Date Publish: 
Friday, August 21, 2015

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Red Cross (ICR) concluded the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on Migrant Children and Adolescents of the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM) in San Salvador, which included a workshop on holistic protection of this population.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the governments of Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and United States to review the achievements gained in the protection of children and teen migrants and refugees , as well as to identify the remaining challenges and the measures to address them. Other participants were the members of the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration (RNCOM).

"The Member States of the CRM have clearly recognized that the responsibilities, like migrants, cross borders. The international organizations celebrate this approach because it is a fact that migration is the result of both expulsion and attraction factors. As such, we need more efforts to thoroughly analyse which areas are the ones that States should strengthen so they can protect children who migrate”, said  the Chief of IOM Mission to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza during the opening ceremony.

The event was held between August 18th to the 20th and included trainings and presentations by specialists on Migrant Children's Rights, as well as a meeting with young migrants who shared their experiences and views with government representatives. With this, the right of children and adolescents to participate actively in discussions concerning them was also promoted.

The meeting was also a platform to continue progressing in the development of a regional manual on protection of children and young migrants and refugees; for the exchange of key national and regional information; and for a better understanding of the obligations and guiding principles in the context of migration from the approaches of Human Rights, Gender, multiculturalism, diversity, participation, progressive autonomy and best interests of the child.

"This is a complex and highly relevant issue that concerns us all and should still be considered as a priority in the governments’ and civil society’s agendas in our region so that, with this, we continue advancing towards concrete actions that promote the holistic protection of this population and of their fundamental rights”, said Peraza.

The first meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on Migrant Children and Adolescents of the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM) was in 2014 at Ciudad Guatemala; followed by the second that was held at the beginning of this year in Mexico D.F. For this third conference in San Salvador, the CRM received financial support from IOM through the Mesoamerica Regional Program, that seeks to strengthen assistance and protection capacities of migrant population in vulnerable conditions.

IOM recognizes the progress made by Member States and reiterates its commitment to continue working, both at national and regional level, in the search for durable solutions in protecting the fundamental rights of migrant children and adolescents.

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