IOM promotes better management of local cross-border migration in northern Central America

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
16 April, 2021


Mobility restrictions due to covid-19 have had a direct effect on migratory flows, due to border closures and quarantine measures, as well as isolation and social distancing. For this reason, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized the II Exchange of Experiences between Local and Cross-border Networks of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.


"Due to the pandemic and the Eta and Iota storms, the management of local and cross-border migration presents new challenges and a greater need for cross-border coordination to provide an adequate humanitarian response to migrants in vulnerable situations," said Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.


Despite mobility restrictions and new migration requirements related to biosecurity, in El Salvador, Guatemala and especially in Honduras, movements of people organized through social media to form the so-called "migrant caravans" have been reactivated since the last quarter of 2020. This has posed a series of challenges in the region, in terms of migration management and protection.


In this context, IOM promoted the two-day space for the exchange of experiences among networks, local and cross-border migration roundtables of the three countries in order to identify good practices in the care and protection of migrants in contexts of emergencies and health crises and to identify and propose routes of articulation.


"Undoubtedly, this will strengthen inter-institutional and cross-border coordination in accordance with the demands imposed by the pandemic, directly benefiting migrants transiting through these borders," added Peraza. 


Participating in these workshops were the staff of the Network for the Protection of Migrants in Vulnerable Conditions in the Southern Region of Honduras and the Department of La Union of El Salvador, members of the Technical Network for Cross-Border Articulation on Migration Guatemala-Honduras, and of other municipal and governmental institutions, civil society organizations and academia.


The II Exchange of Experiences among Local and Cross-Border Networks of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras was promoted by IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program, financed by the U.S Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migrants (PRM).