IOM and the Government of El Salvador Strengthen the Skills of More than 170 Civil Servants

5 August, 2018


This month, IOM trained civil servants from government agencies, addressing the topics of human trafficking, assisting migrant children and safe migration.

El Salvador had 59 total convictions for the crime of human trafficking as of 2016, making it the country with the most convictions for this crime in Latin America, according to the Department of State of the United States. In response, the Secretariat for Women's Affairs of the Municipal Mayor's Office of San Salvador implemented a municipal program to prevent human trafficking, supported by IOM.

In cooperation with UNDOC and the Special Unit for Trafficking of the Civil National Police, IOM trained 30 agents of the Metropolitan Corps of Municipal Agents. The training workshop covered theoretical aspects of the crime, the Special Law against Human Trafficking of El Salvador, and the relationship between migration and human trafficking. Additionally, it covered the indicators of trafficking and the police procedures for handling possible cases.

On the other hand, the issue of migrant children continues to be a major challenge for the region. In coordination with the General Directorate for Migration, IOM held a forum on Mechanisms for Protecting and Assisting Migrant children in El Salvador. This event helped to strengthen national efforts to  protect human rights of migrant children, including those who need international protection, using guiding principles and human rights, gender, interculturality, and integral development approaches.

Over 100 people attended from governmental institutions such as the Institute of Childhood and Adolescence, the National Council on Childhood and Adolescence, Special Courts for Children and Adolescents, the Legislative Assembly, the National Civil Police, the Attorney General's Office, the Ministry of Health, and international organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and Save The Children, among others.

The Forum was followed by a workshop with the different units of the Direction of Migration to define the role of the Child Protection Officers, a figure which is being introduced in the new Special Law on Migration

As part of the efforts to promote safe migration in the country, the Special Course on Orderly and Regular Migration concluded in July, with an emphasis on vulnerable migrant populations. 40 civil servants participated, from 26 institutions from the departments of La Unión and Ahuachapán.

The objective of the course was to examine migration trends, Trafficking of Persons, Migrant Smuggling, Migration in the Context of Crisis, and Psychosocial Assistance for migrants. This course was put on thanks to the combined work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the National Civil Defense System for Disaster Prevention.

All of these activities are part of the Regional Mesoamerica Program, which is financed by the Office of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State of the United States of America.