From the field - For migrants in Mexico, a dangerous trek
First post in a series on the plight of migrants who cross through Mexico on their way to - or back from - the United States.
For the past two years, our Mexico delegation has worked closely with the Mexican Red Cross and other Central American National Societies to better understand the needs of migrants. A comprehensive humanitarian response is now taking shape.
Thousands of migrants face abuse, assaults, accidents and extreme climatic conditions on their journey north. Traveling on foot and on top of trains, often out of sight, with very little money and virtually no support is dangerous. Repatriations, when they occur, can also have humanitarian consequences, particularly for unaccompanied minors. If migrants die before reaching their destination, their families back home have a right to retrieve their mortal remains, a complex process that might involve authorities in several countries.
Today, two Mexican Red Cross-ICRC mobile clinics treat migrants in remote border areas. Those unable to communicate with relatives in Mexico or abroad can re-establish contact through Red Cross Messages. In April, the Mexico delegation convened a meeting of regional forensic experts to facilitate the identification of mortal remains of migrants who dies en route to the United States.
Anne Montavon is Protection Coordinator at ICRC Mexico and supervises our efforts to assist migrants in Central America. She explains why and how we work in this very specific, challenging context.
More on Mexico and migration coming up. Stay tuned.