Date Publish: 
Monday, September 21, 2015

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) participated in the 9th Meeting of Chief Committee for the BA1 Project, called Prevention of Violence against Women in Central America, where the progress and challenges that the project faced in the regional, national and local level were analysed.

The project aims to support the reduction of violence against women by intervening on the factors that produce it, with particular attention to its worst expressions: Human Trafficking and femicide. For this, actions focused on prevention and assistance are developed at local, national and regional levels.

The project is part of the Central American Security Strategy (ESCA), promoted by the Central American Integration System (SICA), and currently has funding from the Government of the Netherlands and Finland. All components of this project are implemented in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama; while in the Dominican Republic regional activities take place.

Among the main achievements of the project, there is the strengthening of inter-institutional coordination between the National Commissions and related bodies that address issues of violence against women, trafficking and femicide. It has also achieved a greater positioning of the topic in policies, action plans and mechanisms, through the signing of agreements and the creation of platforms for dialogue aimed at harmonizing routes and protocols for the attention to victims. The project has also strengthened national observatories and agencies responsible for registering information and monitoring; as well as the capacities of human resources for the prevention and treatment of violence against women, trafficking and femicide at national and local levels.

At local level, and in the selected areas, the project has made progress in the creation and strengthening of comprehensive inter-agency plans to prevent violence against women; the development of awareness-raising activities with target population as well as the execution of communication and awareness strategies for the prevention of violence, trafficking and feminicide.

"The progress made by this project are important because they directly benefit the Central American women. Therefore, it is necessary to continue working, in the short and long term, for the sustainability of these activities until they become institutionalized”, said the Regional Director General of the IOM for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, Marcelo Pisani, during the event.

Executing agencies at the regional level are the General Secretariat of SICA (SG-SICA), the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Ministers for Women of Central America and Dominican Republic (STM-COMMCA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and IOM, and it is also the last two that are the financial managers. To develop the project, in all countries, Project National Management Commissions were formed with representation of the national entities of Women, the organizations that coordinate policies on violence prevention, UNFPA and IOM.

The event was  attended by the principal representatives of the member institutions of the Chief Committee: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Development of El Salvador (on behalf of the pro-tempore presidency of SICA), Carlos Castaneda; Director of the Institute for the Development of Women (ISDEMU) (on behalf of the pro-tempore presidency of the Council of Ministers for Women of Central America and Dominican Republic), Yanira Argueta; the Regional Director of IOM for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, Marcelo Pisani; Acting Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean of UNFPA, Esteban Caballero; temporary Responsible for Central America Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Annika Luosmala; and the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Costa Rica, Mette Gonggrijp.

The meeting was complemented by a field visit that allowed to witness the progress on key actions implemented in El Salvador, particularly in relation to the economic empowerment of women victims or at risk of violence, including victims of trafficking. The entrepreneurial potential of these women was strengthened with trainings and the transfer of start-up capital. Furthermore, awareness campaigns aimed at prevention of violence focused on young people in schools are developed.

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