got involved in social activities; 45.6 percent felt like they were afforded equal opportunities in the workplace and 37.4 percent would consider making those countries a permanent home. None of these individual variables were statistically significant when means were compared for Belizeans and Surinamese versus other CARICOM nationals. In other words, the general consensus among intra-CARICOM migrants was a lack of integration in destination countries. Overall, the survey data revealed a mixed picture, wherein attachments and positive perceptions of lived experiences did not translate into integration in destination countries. This raises questions about the effectiveness of migration policies in promoting inclusivity, equitability and prosperity in the region. The next section seeks to reconcile these results with respondents' narratives.

Outlying Intra-CARICOM Migrants' Narratives of Inclusion and Exclusion

The survey data indicated that generally, outlying citizens had great affinity to CARICOM and the destination countries in which they resided. This affinity appeared to be based on the idea of a shared sense of identity and an internalized sense of belonging to CARICOM. Speaking about her experience in Jamaica, Sheila, a Surinamese entrepreneur, stated: "I personally adapt very quickly to any environment. The cultures are pretty similar to Suriname. It's not a big difference. Even [Jamaican] patois and Surinamese, our local language, are quite similar." Likewise, Brenda, a Belizean student studying in Barbados, discovered that she had much in common with Jamaicans living there because "our culture is quite similar ... some of the things that we say or do, they could [sic] relate and likewise." Despite the sense of affinity, outlying respondents identified many issues that raise questions about their level of integration in other CARICOM countries: feelings of alienation, ignorance of non-outlying citizens and immigration officials, and weak migration policies. These are discussed next.

Alien Statuses

One of the main problems that respondents experienced in destination countries was adjusting to being labelled as 'outsiders'. Respondents perceived that non-outlying citizens knew little about Belize and Suriname, and hence treated them as outsiders. Brenda reflected that: "a lot of persons didn't know about Belize... the way they looked at it, Belize has just Hispanic people, that's the belief that they had." Similarly, Barry, a Belizean educator who lived in Barbados explained:
Sometimes you ask people about Belize and they don't even know. They
are asking questions like: "oh, [do] you speak Spanish?" They don't
[know] ... I understand why they do since technically we are not
considered a part of the Caribbean geographically. So, I understand why
they feel as if we are not in [CARICOM].

Another Belizean, Betty a public servant who lived in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados, expressed frustration at her experiences in other CARICOM countries: "I think at this point, it is walking a fine line as it relates to whether or not we're with Central America or CARICOM." The lack of acceptance for Betty made her contemplate if her attachments should really be with CARICOM. Her personal uncertainty parallels her country's simultaneous geographic ties to Central America and socio-historical and integration into CARICOM. Thus, it can be seen that outsider status excludes rather than incorporates outlying citizens into the regional community.

Another tool that is used to foster exclusion is language. Sheila, a Surinamese, recounted being automatically dismissed as a non-CARICOM national in Jamaica once she revealed that her primary language was not English. She stated:
... talking to [Jamaicans] that we [Suriname] are a part of CARICOM and
we are CARICOM nationals, they'd be like "oh really?" You [have to]
explain to them that Suriname is not actually in Africa but is in South
America, and it has been part of the CARICOM for a long time. I think
the language ... makes it a little bit difficult [for them to]
understand that Suriname is a part of an English-speaking community.

While Sheila did not feel that the questions she faced were ill-intentioned, the questioning effectively signified that she was an outsider. Perceptions by locals that CARICOM is an English-speaking club serve to exclude Dutch-speaking migrants like Sheila, and likely contributed to their poor integration in the receiving society. Acknowledgement of outlying migrants' statuses as full members of CARICOM can potentially help to reduce these perceptions and foster integration.

Respondents also felt that even at points of entry, officials often lacked knowledge about their countries and their membership in CARICOM. Barry explained:
... when I was going to St. Lucia, this lady at the airport, who was
checking me in and stuff, she was like: do you need a visa to go to St.
Lucia? I was shocked, so somebody intervened and said obviously she
didn't see the CARICOM in front of the passport.

