Mexico is currently facing increasing arrivals of persons in need of international protection, mainly from Central America, Venezuela, North Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, with the highest recognition rate of refugees as compared to the rest of the Americas. On 23 May 2017, the Government of Mexico agreed to participate in the process leading to a Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS), under the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior through the Mexican Refugee Commission (COMAR). Subsequent local consultations took place with the participation of a wide range of actors, including federal entities, civil society, international organizations, the academia, and persons of concern. The consultations were structured around the four CRRF thematic pillars and resulted in a document identifying protection gaps and recommendations that served as a basis for the Mexican MIRPS chapter, released by COMAR and the Technical Secretariat. The national chapter lays out actions to be implemented within a two-year period and with a view not to establish parallel actions but rather strengthen and expand previously assumed regional commitments.
The concrete gaps and corresponding actions to implement the MIRPS in Mexico build on existing international and regional commitments and include, among others, the following:
Government actors involved in the MIRPS in Mexico are the COMAR, the INM and line ministries such as the Ministries of Interior; of Foreign Affairs; of Labor and Social Security; of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development and of Social Development. These Government entities work closely with a range of different stakeholders including civil society, chambers of commerce, the private sector, financial institutions, and United Nations agencies like UNHCR, UNDP and UNICEF and leaders in communities hosting refugees.
The Ministry of Education and UNHCR have agreed to coordinate several joint actions to improve access to education for refugees and asylum-seekers. These include the design of a brochure that provides information on how children of concern can access the right to education. Moreover, the Ministry of Education facilitated school enrolment of asylum-seeking children in the decentralized Chiapas Region, by removing the requirement of documentation from their country of origin. 154 children were thus enrolled in the 2017-2018 academic year.
With the aim of contributing to the 2030 Agenda and reach “the furthest behind first”, UNHCR undertook consultations with refugees and asylum-seekers from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Venezuela. The results have informed Mexico’s 2018 Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The VNR report also captures how refugees and asylum-seekers can contribute to achieving the SDGs, and the linkages between 2030 Agenda, asylum and integration.
On World Refugee Day, the Secretary of Interior announced the issuance of a provisional Unique Population Registry Code (CURP) for asylum-seekers, as well as the increase of COMAR’s budget by 150 per cent and its staffing by 84 per cent. Although further details are yet to be clarified, the issuance of a provisional CURP to asylum-seekers is of the utmost significance because it will widen the access to opportunities for formal employment, health care and education, among others.
The lack of modalities to provide a correct and concrete follow-up to MIRPS commitments makes it difficult to generate information as well as to plan, design, implement and evaluate public policies among relevant actors. As a result, systems in place might be over-burdened with government officials not being able to respond to the needs vis-à-vis the increasing demand.
Jose Rene Paz Hernandez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Diaz Rodriguez, email@example.com
Hugues Van Brabandt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elisabet Diaz Sanmartin, DIAZSANM@unhcr.org
This report was prepared by the Evaluation Service, UNHCR.
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