Shelters and information hubs for migrants in Guatemala use the MigrantApp
IOM staff shared relevant information and materials about the mobil MigrantApp in shelters and information hubs in Guatemala.
Guatemala. In Guatemala, representatives of the Community of Municipalities "Metrópoli de los Altos" and staff from information hubs and shelters for migrants from Izabal, Petén, Tecún Umán and San Marcos are using MigrantApp – an application developed by IOM to provide information to migrants about regular migration options – as a tool to strengthen their capacities to assist migrants across the country.
The United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) delivered informative materials about MigrantApp to key actors from the above-mentioned Departments, which have been the most impacted by migration in the country. Presentation sessions about the application focused on its importance as a tool for communities in the area and the need to share it at information hubs, which have opened in several municipalities to provide information to migrants or potential migrants about the risks associated with irregular migration.
“I think [the app] is a humanitarian contribution for migrants who need some type of service while they are in our country,” said one of the officials participating in the sessions after downloading the application on her cell phone.
The migrant shelters are located along the migratory route in strategic points bordering Honduras and Mexico. The shelters provide special assistance to vulnerable migrants or migrants who have been victims of crimes, such as extortion, theft, as well as those who need food or medicine.
Depending on the time of year and its location on the migratory route, shelters can serve up to 700 people, primarily men, but also, adult women and unaccompanied or accompanied children and adolescents. Potential victims of trafficking in persons have also been identified. Faced with risks and abuses, the mobile application offers migrants free reliable information about migration options and protection centers, such as the hotlines for trafficking in person complaints.
According to an IOM study carried out in 2017, 80% of the migrants interviewed in the shelters of the region considered that the application would be useful. The shelters have expressed their interest in using the application to provide more robust information to migrants and help migrants locate services provided by other institutions or in other locations when necessary.
MigrantApp was launched in the region in September 2017 and as of February of this year, it has been downloaded by more than 7,000 people, primarily from Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The application was developed within the framework of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for a safe, orderly, and regular migration, while ensuring the adequate protection of migrants.