Protection and defense of the Human Rights of migrant Children and Adolescents and their families in the context of COVID-19

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Organizations defending children's rights seek support to promote the protection and defense of children's human rights in the Americas, girls and migrant adolescence, and their families in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis.

The petition, which is addressed to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (whence), seeks that States develop the necessary protection measures in favor of minors in the face of the challenge posed by human mobility restrictions on the continent in the midst of the emergency.

The application is based on girls' concerns, children, adolescents and organizations in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela expressed during the Virtual Forum: Protection and Defense of the Human Rights of Migrant Children and Adolescents and their Families in the Context of COVID-19.

The virtual meeting was attended by the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants, Julissa Mantilla; the IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of the Child, Esmeralda Arosemena, and the President of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Luis Pedernera.

On behalf of the networks and organizations of Civil Society, Otto Rivera participated (CIPRODENI –Guatemala), Doris Garcia (COIPRODEN-Honduras), Georgina Villalta (RIA -El Salvador), José Lugo (Save The Children- Mexico), and Carlos Trapani. REDHNNA – Venezuela.

During the meeting, the difficulties faced by the children of the continent as a result of the pandemic that translated into greater vulnerability were raised.

In this context, the experts seek support to promote compliance among the countries with eight proposed recommendations in favor of children., including migrants, which in essence seek to improve the quality of life of minors, and facilitate access to coronavirus screening tests and treatments.

It is also recommended that the States of origin, transit and destination make and implement bilateral and multilateral agreements focused on the cross-border protection of girls' rights, children and adolescents in contexts of human mobility, to ensure protection, Health, feeding, education and livelihoods during any stage of the migration cycle.

Disheartening panorama

Although States have implemented containment measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the problem is that they did not consider the needs, particular characteristics and rights of this segment of the population on the continent, according to the approaches exposed during the virtual meeting.

As a consequence they are victims of arbitrary arrests, deportations, rejections at the border, suspension of immigration procedures and asylum applications, overcrowding, discrimination, xenophobia and in general violation of human rights, add.

To this is added that thousands of minors return to their places of origin due to the lack of opportunities and protection mechanisms in destination countries, but nevertheless, this return occurs in the worst conditions of insecurity as in Central America.

In the case of Venezuela, the poverty from which they fled worsens, if they have not been trapped between two borders due to the mobility impediment caused by the containment measures of COVID-19.

Pronouncement for the Protection of Migrant Children COVID-19 CIVIL Partnership (1)

Georgina Villalta (RIA -El Salvador)