Travelling Arts Festival Promotes Migrants Rights in Central America

Posted: 
07/28/15

El Salvador - As part of its awareness raising activities in support of migrants, IOM this month organized a Community Festival for the Rights of People who Migrate in El Salvador.

The event, which was held in the central square of San Miguel, the second largest city in El Salvador, is part of a traveling festival that began in Tapachula, Mexico. It has toured the municipalities of Tacana and Sibinal in Guatemala; San Miguel and La Union in El Salvador; and will finish in Nacaome and San Pedro Sula in Honduras.

During its journey, the festival has promoted the fundamental rights of migrants through music, theatre, poetry and games that involve the communities. It has also helped to support local artists and youth groups with free workshops.

The aim of the festival is to protect and assist migrants in vulnerable situations through art. It has raised awareness of migrants’ rights, the challenges of irregular migration and informed communities about the services and support programs that exist at the municipal level.

Interagency cooperation is a priority and in El Salvador the Directorate General of Immigration (DGME), International Sanitary Bureau (OSI), Ministry of Health (MINSAL), Board Protection Children and Adolescents, the Salvadoran Institute for Children and Adolescents (ISNA), National Civil Police (PNC), the Attorney General's Office (FGR) all took part, highlighting their role in helping people on the move.

The festival is part of IOM’s Regional Program to Strengthen the Capacities of Protection and Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants in Mesoamerica, which is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

The project, which has been implemented in El Salvador since 2010, has improved facilities for the care of vulnerable migrants at the Angiatú and Amatillo borders; and provided training to key government officials on the protection of migrants, human rights, migration and trafficking. This year it will develop training for local and border officials and awareness raising workshops in schools.

The Mesoamerican region is one of the world’s largest migration corridors. An estimated 400,000 irregular migrants travel through the area en route to Mexico and the US every year.

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

 

Community festivals contribute to the protection of migrants in El Salvador. © IOM 2015