IOM, Partners Launch Online Course on Rights of Migrant Children in Latin America

Date Publish: 

niñez, migrantes, cursos

San José – Starting next week (24/09) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will make the "Specialized Course on Migrant Children in the Americas" available via its Learning Platform on Migration, in virtual and self-training modes.

As of June of this year, 7,824 migrant children have been returned by the migration authorities of Mexico and the United States to the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). At the same time, migration trends from South America are marked by the emigration of Venezuelans – an estimated 2.3 million people have left, including migrant children. Numbers like this demonstrate the relevance of the virtual course that starts next week.

The course will be available in Spanish and is designed for specialists on children and adolescents, or migration issues. The course involves 80 hours of training and a wide number of multimedia resources and complementary material, which provides a great level of interaction.

Participants will have access to nine modules with a comprehensive approach to issues such as children’s rights and public policies; the international and regional regulatory framework; protection mechanisms; returned children and adolescents, and their reintegration; mental health care, among others. Additionally, the course will offer a series of tools for action, which will facilitate applying the obtained knowledge. The course is designed in collaboration with other United Nations agencies including UNICEF and ILO, and civil society actors such as Save the Children.

Migration management poses great challenges for governments worldwide. When it comes to children and adolescents, a series of social, legal and cultural factors influence the processes and pose additional challenges for countries, institutions and related organizations.

A course invitation was sent to the agencies in charge of issues related to childhood and adolescence, and migration; as well as to the Foreign Affairs Ministries of States in the region, and to other institutions relevant to the topic. A total of more than 300 specialists from the region were enrolled in this first session of 2018.

This effort is the product of a framework agreement between the Inter-American Children's Institute (IIN-OSA) and IOM. It promotes the development and implementation of joint projects throughout the continent and creates a precedent for future cooperation.

The agreement was signed by both IOM regional directors in Latin America, Marcelo Pisani, representing IOM’s Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, and Diego Beltrand, representing IOM’s Regional Office for South America. On behalf of IIN, the agreement was signed by Víctor Giorgi, General Director of the Institute. The design and development of the course were made possible with funding from the US State Department within the framework of the IOM Mesoamerica Program.

For more information, please contact: Alexandra Bonnie, IOM Mesoamerica Regional Program, Email: or Esteban de la Torre Ribadeneira, Inter-American Institute of Children, Girls and Adolescents, Email:


It’s Time to Think Universal!

Date Publish: 
22 / 03 / 2019

Geneva – IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. The sustained high treatment success rate is largely attributed to early detection, active case finding, directly observed treatment (DOT) and targeted patient-centred, migration-sensitive care. 

In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, with about 258 million international and 760 million internal migrants[1], migration must be recognized as a social determinant of health, impacting upon every individual’s vulnerability and well-being. Migration also profoundly affects the lives of families back home, as well as people in communities of origin, transit and destination world-wide.

Despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world and a leading infectious killer, with an estimated 10 million new cases andapproximately 1.3 million deaths in 2017[2], disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants, which leads to delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued treatment.

The way in which many migrants travel, live and work, can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being.   Many work in dangerous, difficult and demeaning jobs, and live in isolation and sub-standard housing. Others may be detained in over-crowded detention facilities or live in camps as refugees or internally displaced persons. Migrants are thus among the vulnerable groups that face a particularly high level of TB risk factors.

In addition, migrants face barriers to accessing health services due to language and cultural difference, and administrative hurdles. Migrants are often excluded from social protection in health and are invisible to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programmes. As a result, many migrants pay out-of-pocket to get the health services they need, which may result in catastrophic health expenditure, delayed and substandard care.

It’s time for inclusion of migrants!  Worldwide, in 2018, IOM conducted more than 376,800 pre-departure health assessments for migrants and refugees and detected 584 active cases of TB, which translates to a TB detection rate of 155 per 100,000 health assessments. Active TB cases were either confirmed by sputum culture or diagnosed based on clinical and radiological findings. IOM works in collaboration with National TB Programs and is committed to accelerate the end of TB through the strengthening of migrant-sensitive health systems, able to assess and focus on the specific vulnerabilities and conditions of the migrant population. (see video with story from Jordan)   

It's Time to set ambitious goals for treatment success, which is possible based on the success story from IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where DOT clinics surpassed targets with comprehensive care, by including active reach-out to patients and nutritional support, ensuring that neither patients nor their households suffer catastrophic costs due to TB, a key element in achieving the target 3.8 of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Successful treatment of TB hinges on DOT and patient-centered, migration-sensitive care, where an individual’s specific health needs, migration related vulnerabilities and desired health outcomes are taken into consideration. Treatment of persons testing positive is a core part of IOM’s health assessments for migrants, including refugees prior to resettlement. From 2010 to 2016, IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Kenya diagnosed 426 cases of active TB, treating 363 of them at IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics, while the others were referred for treatment. IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics sustained high treatment success rates over this period, ranging from 90% to 100%.

It’s time to be accountable to the TB commitments. IOM’s experience has shown that failing to address the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. Migrants urgently need to be included at global, national and local prevention and control strategies to end the TB epidemic, in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

Moreover, the End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration and the UN High Level Meeting Declaration “United to End Tuberculosis” afford a tremendous opportunity to ensure and commit at the highest level to not leave migrants behind and promote cross-border collaboration amongst countries towards reducing TB and HIV burden. Jacqueline Weekers, Director of IOM’s Migration Health Division said: “Ending TB means addressing the intrinsic linkages between population mobility and tuberculosis as well as acknowledging that UHC is only real if high risks groups are accounted for”.

For more information please contact IOM HQ

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel +14227179459, Email: