Date Publish: 
Monday, August 31, 2015

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office for the Defence of Human Rights (PDDH) of El Salvador developed a forum called The Internal Displacement and Assistance to Victims: The Colombian Experience, which served as a platform for the exchange of lessons learned and discuss its application in El Salvador.

The purpose of this activity was to share best practices and to promote the discussion on internal displacement in El Salvador, while learning from the experience of the Colombian government, in order to establish strategic alliances focused on the creation of mechanisms for follow up activities.

The event was opened by IOM’s Chief of Mission in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy; and the Attorney for the Defence of Human Rights in El Salvador, David Ernesto Morales. It also had the participation of officials from the governments of El Salvador and Colombia, international organizations and civil society.

The activity’s centre was the discussion on issues such as internal displacement in Colombia and the government's response; strategies to prevent the recruitment of children and young people; and IOM´s experience on programs for displaced population. This served as a basis for the analysis of the situation of El Salvador’s internal displacement, and for the creation of action plans to address it.

According to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, internally displaced people are "those who have been forced to flee their habitual residence as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of an armed conflict, violence widespread human rights violations, or natural disasters or caused by humans, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border. "

The Attorney for the Defence of Human Rights, David Ernesto Morales acknowledged, in this forum, that forced displacement in El Salvador is the result of multiple causes such as increased violence, organized crime, lack of the fulfilment of economic, social and cultural rights, among others.

Attorney Morales added that, prior to the displacement, this phenomenon involves multiple violations of fundamental rights that are continuous and cumulative, as many people and their communities are subjected to persecution, murder, death threats, violations of their right to property; thus he called the Salvadoran State to ensure effective protection of victims of forced displacement particularly children, adolescents, women, LGBTI people and seniors.

As the primary responsibility for the assistance and protection of victims falls directly in the States, IOM, together with the PDDH, seek durable solutions that would allow the respect and achievement of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement in the country. In discussing these issues and sharing successful experiences, the national capacities to effectively accomplish the responsibilities obtained with displaced people, inside the country, are strengthened.

IOM’s Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean, Marcelo Pisani, stressed the importance of the event as "it is IOM’s priority for joint efforts on behalf of displaced populations and it is in activities, like this forum, where our goals materialize. Such interactions serve to share successful experiences in the region that can be taken up by each country to generate new draft laws, public policies and nation plans. In this regard, we recognize the progress made to date by the Salvadoran State and pledge to continue to support all actions aimed at compliance and guarantee the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable people. "

Attorney Morales announced that the PDDH, with the support of civil society, has adopted guidelines to assist victims forcibly displaced by social violence and organized crime.

IOM recognizes the progress made by the Salvadoran State and pledges to continue to support all actions aimed at ensuring compliance to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

Want to see more pictures? Click here

For further information, please contact: Alba Miriam Amaya, IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras at: [email protected]