IOM contributed to the Eighth Regional Consultation of Child Helplines in the Americas and the Caribbean

17 November, 2017

San Jose, November 8th, 2017. The United Nations Organization for Migration (IOM) participated and presented MigrantApp, its most innovated information tool for migrants, in the Eighth Regional Consultation of Child Helplines in the Americas and the Caribbean.

The Conference was organized by the National Patronage for Children (PANI), in Costa Rica, and focused over the need of creating spaces of discussion to hear the ideas coming from youth.

PANI, in coordination with the global network Child Helpline International, invited telecommunication operators such as Claro, Facebook, Tigo and Google, as well as civil society organizations, international non-governmental organizations, and government representatives from over 40 countries, to a 3-day discussion and exchange of good practices to turn technology into an assistance and information tool.

Listen to Ana Teresa León, Executive President of PANI, explain the importance of the Regional Conference on Child Helplines:


Isis Orozco, from IOM in Costa Rica, mentioned that the conference allowed evidencing the specific vulnerabilities of boys, girls and adolescents, as well as how these have been addressed in Latin America. “Establishing relationships with institutions like PANI and NGOs allows strengthening the focus over topics such as youth and migration.”

For Valeria Tapia, Psychologist of PANI´s information center, creating a connection between PANI´s help line 1147, and MigrantApp is truly important as it is a fact that boys, girls and adolescents are also a part of migration, and that they can suffer the same vulnerabilities of adults, in addition to those derived from being underage.

The migration of unaccompanied and/or separated boys, girls and adolescents to the North of America is one of the most important tendencies in our region, because of the risks it implies for them, and the impact it have in countries of origin, transit and destination. Only between January and August of 2017, 9,975 boys, girls and adolescents returned to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

With more than 1,500 help and information centers from the Mesoamerica region mapped in MigrantApp, this mobile phone application offers a direct connection to helplines in all countries, among which the 1147 helpline of PANI can be find. This helpline responded to more than 3,500 calls in 2016.

MigrantApp was developed in the framework of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies to promote regular, orderly and safe migration,ensuring the human rights protection of migrants.