IOM Organizes Training on Youth and Migration for Officials, Civil Society in Central America


El Salvador - A four-day training on youth and migration has brought together government officials, civil society organizations and youth leaders from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama. 

The IOM training modules were designed to strengthen the capacity of government officials, including border guards, NGOs, shelter personnel and youth organizations working with children and young migrants in the region.

The training, which is part of an IOM regional program funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), focused on strengthening the capacities of all actors involved with young migrants in Mesoamerica to ensure the protection and assistance of this segment of the migrant population.

Children and teenagers are often entrusted to smugglers or travel on their own, exposing them to many risks and dangers, including kidnapping, extortion, abuse and rape.  IOM has been working with governments in the region to raise awareness about the risks of irregular migration and to strengthen and build the capacity of governments and institutions who work with children and families.

The majority of migrants from Central America are young men under 30 hoping to reach the United States.  Between 2009 and 2012 some 70 per cent of persons returned from Mexico and the United States were between 15 and 29 years old.

In the past few years there has been a marked increase of mothers travelling with young children, and children and minors traveling alone or with a smuggler.  Almost all of these migrants hail from the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.)

The Vice Minister for Salvadorians Abroad, Liduvina Magarín, said: “It is vital for youth to know the risks inherent with irregular migration, but also the assistance that government and civil society must offer to this very vulnerable group of our citizens.  We also need to raise awareness and provide training on ways to prevent the irregular migration of our youth, as well as further efforts to address the causes of migration and ensure effective reintegration of young migrants returning to our countries.”

The training modules were developed in cooperation with UNHCR – the UN refugee agency.

For more information please contact

Cecilia Ramirez

IOM El Salvador

Tel.: +503 7852-1708