MIRPS in Mexico
Mexico has received increasingly complex mixed flows of migrants and refugees from the region in recent years. The social, political and economic situation of various countries in the region, the restrictive asylum and migratory policies of neighboring countries and the geographic location of Mexico, among other factors, have contributed to an exponential increase in applications for refugee status. Claimants include many children and adolescents fleeing with their families but also a rising number who are unaccompanied.
Mexico has participated in MIRPS since 2017 and has sought to implement a range of commitments to provide protection and solutions for the forcibly displaced. However, additional support from the international community is needed in relation to specific commitments. In particular to strengthen public services in the host communities in the southern states of Mexico (Chiapas and Tabasco) where most asylum-seekers arrive, especially in the areas of public health and education. The commitments made in the MIRPS process are complemented by a number of pledges made during the Global Refugee Forum.
Jobs and Livelihoods
Improved efficiency of case registration and processing
The Mexican Refugee Aid Commission (COMAR) has advanced in this area through procedural changes. This includes simplified forms, developed with the support of the Quality Asylum Initiative, which facilitates case “triage” and differentiated processing. Additionally, changes in the SIRE registration system are being undertaken to improve case processing onsite and online. The programme under which asylum-seekers are released from migration stations has been implemented in more than 23 cities, with approximately 20,000 persons having benefited since 2016. The number of beneficiaries is now lower due to recent reforms in the Migration Law which have meant that families with children are no longer taken to migration stations.
Increased protection of children and adolescents in the context of human mobility
In January 2021, reforms to various articles of the Migration Law and the Law on Refugees, Complementary Protection and Political Asylum in matters of migrant children came into force. The implementation of the reforms will help to strengthen the child protection system, namely by preventing girls, boys and adolescents from being kept in migration stations, and ensuring their best interest is prioritized. Moreover, the Comprehensive Care Route for Migrant Children (a coordination mechanism approved in 2019), was implemented at the local level in various states during 2020, with additional efforts made in 2021.
Legal counseling and support by the Federal Public Defender’s Office (IFDP) are now available to people with asylum claims before COMAR. IFPD has increased the number of specialized staff and the frequency of visits migration stations to offer its services.
Progress on the protection of internally displaced persons
In September 29th, 2021 the Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved the bill for the General Law on Forced Internal Displacement and passed it for the review of the Senate. Pilot programs have begun to support internally displaced families.
Labor integration and relocation program
Since 2016, more than 10,000 people identified in the south of the country have been relocated to the centre and north, namely to cities such as Saltillo, Guadalajara and Monterrey, and have been connected to job opportunities, public education and psychosocial support. COMAR and local government support to the programme has enabled thousands of families to enjoy livelihood opportunities, leading to self-reliance.
Increased support for livelihoods and self-reliance
The inter-institutional roundtable on asylum and complementary protection (the national mechanisms for the implementation of the MIRPS Action Plan) has held specialized sessions on health, education, identity documentation and labour market inclusion of asylum-seekers and refugees. The coordination between technical ministries and the Ministry of Interior, the participation of UN agencies and civil society increased the engagement of many actors and collaboration to achieve inclusive policies. Continued engagement and dialogue with banks is underway to ensure that, documents issued by COMAR and INM are considered sufficient for identification purposes and for refugees to be able to access financial services in Mexico.
Strengthen the capacity of COMAR
to deliver protection; accelerate the issuance of documents for
persons of concern and provide adequate assistance
in the integration process.
Facilitate the identification children with international protection needs
Increase the operational capacity of the Child Protection Authorities, and strengthen alternative care centers and shelters for refugee and asylum-seeking children and families with children.
Promote the inclusion of refugee and asylum-seeking children in preschool, primary and secondary school
(ie. investment in materials and infrastructure, especially in host communities in southern Mexico).
Ensure access to public health services
through the new legislative framework and strengthen the capacity of public health services in the host communities in southern Mexico (ie. investment in infrastructure, equipment).
Strengthen the capacity of the National Employment Service to match refugees and asylum-seekers to job vacancies across Mexico
Include greater numbers in vocational training and certification programs and ensure access to financial services through the Association of Banks of Mexico.