Returnee Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Guatemala Receive Reintegration Support

Posted: 
06/02/17
Themes: 
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, Immigration and Integration, Migrant Assistance

Guatemala - On 31 May, the UN Migration Agency (IOM), together with the Governments of Guatemala and the United States, opened the Welcome Room in La Aurora International Airport for returnee unaccompanied migrant children and families, with the purpose of improving their post-arrival assistance. 

Airport facilities were renovated and equipped to be suitable for returned children, adolescents and their families. This work was carried out by the Guatemalan Office of the Attorney General, the General Directorate of Migration, the First Lady's Secretariat for Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, and the Secretariat for Social Welfare.

They provided additional spaces for a wide range of services, and improved the infrastructure of health clinics, kitchens, sanitary facilities, storage sections, breastfeeding and lactation rooms, and playrooms. In addition, industrial security products were delivered, along with household appliances, computer equipment, electronic devices, board games, cradles, chairs, and desks, among other items.

The Welcome Room is part of efforts to create comprehensive reintegration assistance. The room has a daily capacity of around 150 people. This year, from January to April, 1,095 children and adolescents were returned to Guatemala from Mexico and the United States.

The inauguration event was headed by Patricia Morales, the First Lady of Guatemala, Todd Robinson, the US Ambassador to Guatemala and Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

“We recognize the progress that Guatemala has made and we reiterate our commitment to keep providing immediate assistance. We will continue to support the strengthening of national response capacities and the exchange of experiences, and ensure returnees' reintegration with special emphasis on promoting and ensuring respect for human rights,” said Peraza.

The initiative is part of the Return and Reintegration project implemented by IOM in the Northern Triangle of Central America, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in order to strengthen governmental capacities through infrastructure optimization, humanitarian assistance, inter-agency coordination and information management.  

For further information, please contact Melissa Vega at IOM Guatemala, Tel: +502 2414 7401, Email: mevega@iom.int, or Alba Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras Office, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: aamaya@iom.int

  • The inauguration event was headed by the First Lady of the nation, Patricia Morales, the US Ambassador to Guatemala, Todd Robinson and IOM's Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Photo: IOM