El Salvador Inaugurates “Window” for Migrants

Migrant Assistance, Migrants Rights

El Salvador - The first information office, or “window,” for potential migrants and returnees was inaugurated yesterday in El Salvador.

It will provide migrants with guidance on their fundamental rights, the services they can access through various state institutions, and information about IOM assisted voluntary returns.

It will also offer training for staff from government institutions, representatives of civil society and schools on issues including rights of migrants, services available at the municipal level for the migrant population, risks of irregular migration and protection of vulnerable individuals.

The “window” was opened in La Union, 150 kilometers west of San Salvador, one of the country’s departments with the highest level of mobility. According to the El Salvador’s General Directorate of Migration, in 2015 over 3,700 migrants returned to La Union, including 556 children.

IOM, with funding from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), joined forces with El Salvador’s Ombudsman, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mayor’s office of La Union to set up the facility. While IOM provided the computer equipment, furniture and promotional material, the Ombudsman will staff it.

The initiative is part of IOM’s PRM-funded regional project: Strengthening Capacities for the Protection and Assistance to Migrants in Vulnerable Situations in Mesoamerica.

A second “window” is expected to open this month at the Salvadoran border crossing of La Hachadura. Similar initiatives already exist in Mexico and Guatemala.

For further information, please contact Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Tel +503 2521-0500 Email: aamaya@iom.int

Salvadoran and IOM officials open the first “window” for migrants in El Salvador. Photo: IOM/Alba Amaya 2015