Mexico holds training on protecting migrant children on its southern border

6 July, 2018

Villahermosa, Tabasco, June 2018. - The National System for Integral Family Development (DIF) of the State of Tabasco, with IOM support, deliver a Specialized Course on unaccompanied or separated migrant children in the Northern Triangle and Mexico between May 28 and June 29. The objective of the course was to improve coordination between sectors and institutions and to strengthen skills for protecting unaccompanied or separated child and adolescent migrants in Tabasco.

In the first quarter of 2018, the main shelters for migrants in Tabasco and the northern part of Chiapas (Tenosique, Palenque and Salto de Agua) received a total of 1,202 migrant children and adolescents, of whom 403 were separated or unaccompanied. During the same period in 2017, they received 828 migrant children and adolescents, which shows an increase.

These data point to the growing need to strengthen the skills and tools that states have to address this issue. The course aims to increase knowledge, understanding, and awareness of the realities of the lives of children and adolescents and their rights and needs in the context of migration, in order to serve this population more effectively. It uses a participative, constructivist methodology which considers practical examples and applications of the material.

The course is the third that IOM has run in this State since 2016.  The last two iterations were put on in coordination with the DIF of Tabasco, which has an active role as a co-facilitator with IOM.

Facing the increase in the numbers of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents who cross the southern border of Mexico, the agreement between IOM and the DIF of Tabasco further affirms this collaborative link, says Caridad Magaña Farsán, the director of the Department of Criminal Enforcement and Control of Proceedings of the Attorney General's Office of Tabasco: "This course enables us to get to know the existing mechanisms for protecting unaccompanied and/or separated children who arrive in Tabasco, as well as to know how to act in this situation. For that reason, I would like to replicate the course together with IOM and the DIF of Tabasco for the personnel of the institution."

Personnel from the Secretariat of Government (SEGOB), the DIF's shelter for unaccompanied children asylum seekers in Tabasco, the Office of the State Attorney for the Protection of the Family and the Rights of Children and Adolescents (PROFADE), the State Attorney General's Office with its special prosecutors for Human Rights and Human Trafficking, the Federal Police, the Secretariat of Health, the Human Rights Committee of Tabasco (CODEHUTAB), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) participated.