On the other hand, some outlying respondents felt personally deficient in their knowledge about CARICOM. Sam, a Surinamese national who works in media and communications admitted that his knowledge deficit about other CARICOM countries deterred him from travelling more frequently to other countries. He stated:
I have family in Trinidad also, so I look forward to visiting those
countries but as I told you, we have to find out more about the member
countries--like what is available? And what is possible in those
countries?--before you could travel. There is very little information.
The stream of information is very poor. There is a lack of information
because I have a lot of friends on Facebook from CARICOM countries and
very few of them know about Suriname.

It is interesting that Sam believed that this deficit is not confined to himself alone. He perceived that his friends were similarly deficient in knowledge about CARICOM. Sheila concurred, noting that: "the only way you know something about CARICOM is if you are going to look for the information. CARICOM's website is so old that you know [that the information] is not going to be there. So how is CARICOM informing its citizens?" These statements suggest that an important way to incorporate outlying member states and their citizens in intra-CARICOM migration is through public education, starting at the supranational (CARICOM) level. It cannot be assumed that citizens will find the information, but civil society and governments need to partner to make information about CARICOM and intra-regional travel more accessible.

Ignorance & Perceived Rights

While outsider status excludes outlying respondents from receiving countries, the awareness of their rights can positively impact the formation of a regional identity and enhance perceptions of belonging and integration in CARICOM. Barry, when addressing the issue of belonging in Barbados, noted: "the people don't allow you to feel that way. They feel like you don't belong here." However, he was unperturbed by this because, for him, being a CARICOM national "gives me the right to be here." The confidence displayed in this 'right' indicates the power of knowledge of migration rules on subjective experiences, behaviours and attachments. Like Barry, Sara disclosed that while travelling to Trinidad for a weekend, she was given only three months to stay as opposed to the six months guaranteed by the RTC (Gonsalves 2015). Even though this did not affect her trip, it was frustrating because she felt her rights were breached. She noted: "I think you have to train them and let them know that these are CARICOM nationals, they have the right to stay here for six months without a permit." This suggests that intra-CARICOM migrants value the rights guaranteed by RTC even if for symbolic purposes only.

Another important issue raised by respondents is the need to deepen integration, including the liberalization of free movements of people for the development of the region. Researchers have agreed that migration can drive development in both sending and receiving countries through the sharing of human capital, remittances and transnational social, economic and political activities (De Haas, 2005; Ratha, Yi and Yousefi, 2015; Solomon 2016). This point was strongly advanced by Barry who argued that as a region intra-CARICOM migration should be encouraged because:
I mean, we [CARICOM nationals] strong like bosses so what is there to
lose if you have free human [and] capital mobility? ... I don't see
any losses or anything that is negative ... we could be more productive
in that aspect. If you need to work here [in Barbados], you need a work
permit [which] may take a while. That defeats the whole purpose of
CARICOM ... I think they need to work on that aspect.

For Barry, CARICOM nationals being strong as 'bosses' suggests that they are powerful and capable of accomplishing great things. Thus, for him, restrictions on intra-CARICOM migrants represent under-utilization and inefficient utilization of human capital. Betty concurred that free movement is an important step in CARICOM:
because it has benefitted a lot of persons. Not as many persons use the
mechanism as it should be used but it is one of those things that opens
up ... or sets you up with things in place for you to be able to make a
life in another Caribbean island.

In concert with calls for freer movements in other countries, outlying respondents also recommended that their own countries admit more intra-CARICOM migrants. Sam, for example, pleaded: "We have to open up [ourselves] to other countries too so we could know more about the countries. We could get more information about the countries and know [their] ... cultures." Overall, these narratives indicate that the incorporation of outlying countries involves taking proactive action to better disseminate information so that they can be educated about the regional community and about their personal rights and responsibilities as migrants. This could facilitate safe, orderly, regular and responsible intra-CARICOM migration.

