How to Facilitate the Reintegration of Returnee Migrant Children in the Schools?


According to data from the Migratory and Consular Observatory of Honduras, a total of 35,244 Honduran nationals have been returned from January 1 to June 22, 2018. Among them, 4,505 are children and teenagers. Considering these numbers, it is important to face challenges regarding reintegration of children in the country.

In this context, the UN Migration Agency (IOM), has initiated a series of training in 2018 for teachers about the migratory process, in order to promote a better reintegration of returned migrant children and teenagers. Through a theoretical-practical methodology, workshops have been held on three specific themes: interview techniques, return and reintegration, and migration and youth.

Thanks to these workshops, teachers of primary education have now more tools to carry out interviews with returned migrant children, which help them identify their needs. Thus, workshops are enabling teachers to take concrete actions to facilitate the process of reintegration in the country.

These series of training have allowed us to identify three keys to facilitate the reintegration of returned migrant children in schools:


-Have information on national initiatives to promote reintegration. In 2014, Honduras experienced a high flow of unaccompanied returned children, which led the government to approve executive decree declaring a humanitarian emergency. Since then, a government mechanism that addresses inter-institutional issues has been created. This represents an opportunity for schools to join the country's efforts on this situation.


-Involvement of teachers as part of a comprehensive response. Teachers are essential in detecting the specific needs of returned children. Depending on each case, they can coordinate with competent authorities to help making the reintegration process successful. For example, in Honduras, there is a network of state services for the protection of migrants that includes the Municipal Units for Attention to Returnees (UMAR). These offices, whose opening has been possible thanks to IOM, seek to ensure the educational, social and economic reintegration of these children and families.


-Promote coordination mechanisms with parents of migrant children to learn more about the progress of the reintegration process beyond the educational centers. This also implies knowing the level of reintegration in their communities and their leisure time.

These three points must be accompanied by a transversal axis: provide teachers with necessary tools to ensure that all children can enjoy their rights.



   Sobre el autor:

Ismael Cruceta is a Communication Specialist in Honduras for IOM Mission for the Northern Triangle of Central America. He has a degree in Journalism, a Master's degree in International Ibero-American Relations from Universidad Rey Juan in Madrid, and a Diploma in Digital Journalism for Social Transformation from Universitat Oberta de Cataluña (Spain). He has worked as a Communication Specialist of the United Nations System in Honduras and Bolivia. In addition, he has worked with different international cooperation projects in Ibero-America.



How do Venezuelans live in Costa Rica during the pandemic?

How do Venezuelans live in Costa Rica during the pandemic?
Categoria: Emergencies & Humanitarian Action
Autor: Guest Contributor

Currently, more than 5 million Venezuelans have left their country due to the complex socio-political context. Of those, at least 4 million are in Latin American and Caribbean countries, according to data collected from governments by the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V).

According to estimates made by IOM Costa Rica, by the end of June,  29,850 Venezuelans approximately were in that Central American country. The socioeconomic situation, health, regularization mechanisms and other characteristics that affect integration in a host country were impacted by the pandemic.

To better understand this population, IOM Costa Rica implemented the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to profile the Venezuelan population. This shows that the majority of the Venezuelans who took part in the survey were in the age range between 35 and 44 years; they were women (63%); they had university studies; and they were asylum seekers. In addition, most of them had been in the country between 3 months and a year and planned to stay permanently.

The DTM is a tool that can help policymakers to unravel mobility trends and outline current and future evidence-based scenarios so that the initiatives and strategy to assist both refugees and migrants, as well as host communities, can be planned with more information. These are some of the main findings of the study to understand the characteristics and needs of Venezuelans in the country:

  • Residence: 87% of those survey respondents indicated that they reside with another Venezuelan. Of these, 26% reside with a minor and 19% with an older adult. Most of them live in apartments.
  • Employment situation: At the time of the survey, most of the participating Venezuelans were unemployed (59%), and those who were working did so mainly in the informal sector. This is not a minor fact if we recall how it was said before that in general they have university studies.
  • Difficulties: Given the high unemployment rate, it is not surprising that one of the main difficulties indicated by the survey respondents was the lack of economic resources (78%), compared to other problems such as lack of documentation, lack of access to health, lack of food or water, among others.
  • Assistance: The surveyed population indicates that the main organizations that have assisted them are IOM (51%), UNHCR (44%), Alianza VenCR (31%), HIAS (23%), RET International (20%), the Jesuit Service (5%), among others.


The future of the mobility patterns of the Venezuelan population amid the pandemic

The regional profile of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently published by IOM together with the Migration Policy Institute, indicates that, as a result of the new conditions brought about by the pandemic, Venezuelan refugees and migrants will be affected by food insecurity, limited access to health services and difficulty in finding work. On the other hand, there are different estimates of the number of Venezuelan returnees and there is no confirmed count of how many are moving through the region with the intention of returning to their country.

Although assistance to human mobility has many aspects, in the context of a pandemic, health care becomes a particularly important aspect both for the refugee and migrant population, as well as for their host communities, since ensuring all members of a society the necessary medical access has an impact that goes beyond the person being cared for. In some countries, working formally facilitates access to this type of services; but in the case of Venezuelans, as they are mostly in the informal sector (due in many cases to the lack of documentation or regular status), access to health is complicated despite it being a human right.

This publication also suggests that in parallel to the organization and efforts made by governments and civil society to address the problems that afflict refugees and migrants in the region in general, and the Venezuelan population in particular, it is necessary to have international support. This is important, among other aspects, to collect solid data to help formulate public policies, as well as to strengthen the positive aspects that migration can bring, for example, in its economic dimension.