IOM is presenting its recent publication Public Policies Benefitting Migrants and is taking part in round table discussions at the Fourth National Migration Week taking place this week in Mexico City.
Government officials, experts from international organizations, academia, civil society, students, and the general public are coming together at a series of round table discussions, exhibits, and cultural activities focusing on the human rights of migrants.
As a country of origin, transit and destination of migrants, Mexico faces a wide variety of issues to ensure that migration plays a positive role for both migrants, and society.
Although exact data is hard to come by, it is estimated that every year some 150,000 irregular migrants enter Mexico through its southern border. Equally as important, every year a large number of migrants return to Mexico after spending time abroad, mostly in the United States.
Both population groups are respectively assisted by the Government through the Grupos Beta and the Programa Paisano programmes, which are featured in the IOM publication Public Policies Benefitting Migrants.
The Grupos Beta, the Mexican National Migration Institute’s “humanitarian arm”, operate along the northern and southern borders providing medical, legal and social assistance to migrants seeking to migrate to the United States.
The Programa Paisano was created more than 20 years ago to assist Mexican nationals returning to their communities of origin, comply with administrative procedures and by providing information about their rights and obligations, as well as the mechanisms available to present complaints regarding abuses by government authorities.
The IOM publication being presented at the event is part of a larger project that includes a series of training sessions for civil servants in the programmes, the design of printed materials to support their day-to-day work with migrants, and a video documentary on both government programmes.
“These two programmes are successful examples of how partnerships between government institutions, civil society and international organizations can benefit migrants and societies,” explains IOM Mexico Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss.
IOM will also present its diagnosis Human Trafficking in Mexico: A Study of Assistance Provided to Victims during the inter-institutional panel discussion on unaccompanied children and adolescents and migrant women.
The publication includes general information about victims of human trafficking assisted by the office, and describes the comprehensive assistance provided by IOM Mexico staff to over 185 victims, in close coordination with public and civil society organizations. According to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, an estimated 20,000 persons are trafficked annually in Mexico, a country of origin, transit and destination of victims.
The large majority of victims of trafficking are from Central America, mostly from Guatemala. Significant results of recent IOM studies confirm that more than 60 per cent of traffickers were women, and in most cases the victims knew the traffickers who were either acquaintances or family members.