Information campaign at El Salvador border crossings advises migrants on their rights

Posted: 
10/18/13

El Salvador - With the slogan Tus derechos al Migrar (Your Rights When Migrating), IOM El Salvador has kicked off an information campaign at two border crossing points used daily by hundreds of Central Americans, mainly from Guatemala and Honduras.

Migration officials of the General Directorate of Migration (DGME by its Spanish acronym) at the Angiatú and El Amatillo border crossing points will also share flyers and other campaign information at unofficial border crossings used by criminal elements to transport the most vulnerable migrants, especially unaccompanied minors and women.

As part of the project, IOM has upgraded border installations, including the creation of private interview rooms for potential victims of trafficking and other vulnerable migrants.

“Since the private interview rooms were created and equipped, migration officials at both borders have interviewed a total of 120 migrants who were believed to be especially vulnerable. The majority were being smuggled by criminal networks and four were victims of human trafficking,” explained Cecilia Ramirez, IOM Project Coordinator.

As a result of the interviews, the victims of trafficking were taken into protective custody and placed in a shelter. Minors travelling alone and without documents were handed over to the relevant child protection institution, and five criminals were detained.

The borders in Central America are frequently marked only by a river, remote mountains or dense forests, which results in numerous unauthorized crossing points where illegal activities take place, including human trafficking, migrant smuggling, drug trafficking, and the movement of weapons.

It is estimated that up to half a million migrants pass through Central America into Mexico as they journey north, risking extortion, violence, arrest, rape, kidnapping and murder.

IOM has also provided training on migration and human rights at five universities, the National Civil Police, Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office, DGME officials and local institutions in the municipalities of Metapán and La Unión.

“Migration officials are in daily contact with migrants at these borders and so this campaign is very important for us.  Ensuring that all migrants know their rights makes our work easier and guarantees compliance with the law,” said Cristina Rivas, Deputy Director of DGME.

The campaign is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and is part of the IOM-managed regional project Strengthening Capacities to Protect the Human Rights of Vulnerable Migrants in Mesoamerica.

For more information please contact

Adriana Granados
IOM El Salvador
Tel: +503 2521-0535
Email: pressiomsansalvador@oim.int