Discussion and Recommendations

Understanding why outlying respondents (specifically Belizeans and Surinamese) were significantly more attached to CARICOM and destination countries than respondents from other regions provides insights that can guide policy and practice to promote inclusiveness and well-managed migration policies for all CARICOM nationals. The study revealed that compared to other migrants, outlying migrants had more positive subjective assessments of their experiences in other CARICOM countries. These findings might be explained by outlying respondents' greater appreciation of the provisions of the RTC and a strong internal desire for closer regional integration. Perhaps their outlying position makes affiliation with CARICOM more valuable. This would coincide with the motives of regional integration, which includes the aversion of threats of isolation and insularity, and the formation of a regional identity (CARICOM Secretariat 2001). In fact, their narratives around attachments parallel the rationales advanced for regional integration. Demas (1976, xviii) for example, proposed that: "West Indians [are] basically one people with a common history, common identity and a single destiny." There appears to be some embodiment of the idea that CARICOM is a part of all of us because "it is the outgrowth of more than 300 years of West Indian kinship ... evolving [into] a Caribbean identity" (Time for Action 1992, xxiv).

The positive subjective assessments of outlying respondents' experiences in receiving countries belie their outsider statuses, non-acceptance and knowledge deficits. Taken holistically, the findings raise serious concerns about the region's preparedness for achieving SDG 10.7. Intra-CARICOM migrants (including those from outlying member states) were overall poorly integrated in destination countries, with little involvement in social, political, financial activities in those countries or aspirations to reside in them permanently. Knowledge deficiencies and the non-acceptance of outlying migrants suggest that to foster safe and regular migration, CARICOM must embark on more public education and knowledge dissemination activities. For example, information campaigns that stress the rights and responsibilities of migrants, the pathways of migration to member countries, and information about settlement and integration in other countries would serve this purpose well. Traditional sources such as the press, TV, radio or designated workshop training as well as non-traditional sources such as social media advertising could also be important platforms for disseminating information.

In addition, governments (especially, Ministries of Foreign Affairs) need to collaborate to develop materials to ensure consistency in the information being disseminated. There also needs to be partnership with private sectors (especially regional enterprises) to provide sponsorship and support for the dissemination of information to their regional staff as well as the wider public. These organizations can use their experiences to offer practical support and advice. Another important target is NGOs and migrant organizations. Within CARICOM, there are national associations in many countries (for example, the Jamaica Association of Barbados or the St. Vincent & Grenadines Students' association in Trinidad). Partnerships must be built with these groups to develop resources and share information. Other community groups must be included such as church groups and neighbourhood associations. These groups must be educated about the benefits of migration, about reproducing positive narratives about CARICOM and the impact of intra-CARICOM migration, so that they share these facts with their members. Where possible, these groups can be offered various incentives (including funding and networking opportunities and training for their ability to deliver programmes to their constituents). This could lead to greater acceptance of intra-CARICOM migrants in receiving countries and a better understanding of how they help the community, countries and the region. This meets MiGoF's evaluation criteria around the building of partnerships for sustainable development.

With regards to building policy to facilitate the integration of outlying citizens, it is also important to heed MiGoF's criteria for prioritizing the gathering of evidence and the adoption of a comprehensive government approach to migration governance, and the building of strong partnerships (Busatti 2016). In many ways, this study represents an initial attempt to gather evidence and fill the gap in scholarly work on intra-regional movements in the Caribbean, which is inadequately researched (IOM 2012; Fernandez 2006). Similar studies should be encouraged.

