IOM El Salvador Launches Online Course on Protection of Vulnerable Young Migrants

El Salvador - IOM El Salvador has launched an introductory online course: Protection of Migrant Vulnerable Populations: Unaccompanied and/or Separated Children and Adolescents to promote the fundamental rights of migrant children and adolescents in Central America.

The course, which will initially target government officials and people living in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, will become available to the rest of Spanish-speaking world by the end of October 2015. Participants will be able to access the course via the internet from personal computers and other mobile devices.

The first 160 registrations for the course include participants from El Salvador’s Health Ministry, Foreign Ministry, National Institute for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents (ISNA), National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONNA) and Directorate General of Immigration (DGME).

The initiative aims to promote critical thinking, analysis and awareness of the situation of unaccompanied migrant children and teenagers in order to identify and meet their needs in terms of the reception process, immediate direct assistance and protection. It focuses on human rights, diversity, multiculturalism, gender sensitivity and the principle of the best interests of the child.

IOM organized the course with input from another project: Assistance to Families and Unaccompanied Children in the Northern Triangle of Central America and its regional programme Strengthening Capacities for the Protection of and Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants.

IOM’s work in this area has been funded by USAID and the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) since 2014.

Of the over 68,000 children who arrived in the United States as irregular migrants in 2014, 98 per cent came from Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America. They originally came from Honduras (28 per cent), Mexico (25 per cent), Guatemala (24 per cent) and El Salvador (21 per cent).

This population is highly vulnerable and during their migration they risk extortion, sexual and physical abuse and even death. During 2015, the number of minors apprehended in the US has decreased, but the number of minors detained in transit through Mexico has significantly increased.

According to the Migration Policy Unit of the Mexican Federal Government, of 22,864 children and adolescents intercepted by the Mexican immigration authorities, 98 per cent are from Central America.

IOM has organized over 40 workshops to strengthen the skills of government officials involved in working with migrant children and adolescents returned to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

For further information, please contact Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras - Tel. +503 2521 0556, Email: