80 Guatemalan government officials trained by IOM in migration legislation and human trafficking

6 June, 2019


On May 22 and 27, 45 officials from the Guatemalan Migration Institute participated in informational workshops on the new Migration Code and its associated regulations. The activity was held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) within the framework of its Work Plan, in conjunction with the national migration institution. Its objective was to support understanding and implementation of the new code.

The participants work in La Aurora International Airport, Puerto Quetzal, and the Operations Division, so they will need to apply the new law as part of their daily activities.

“Knowing the laws and how to apply them correctly to support migrants is extremely valuable for the responsible institutions, in this case, the Directorate of Migration,” emphasized Walter Arreaga, National Coordinator of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica - The Caribbean in Guatemala.

Additionally, participants in the workshop received an easily consultable compendium of the law.  Thanks to these efforts, Migration Control Offices will have better tools to use in their work.

“Trainings on the current migration legislation for the Guatemalan Migration Institute personnel, with support from the Mesoamerica Program, are key for completing the information process during this technical and administrative transition phase. They are and will be a pillar of institutional capacity building,” commented Erick Cabrera, Advisor for the Institute.

Likewise, 35 officials from the Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Human Trafficking (SVET) of Guatemala received technical training to help them provide comprehensive assistance to trafficking victims. The workshops were held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on May 8 and 20.

The activities were intended to increase awareness and build capacities among the staff of the institution to contribute to the physical, social, and emotional recovery of rescued victims. Concrete information about human trafficking in Guatemala was also discussed, in order to enable personnel to provide better assistance.

In fact, the SVET is currently working to open a specialized shelter for these people as part of the actions involved in the new Migration Code of Guatemala.

The workshop also addressed important issues such as national and international migration legislation, the context of migration crisis, repatriation procedures, and basic techniques for shelter management.

“Thanks to support from IOM, the staff of SVET shelters have gained knowledge on various migration topics, which will certainly be very important for assisting adult migrant victims beginning in July of this year,” explained Karla Santizo, the director of these shelters.

This activity was made possible by financing from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State of the United States, within the framework of the Western Hemisphere Regional Migration Program (Mesoamerica-The Caribbean).