IOM assists migrant caravan members to return home
Since last month, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has facilitated the safe return of hundreds of Central American migrants. These individuals were part of the migrant caravan travelling to the United States through Mexico.
As of 28 November, 5 percent of migrants from Guatemala, 38 percent from El Salvador and 57 percent from Honduras received assistance from IOM to safely return to their countries of residence or origin.
Twenty five unaccompanied migrant children travelled home by plane.
Information and registration booths were opened in Tijuana (Mexico), Tapachula, Mexico City and Tecún Uman (Guatemala).
IOM is currently aiding more than 300 Central Americans who want to return from Tijuana. The IOM is currently screening and counselling these migrants prior to their decisions to return home.
In collaboration with other governments and involved countries, IOM works to ensure that migrants safely return to their home countries.
During their journey, the migrants receive psychological support and food at the border crossings. Upon arrival at the receptions centres in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the migrants receive hygiene kits and money to return home.
Maritza Matarrita, Protection Officer, IOM stated:
“Many of the migrants I interviewed as part of the return process said that they learned about the caravans being organized through social media and TV. Many of them said it was almost an impulse; they didn't stop to think about the risks and the exhausting days of walking. They just joined a group of friends or neighbours and joined the caravan.”
For thirty-nine years, IOM has helped 1.5 million migrants return to their residence or country of origin through its Assisted Voluntary Return programmes.
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Photo Credit: IOM