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.