IOM Trains Honduran Officials on Human Rights of Migrants
Honduras - The IOM Mission in Honduras has organized two workshops on migrants’ rights for over 30 government officials and civil society organizations that provide direct assistance to returnees.
In coordination with the National Forum for Migration in Honduras (FONAMIH by its Spanish acronym) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), IOM provided participants with the necessary tools to ensure that all support and assistance provided to returning migrants is free from discrimination and abuse.
The workshops, which took place in San Pedro Sula and Santa Rosa de Copan, included awareness raising activities, training and updating knowledge to strengthen human rights, and mediation strategies between the staff of the institutions present.
For FONAMIH Project Officer and workshop facilitator Mirna Rodríguez, the objective was to achieve better inter-agency coordination in promoting respect of the human rights of migrants.
“We worked with participants from Honduras’ various migration-related institutions. We also highlighted the vulnerability of certain groups of irregular migrants," she said.
Over the past year, over 60,000 unaccompanied minors, mainly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, have been detained at the border between Mexico and the United States while trying to cross. Many are facing deportation.
Women and children who undertake the journey north face many dangers, including sexual abuse, torture and extortion. Age, gender and ethnicity all contribute to their vulnerability.
"Copan is another stopping point for migrants heading to the USA and Canada. This training will strengthen the organizations that are part of our Task Force of Justice, where government institutions, NGOs and other local institutions work together to cope with the current migration emergency," said Abel Contreras, Governor of Copan.
Some of the issues addressed in the workshops included the specific vulnerabilities of migrant women, human trafficking, a framework for migration in Honduras, international mechanisms for protection of human rights and how to determine the protection needs of migrant children.
Representatives from the National Migration Institute (INM by its Spanish acronym), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Children, Youth and Family (DINAF by its Spanish acronym) and the Ministry of Security also participated in the workshops.
The workshops were part of an IOM project funded by USAID: "Assistance to families and unaccompanied migrant children in the Northern Triangle of Central America." The project aims to strengthen the response capacity of the Honduran government to the needs of returnees, particularly children and families.
“IOM’s goal through these trainings is for government officials to know how to conduct their activities taking into account respect for human rights, particularly when it comes to assisting vulnerable migrants, such as unaccompanied minors," said Ivonne Salgado, IOM National Project Coordinator.
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