Since 2017, RET has directly supported more than 7,700 direct participants in Mexico, 47% of them are vulnerable women and indirectly benefitted 38.500 participants throughout 9 projects focused on Protection, Education, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion, Health & Wash, Nutrition & food Security and Migration & Mobility.
Mexico is characterized as a country of origin, transit, destination and return. Migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and victims of human trafficking all transit through what has become one of the largest migration corridors in the world. RET’s interventions are a response to the problems brought forth by the unprecedented arrival of families to the southern border of Mexico, fleeing gang-based violence in their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador Honduras and Nicaragua. A lack of basic necessities, access to schools, child labor, refugee application processes, and organized crime are all examples of what displaced populations face, while both internal and external displaced people have to contend with complex integration issues.
RET’s projects support refugees with humanitarian aid assistance as well as providing them with the legal aid to obtain refugee status. RET also works to strengthen displaced families, and displaced youth and integrate them in the host communities. Since 2017, RET has been a strategic partner of UNHCR in Mexico, providing humanitarian assistance and strengthening vulnerable families in Tapachula and Palenque, state of Chiapas; Tenosique, state of Tabasco; Acayucan, Oluta, Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz City, Xalapa and Tierra Blanca, state of Veracruz. As of February 2019, RET also became a partner of UNICEF, implementing an emergency program to assist children on the south border of Mexico (Tapachula, Chiapas).
Improving opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees
The increase in violence in Central America has contributed to a high number of applicants seeking refugee status and international protection in Mexico. According to the Mexican Refugee Aid Commission, 70,302 applications for asylum have been submitted in 2019 alone.
The project aimed to support the newly recognized refugees, as well as those in the process of obtaining a refugee status with humanitarian aid such as food, shelter or hygiene products, in addition to assisting them with emergency psychosocial support to strengthen their emotional stability, their resilience and to contribute to their integration in the Mexican host communities.
Through its holistic approach, the project assisted the displaced families arriving at the southern border of Mexico, by strengthening their protection and integration mechanisms through individual and group psychosocial care; advisory services, and livelihoods training. The project also supported the youth within the families with educational trainings to facilitate their integration in the Mexican educational system. In order to reduce the vulnerability of youth, protect them and prevent violence, the project offered sports/art and culture, as a tool to their protection and integration. In addition, the project aimed to strengthen the internal mechanisms responding to gender-based violence (GBV) as well as assisting the survivors of GBV with psychological first aid, individual and group psychosocial support… To reduce and prevent the cases of violence against women, support groups for both women and men were created. The inclusion of men in GBV trainings and awareness raising sessions contributes to the modification of behavioral patterns, thus, reducing violence against women.
Psychosocial support and protection for children and adolescents (accompanied and unaccompanied) in a situation of mobility in temporary and transit shelters for migrants and in public schools in Tapachula and Suchiate, Chiapas
Among the members of the caravans, children and adolescents are the most vulnerable group, since, given their young age, they are more likely to be emotionally affected by the difficult circumstances of migration, in addition to the already traumatic conditions that led to their departure from their places of origin. The program offers psychosocial care to children, as well as offers a series of recreational activities with a psychosocial focus in shelters and spaces where children are temporarily housed. As of May 2019, the program has included activities to raise awareness among Mexican children about inclusion, tolerance and respect for human rights, with the aim of promoting integration with the Central American population at an early age.