Children, Youth Learn about Safe Migration with IOM’s Pedagogical Suitcase
San José – Teachers and community leaders from Central America and Mexico will be able to teach safe and regular migration to children and young people, thanks to the Pedagogical Suitcase on Migration, an online repository developed by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) which brings together more than 100 resources, methodologies, and educational activities.
"Between 2015 and 2016, 100,000 Central American and Mexican migrant children and young people were intercepted by immigration authorities at the border between Mexico and the United States. According to a UNICEF study, 62 per cent of victims of trafficking related to irregular migration in Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico are children and adolescents. The Pedagogical Suitcase on Migration will be an important tool for addressing these issues in a serious and informed manner in classrooms and communal areas where expulsion rates are high," explained Alexandra Bonnie, IOM’s Mesoamerica Program Coordinator.
The search for economic opportunities, the need for family reunification and the fight against discrimination and violence are the primary drivers of migration in the region. In the case of children and adolescents, one-third of them migrate for economic reasons and others for family reunification, taking risks that often endanger their lives. In this context, the Pedagogical Suitcase is a useful, updated and diverse tool that allows for a clear message about prevention and regular migration options.
As a pilot experience, IOM will support teachers from 15 schools from Mexico to Panama, so they can sustainably replicate the Pedagogical Suitcase methodology and take advantage of its contents.
Training has also begun in Mexico and Nicaragua. In the latter country, 30 teachers and government institution officials from the 13 municipalities of Chinandega were trained on Communication for Development (C4D) tools to implement campaigns to raise awareness and prevent irregular migration and human trafficking.
Teachers and community leaders can access the Pedagogical Migration Suitcase through the Internet. The repository provides contents regarding four thematic areas: prevention and risks; regular and safe migration; human trafficking; inclusion and rootedness. Each of these areas includes resources such as storybooks, informative flyers, comics, short videos, documentaries and radio spots, among others. Also, it offers a section with instructions for the development of activities such as film forums, workshops, and festivals.
Other UN agencies such as UNHCR and ILO have contributed with resources, as well as civil society organizations, to improve it continually.
The Pedagogical Migration Suitcase is part of the communication component of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring adequate protection for migrants.