However, as Wickham, Wharton, Marshall, and Darlington-Weekes (2004) suggest, gathering evidence is not an easy task as some countries lack the resources to effectively do so (see also Caribbean Leadership Project's 2014 report entitled "Caribbean Migration"). This points to the urgent need to build capacity by sharing knowledge and human capital across the region. Countries such as Jamaica (the only CARICOM country with sufficient data to warrant an SPI ranking), that have excelled in the collection of socio-economic data need to take lead in building the capacities of other countries. This could involve sharing of personnel through secondments, human resource rotations, as well as practical support including more workshops, training, and sharing of resource materials and programmes. This is an important way of implementing MiGoF's recommendation for the building of partnerships to support migration policy. As Solomon (2016) notes, capacity building should not just be an agenda item, but a policy item as well.

Respondents in the study called for the expansion of the categories of people allowed intra-CARICOM migration. This is an important consideration, which could strengthen migrant communities so they can help their members to integrate and achieve better lived experiences in receiving countries. Furthermore, the benefits of migration cannot be shared if only a select 'elite' group of people can access it. Research has shown that in the US, 18 percent of large corporations are founded by immigrants (Solomon 2016). As Solomon (2016,2) notes, "diaspora communities play a fundamental role in trade exchanges, investment ties, skills transfer, cultural links" and knowledge exchanges. This means that intra-CARICOM migration should not just be seen as a tool for incorporating outlying countries, but also a tool for pursuing development, sharing resources and hence creating prosperity for all. This does not mean that borders should be opened up indiscriminately or immediately. Instead, regional governments must honestly express their concerns and work towards findings solutions collaboratively. This would mean gradually opening access; perhaps setting quotas or pegging movements in the short term to economic indicators. However, the long-term objective should be to allow broader access. Targets should be put in place to motivate action, and governments need to use education to deter the unmanageable influx in any country. Irrespective of how it is done, people must be seen as assets to the region, and must be given more opportunities to determine their life chances. This means that regional leaders should work toward reducing migration hassles and other hindrances that restrict freedom.


This article indicates that incorporating the outlying states must be prioritized to foster regional sustainable development and the realization of SDG 10.7 by 2030. Current strategies for achieving SDG 10 can best be described as emerging. The provisions within the RTC provides an excellent foundation for the development of sustainable migration policies and practices. However, greater political will and commitment to implementation of policies is needed. The evidence suggests that economic and non-economic differences between countries drive migration. When migration is not properly managed, it can result in social, economic and political discontent at both the interpersonal and macro levels. Intra-CARICOM migrants' narratives of outsider status in destination countries and poor integration are symptomatic of these discontents. A focused research agenda on intra-CARICOM migrants' issues can facilitate better understandings and remedies for discontents. Likewise, building capacities through collaboration, sharing and partnering with regional enterprises, community leaders, government and NGOs could help migrants' integration in receiving countries. Finally, strengthening the dissemination of information and mainstreaming positive narratives about the benefits of intra-CARICOM migration can reduce misconception and protect rights, while supporting safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration.


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Table 1: 2015 Human Development Indicators for CARICOM Countries

Country             HDI     HDI    Life         Mean yrs.   GNI per
                    Value   Rank   Expectancy   schooling   capita

Barbados            0.795    54    75.8         10.5        15,629
The Bahamas         0.792    58    75.6         10.9        21,565
Antigua & Barbuda   0.786    62    76.2          9.2        20,907
Trinidad & Tobago   0.780    65    70.5         10.9        28,049
St. Kitts & Nevis   0.765    74    74.0          8.4        22,436
Grenada             0.754    79    73.6          8.6        11,502
St. Lucia           0.735    92    75.2          9.3         9,791
Jamaica             0.730    94    75.8          9.6         8,350
Dominica            0.726    96    77.9          7.9        10,096
Suriname            0.725    97    71.3          8.3        16,018
St. Vincent         0.722    99    73.0          8.6        10,312
Belize              0.706   103    70.1         10.5         7,375
Guyana              0.638   127    66.5          8.4         6,884
Haiti               0.493   163    63.1          5.2         1,657

Country             HDR

Barbados            High
The Bahamas         High
Antigua & Barbuda   High
Trinidad & Tobago   High
St. Kitts & Nevis   High
Grenada             High
St. Lucia           High
Jamaica             High
Dominica            High
Suriname            High
St. Vincent         High
Belize              High
Guyana              Medium
Haiti               Low

Source: United Nations. 2015. Human Development Report 2015. New York:
United Nations.

