The Regional Group on Risks, Emergencies and Disasters for Latin America and the Caribbean (REDLAC) is a regional coordination platform for disaster preparedness and response, which emerged as a way to stimulate joint understanding and analysis and rapprochement from the regional level at the global level and at the national level.
Established in 2003, REDLAC is based on the presence of regional organizations in Panama, inspired by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). In REDLAC, organizations work to strengthen technical capacities and competencies in order to improve the regional response to disasters through a sectoral approach. REDLAC facilitates better coordination, preparation and exchange of information and facilitates the establishment of a permanent dialogue.
Considering the situation of violence in various areas of the three countries of Northern Central America (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala) by organized crime, gangs and maras and the protection needs of many people and communities, against the act from these groups, in 2015 a Protection Group was created at the regional level in Panama, as part of the REDLAC structure.
Since 2018, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has led the fulfillment of this objective, through the production of periodic bulletins on the panorama of violence, displacement and protection. The analysis is based on semi-structured interviews with more than 100 humanitarian organizations and academic institutions working in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico, as well as a monitoring of official statistics, press, studies of academic institutions and civil society.
Desde 2018, el Consejo Noruego para Refugiados (NRC) ha liderado el cumplimento de este objetivo, a través de la producción de boletines periódicos sobre el panorama de violencia, desplazamiento y protección. El análisis está basado en entrevistas semi-estructuradas con más que 100 organizaciones humanitarias e instituciones académicas trabajando en Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador y México, así como un monitoreo de estadísticas oficiales, prensa, estudios de instituciones académicas y de la sociedad civil.
The publications are the result of the joint position of the humanitarian organizations operating in the region, on the reading of the needs and the gaps in the response. These documents have input from a variety of Protection Group organizations, although they do not necessarily reflect the position of each organization.
These analyzes support the visibility at regional and global level of the protection situation in the NCA and strengthen advocacy efforts towards governments and donors; as well as humanitarian coordination in the region. They have also become a tool that supports operational decision-making and prioritization of actions in the protection groups of each country in North Central America.
Children and adolescents in a situation of human mobility in the North of Central America, Mexico and Panama
Children and adolescents (NNA) represent one of the main profiles that make up migratory flows globally. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a boy or girl as "any human being under 18 years of age." In this sense, migrant children represented up to 12% of the total migrant population internationally in 2019. According to the latest data available for 2020, in Latin America 15% of the migrant population is under 18 years of age.
The relevance and visibility of this migratory flow has increased in the last decade as a consequence of the migratory policies agreed between the countries of the region. The forced displacement of children and adolescents from the countries of Northern Central America are the result of the confluence of multidimensional factors: high levels of violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunities, absence of inclusive policies and the impact of natural hazards and the climate change and the disasters that are often caused by various unaddressed vulnerabilities. Family reunification with relatives living in the United States and expectations for a better life are elements that also influence the initiation of displacement. The main protection risks to which this population profile is exposed are, among some, sexual violence based on gender and human trafficking for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.
Established in 2003, REDLAC is based on the presence of regional organizations in Panama, inspired by the Inter-Agency Permanent Committee (IASC p The disaggregation of data on migrant children by age and gender, and the information to know whether or not they are accompanied by a parent, family member or legal guardian is crucial to identify different levels of vulnerability and protection needs of this population throughout the migration cycle.
This generation of evidence experiences multiple challenges on the ground. On the one hand, the protection of data regarding migrant children establishes the need to collect information guaranteeing the privacy, dignity and well-being of migrant children and adolescents. In addition, sometimes the data is not complete, unreliable or duplicate, since unaccompanied minors or children who are separated from their legal guardians or lose them during the trip, can be undetected, avoid registration by the authorities or declare that they are over 18 years of age or that they are accompanied by a “supposed” legal guardian to continue their trip and not remain in custody.
The proliferation of different definitions for each age category and the disparity of criteria for recording data are other obstacles to adequately characterize children and adolescents in situations of human mobility.
This Special Research Bulletin addresses the triggers for the flow of children and adolescents in a situation of human mobility to the United States and Mexico, the protection risks they face during their displacement cycle, the migratory agreements and policies that regulate this phenomenon and institutional responses and humanitarian organizations to guarantee their comprehensive protection