Date Publish: 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

IOM, together with the governments of Guatemala and the United States, inaugurated the Welcome Room for unaccompanied migrant children and families returned to La Aurora International Airport, in order to optimize post-arrival assistance provided to this population.

The event was led by the First Lady of the Nation, Patricia de Morales; the United States Ambassador, Todd Robinson; and  IOM's Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy.

The facilities were remodeled and equipped to contribute to the work of the Attorney General's Office; General Directorate of Migration; Social Secretariat of the President's Wife; Ministry of Health and the Secretariat of Social Welfare, in favor of children, adolescents and returned families. The optimized infrastructure enabled spaces for the medical clinic, health services, kitchenette, storage, breastfeeding area and play room. In addition, industrial safety articles, electrical appliances, computer equipment, electronic and table games, cribs, chairs and desks were provided, among others.

"Our effort is invested in contributing to the fact that the migrant children and adolescents have the necessary resources so that they can develop to the maximum of their capacities; this includes decent environments that will help restore their fundamental rights", said Jorge Peraza Breedy.

The Welcome Room is the first, and important, step taken for the reintegration of returnees. Thus it seeks to ensure that holistic reinsertion is not a pending task. IOM remodeled 164.86 square meters, with capacity to serve about 150 people daily and individual spaces to locate government staff. The investment was USD $ 100 thousand, which includes the remodeling of the place and the equipment.

"We recognize the progress that has been made in Guatemala and reiterate our commitment to continue providing immediate assistance; we will continue to support capacity building and exchange of experiences and will work on reintegration with special emphasis on promoting and respecting the human rights of returnee migrant populations", concluded IOM´s Chief of Mission.

This event takes place within the framework of the Return and Reintegration project in the Northern Triangle, implemented by IOM and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

For more information contact OIM Guatemala, Melissa Vega, [email protected], or IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Alba Miriam Amaya, [email protected]