Table 2: Gini Coefficients of Select CARICOM Countries

Country             GINI Coefficient   Year of Data   Global Rank

Haiti               60.79              2012            3
Suriname            57.61              1999            5
Belize              53.26              1999           12
Jamaica             45.56              2004           36
Guyana              44.55              1998           39
St Lucia            42.58              1995           55
Trinidad & Tobago   40.27              1992           68

Source: World Bank. 2017. Gini Index: World Bank Estimate. New York:
World Bank.

Table 3: 2016 Social Progress Scores for Select CARICOM countries (rank
in parentheses)

Country             Overall SPI    Basic Human    Foundation of
                    score          Needs          wellbeing

Jamaica             71.94 (44th)   74.32 (78th)   75.94 (44th)
Trinidad & Tobago   Unranked       79.51          n/a
Suriname            Unranked       n/a            72.77
Belize              Unranked       n/a            73.11
Haiti               Unranked       43.29          n/a

Country             Opportunities

Jamaica             65.57 (34th)
Trinidad & Tobago   62.31
Suriname            56.52
Belize              48.02
Haiti               36.65

Source: Social Process Index. 2016. Social Progress Index 2016 Report.
Washington: Social Progress Imperative,

Table 4: Analysis of Variance for categories of CARICOM citizens on
indicators of attachment and integration in CARICOM

                           N    Mean    SD      SE     F

Attachment to CARICOM
Big four citizen           94   2.681    .929   .096   3.830 (*)
Outlying citizen           28   2.143    .803   .152
OECS citizen               61   2.541    .905   .116
Attachment to Receiving
Big four citizen           97   2.381    .796   .081   1.543
Outlying citizen           27   2.111    .892   .172
OECS citizen               61   2.197    .891   .114
Belonging in Receiving
Big four citizen           84   2.976   1.119   .122   4.469 (*)
Outlying citizen           23   2.261   1.096   .229
OECS citizen               46   2.522   1.278   .1884
Lived experiences in
Receiving Countries
Big four citizen           82   2.232    .959   .106   3.105 (*)
Outlying citizen           23   1.739    .689   .144
OECS citizen               46   1.978    .882   .129
Integration in Receiving
Big four citizen           84   3.536    .828   .090   1.491
Outlying citizen           23   3.174   1.230   .257
OECS citizen               46   3.565   1.025   .151

(*) p < 0.05

Table 5: Analysis of Variance for Belizean & Surinamese Citizens on
indicators of attachment and integration in CARICOM

                           N     Mean    SD      SE     F

Attachment to CARICOM
Belizeans & Surinamese      23   2.130    .757   .158   5.693 (*)
Other CARICOM nationals    160   2.612    .925   .073
Attachment to Receiving
Belizeans & Surinamese      22   1.360    .581   .124    .569
Other CARICOM nationals    163   1.472    .641   .050
Belonging in Receiving
Belizeans & Surinamese      18   2.278   1.127   .266   3.001
Other CARICOM nationals    135   2.793   1.191   .103
Lived experiences in
Receiving Countries
Belizeans & Surinamese      18   1.667    .686   .617   4.268 (*)
Other CARICOM nationals    135   2.135    .928   .080
Integration in Receiving
Belizeans & Surinamese      18   3.167   1.339   .316   2.335
Other CARICOM nationals    135   3.533    .896   .077

(*) p < 0.05
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Title Annotation:Caribbean Community
Author:Robinson, Oral
Publication:Social and Economic Studies
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:50CAR
Date:Dec 1, 2018
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