Date Publish: 
Friday, August 25, 2017

The General Directorate of Migration and Immigration (DGME), with IOM's support, started the identity documentation for children and adolescents that cross the border from El Salvador to Honduras. It is a Border Transit Traffic Card that aims to facilitate transit between the municipalities of Perquín, Arambala and Nahuaterique, in El Salvador.

DGME, committed to guarantee the safety of the people and to carry out an easy and safe immigration control, will grant this document to children and adolescents. The document will allow immigration authorities to protect children and adolescents from trafficking.The card is free and mandatory. In cases where children or adolescents have a passport, they can use both documents and comply with the requirements established in article 44 of the LEPINA.

The official event was headed by the Director General of Migration, Héctor Rodríguez; IOM's Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy; UNICEF´s Representative for El Salvador, Nadine Perrault; as well as representatives of the local governments of Perquín, Arambala and Nahuaterique.

"With this project we will benefit more than 3,500 children and adolescents. We had a debt as a country, a debt to this population; but, as Migration, we are paying off this debt. We will give a card to all the children in these three municipalities so that their immigration procedures can be easier", said the Director General of Migration.

"We celebrate this day as we are not only contributing to the optimization of migration processes, but we are also supporting the guarantee and restitution of the right to identity. In addition, with this card we are collaborating with the fulfillment of the right to education and health of these girls, boys and adolescents who cross the border daily to access these services", said IOM's Chief of Mission.

Having this card will ensure a better control of the inflows and outflows of children and adolescents who circulate daily across the border: A database will be created to register and quantify the population entering and leaving the territory. In addition, the card will facilitate the process of migratory control in a fast, orderly and secure way between the two countries. All the girls, boys or adolescents who require the ID, will be able to attend the offices of the DGME, in this border, to process their card.

With the implementation of this migration control procedure, an electronic kiosk will also be installed for the children and adolescents to slide their card through. This will generate a registration ticket, which will be verified by the immigration officer at the border, thus also promoting technological education in the children and teens.

On the other hand the DGME has contemplated that, in a second phase, they will benefit people with conditions of vulnerability, and other adults, on the different El Salvador-Honduras borders, and also with Guatemala, in order to promote the integration of the northern part of Central America.

In 2015, IOM developed -with its own funds- a population and housing census in the border region of Nahuaterique that contributed to the registration of more than six thousand people. This allowed to bring closer different social programs with special emphasis on health, education and housing. Based on the Convention on Nationality and Rights Acquired in the Zones, in 1998, the governments of El Salvador and Honduras recognized that the population of this region has the right to choose both Salvadoran and Honduran nationalities. They were also granted the right of ownership and free movement across the border.

This activity is carried out within the framework of the regional program Strengthening capacities to protect and assist vulnerable migrants in Mesoamerica (Mesoamerica program); funded by the US' Department of State and implemented by IOM. It was also supported by the municipalities of Arambala and Perquín, as well as the staff of the Monitoring Commission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information, please contact IOM El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras, Alba Miriam Amaya at [email protected].