Nation Civil Police of Guatemala with new tools for protection of migrant children

27 February, 2017

Guatemala City. Through its Mesoamerica Program, the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) provided the National Civil Police with new technological and methodological tools that will help to strengthen the capacities of vulnerable migrant cases identification, attention and referral, especially children and adolescents.

OIM a través de su Programa Mesoamérica, hizo entrega a la Policía Nacional Civil de nuevas herramientas tecnológicas y didácticas

The donation of 21 laptops, the delivery of 90 printed books of the Specialized Course on Migrant Children (IOM) and a badge associated with childhood, will allow police officers to be equipped with tools to improve care for unaccompanied children.

Last year, more than 18,000 unaccompanied Guatemalan children were found at the border between United States and Mexico. In this context, strengthening the capacities of officials who provide immediate response and assistance to migrants becomes central.

IOM supports the Specialized Department on Children and Adolescents (DENA) of the National Civil Police. One of the main aspects of this cooperation has been to develop trainings through the IOM Specialized Course on Migrant Children in the Northern Triangle and Mexico, during which the police officers studied for 10 consecutive weeks.

This specialized training allowed them to be replicators of knowledge within the police institution, reaching other divisions - such as the Division of trafficking in persons and smuggling - at national level and in areas of higher risk, such as border areas and areas of transit of vulnerable migrants.

While on the move, the girls and boys can feel fear when an agent of the National Civil Police approaches them, because of the simple fact of being an authority. This is the reason why DENA and IOM take the initiative to identify National Police officers trained on migrant child protection, with child friendly distinctives. In this way, when dealing with cases involving a migrant child, the childcan associate the DENA agent with a child protection figure.

This initiative is part of the Mesoamerica Program, implemented by IOM with funding from the United States Department of State - Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).