Date Publish: 
Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Director General of the UN Migration Agency (IOM), Ambassador William Lacy Swing, made an official visit to the Centre for the Assistance to Migrant Children and Families Bethlehem, to assess the progress made in the strengthening of the capacities to assist the most vulnerable Honduran population.

The delegation that arrived with Ambassador Swing included IOM's Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean, Marcelo Pisani; IOM's Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy; who were received by the Executive Director of the Directorate of Children, Adolescents and Family of the Presidency of Honduras (DINAF), Lolis María Salas Montes.

The Bethlehem Centre was rebuilt and equipped by IOM to contribute to the fulfilment of the returned migrant children and adolescents´ right of to have spaces designed for their differentiated and safe care. Under the administration of the DINAF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (SRECI), the Bethlehem Centre has 345.02 m2 of constructed and 560.49 m2 remodelled areas by IOM, which meant an increase in the capacity of child care, in medical offices and in psychological care.

In addition, accessibility for people with disabilities or elderly was optimized, as well as the installation of new ceilings with fans and ceilings with mineral fibre plates, a new electrical system and installation of hydro pneumatic pump, pressure tank and containers for the Storage of 3,000 litres of water.

Ambassador Swing's visit came as part of the 21st Session of the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM), an event that brought together representatives from Central and North America who discussed Shared Responsibility for Migration Management. The Director General stressed that while IOM, and other humanitarian organizations, are working to support thousands of displaced people fleeing from Mosul or Syria, "many countries have closed door policies and, instead of receiving people, they try to get them to go someplace else".

"Knowing the demographic imbalances, in the sense that the north of the world needs workers and the south of the world needs to work, we must assume that all our societies will be more multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional. If we are not preparing our citizens for it, we are not fulfilling our responsibility. It is about shared responsibility”, said Director General Swing.

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