Due to its proximity to the United States, and the fact that it is used as a transit country between Central America and the US, Mexico has a unique history of migratory dynamics.
The main reasons that push Central Americans to migrate are poverty and the insecurity prevalent in Central America, lack of employment and growth opportunities and – to a lesser degree – natural disasters.
During the last 15 years, the Mexican States along the southeast border have become transit and crossing areas for thousands of irregular migrants, most of them coming from Central America, the vast majority from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM by its Spanish acronym) estimates that during 2010, 140,000 Central American migrants travelled irregularly through Mexico. However, several civil society organizations estimate the number to be much higher. This situation has become even more complicated as it involves vulnerable groups, including women, unaccompanied children and youngsters, who confront greater risks during their transit through the country.
Thomas Lothar Weiss,
IOM Chief of Mission, Mexico
Mexico - IOM Mexico and the Ministry for the Development of the Southern Border and Liaison for International Cooperation in Chiapas have launched an online training tool aimed at protecting and promoting the human security of migrants in transit.
The online platform is a training tool that will provide quality and up-to-date training on issues of human security and migration, trafficking, children and adolescent migrants, human rights and crime prevention. It was designed for use by public officials, representatives of civil society and Central and South American consular officials responsible for providing assistance, guidance and protection to migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees.
At the launch, Enrique Zamora Morlet, Secretary for Development of the Southern Border Liaison and International Cooperation, spoke of the need to put in place strategies that will provide vital information to migrants in transit, and to raise awareness amongst the local population about treatment of migrants.
An increase in the number of organized criminal networks along the transit path of the migrants has had negative repercussions on their levels of vulnerability. Kidnapping, trafficking for labor or sexual exploitation, physical violence, including theft, sexual assault, and murder, as well as lack of access to health services, food and resting places are some of the main risks currently faced by migrants all along the migration route between Central America and the United States of America.
“The Mexican Government, civil society organizations and several UN agencies are implementing projects and programs to assist these vulnerable migrants. However, the magnitude of the problem requires a broad response, addressed specifically to this population, that results in coordinated solutions, alongside strengthening the capacity of institutions involved, always bearing in mind the needs of the migrants,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Chief of Mission in Mexico.
The e-leaning platform is part of a joint program funded by United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and led by IOM, being implemented by five agencies: IOM, UNHCR, UNDP, UNFPA and UNODC. All initiatives under the joint program will strengthen the capacities of government institutions, civil society and local communities in order to provide better care for migrants in transit.
In addition, participating as advisory agencies are UNICEF, UN Women, ILO. The joint program is also receiving support from the Mexican ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior.
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